NBA Betting Picks: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder

Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
Chesapeake Energy Center – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sunday, January 19, 2014, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: CSN-CA, FSN-OK, NBA LP
Opening Line: Oklahoma City -8 1/2
Current Line: Oklahoma City -8 1/2
Opening Total: 212
Current Total: 212
Opening Money Line: Thunder -350 / Kings +290
Current Money Line: Thunder -400 / Kings +320

Kevin Durant and the Thunder take on the Sacramento Kings Sunday night in OKC. The Thunder are 8.5 point favorites.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder take on the Sacramento Kings Sunday night in OKC. The Thunder are 8.5 point favorites.

The 30-10 Oklahoma City Thunder host the 14-24 Sacramento Kings Sunday night. Oklahoma City is a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference. The Thunder are also behind the Blazers in the Northwest Division. Oklahoma City would currently be the #3 seed in the playoffs. Sacramento is in a virtual tie for last place in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams are 2 games up on the Utah Jazz for the worst record in the West.

Oklahoma City has won 7 straight games against Sacramento and 16 of the last 18. The Kings have never beaten the Thunder in nine games in OKC since the franchise relocated from Seattle. The Thunder won in Sacramento 97-95 December 3 in the only meeting this season. The two teams will play twice more after this, March 28 in Oklahoma City and April 8 in Sacramento.

Sacramento is coached by Michael Malone. The Kings are currently 1-2 in the middle of a six game road trip. Sacramento lost at the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night 91-90. The Kings led that game 88-81 with 4 minutes to go but were outscored 10-2 down the stretch. Sacramento had the ball with a chance to win the game, but officials called a controversial jump ball with 1.9 seconds left. The Grizzlies won the tip and time ran out. The Kings are 17-20-1 ATS and the total is 21-17 this season.

Sacramento is being outscored 104-102 this season. The Kings are #13 in scoring and #28 in points allowed in the league. Sacramento is shooting 45% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. The Kings are #8 in free throw shooting at 77.4% from the line. Sacramento opponents are shooting 46.8% from the field and 38.6% from 3 point range. The Kings are #29 in both categories. Sacramento averages 43.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.8. The Kings are #13 in rebounding and #5 in rebounds allowed. Sacramento averages 20.1 assists, 14.9 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 23.1 assists, 14.7 turnovers, 7.7 steals, and 5.9 blocks per game.

Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins averages 23.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Cousins in in the top 10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding. Forward Rudy Gay was acquired in a trade earlier in the season from the Toronto Raptors. Gay averages 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 19 points, 2.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Derrick Williams averages 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and an assist per game. Guard Ben McLemore averages 7.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Guard Marcus Thornton averages 7.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and an assist per game. Forward Jason Thompson averages 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Jimmer Fredette, Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy will also get significant minutes. Forward Carl Landry is out until late January with a hip injury.

Oklahoma City is coached by Scott Brooks. The Thunder have won 3 of their last 4 games, including 2 straight. Oklahoma City beat the Golden State Warriors Friday night 127-121 in Oklahoma City. Superstar forward Kevin Durant has averaged 39.7 points per game over the last 6 games, including a career high 54 points against the Warriors Friday night. The Thunder have played the last 12 games without all-star point guard Russell Westbrook who is out until after the All-Star Break after undergoing his third knee surgery since last April. The Thunder are 22-18 ATS and the total is 20-20 this season.

The Thunder are outscoring teams 105-98 this season. Oklahoma City is #4 in scoring and #8 in points allowed in the NBA. The Thunder are shooting 46.6% from the field and 34.1% from 3 point range. OKC is #5 in field goal percentage, but #25 in 3 point shooting. The Thunder are #2 in free throw shooting at 81.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 42.2% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. The Thunder are #2 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #8 in 3 point defense. OKC averages 46.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.6. The Thunder are #2 in rebounding and are 4th in rebounds allowed. Oklahoma City averages 21.5 assists, 15.8 turnovers, 8.1 steals and 6.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 21.4 assists, 14.8 turnovers, 8.4 steals, and 3.9 blocks per game.

Durant is having an MVP caliber season. He leads the league in scoring at 30.6 points per game, and also averages 7.9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Westbrook averages 21.3 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Forward Serge Ibaka averages 14.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Ibaka is fourth in the league in blocks. Point guard Reggie Jackson averages 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Jeremy Lamb averages 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Thabo Sefolosha averages 6.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Nick Collison, Steven Adams, Derek Fisher, Perry Jones and Kendrick Perkins make up the rest of the rotation.

Sacramento is 5-0 ATS against Western Conference teams, 4-0 in Sunday games, and after the opponent allowed 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 after a straight up loss, against teams with winning records, in road games and overall, 4-1 against Northwest Division teams, and 5-2 after a cover. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the series recently and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five. The Kings have covered 4 of the last 5 overall against the Thunder.

Oklahoma City is 5-0 ATS after scoring more than 125 points, 9-3 after allowing 100 points or more, 5-2 in Sunday games, 9-4 in Western Conference games, 15-7 against Pacific Division teams, 2-6 after scoring more than 100 points, and 2-7 after a cover. The under is 5-2 in the last 7 in this series.

both teams can score a lot, but the Thunder are without question better on defense. The Kings have no answer for Durant  but few teams do. Durant has been nearly unstoppable in the last six games. and I don’t see him cooling off tonight. if the Thunder wanted to they could win this game by 20 points. However, after emotional wins over Houston and Golden State and games upcoming against the Blazers and Spurs, OKC could overlook a bad Kings team. I like this game to go over, and would avoid either side for the possibility of a Thunder letdown.

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