NBA Handicapping and Betting: Sacramento Kings Great for Profits
Do you remember what you were doing in the spring of 2006? That was a very long time ago, so I wouldn't blame you at all if you didn't. I ask only because that spring, the Sacramento Kings, driven by leading scorer Mike Bibby, lost a first-round playoff series to the Spurs 4-2. And that only matters because the Kings have not been in the playoffs since and have only rarely been in a playoff spot at all since then. The bad news is that as I write, on Dec. 20, they are again not in a playoff spot. But they were until yesterday, and they are just a half game out. They aren't likely to make it this year, and they won't do anything if they do make it, but that's not the point.
For the first time since Chris Webber was in his prime, this team is fun to watch and has reason to believe that they could actually be relevant. Maybe, just maybe, incompetence doesn't have to last forever.
Here's a look at what's going on with this team right now from a betting perspective, with a focus on their young core:
De'Aaron Fox: The young point guard is a good reminder of how important patience can be in this business. Last year as a rookie Fox was fine, but he was a long way from good. He was the fifth pick in the draft, and Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball all had better rookie seasons after getting picked above him. It seemed far from a bad pick, but it wasn't a home run. But something sure happened in the offseason, because Fox is an all-new guy this year. He went from a project with upside to the clear leader of his team in a short time. He still has some work to do defensively, but he is a playmaker and a dangerous threat himself, and he opens up so many opportunities for his team because opposing defenses have to focus so much time and attention towards him. And his style of play and general attitude is a force for good on this team - unlike when they were trying to build around DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings have a star to build around, and the upside is very dramatic. He's by far the biggest reason to feel good about where this team is.
Marvin Bagley II: The team has to be hoping that Bagley can make a similar jump next year as Fox did this year. He hasn't been horrible, but as the second overall pick in the draft you probably expect a bit more than a guy who is in the Top 10 for rookies in most key stats but not in the Top 3 in anything. He's hurt now, but when he's healthy he's a guy who isn't a liability, but he isn't pulling off miracles, and he lacks consistency. It's not easy for him, either, as everyone knows that he was picked instead of Luka Doncic, and the Mavs' rookie is looking like a generational talent already. This team would be better with Doncic than with Bagley right now, and that probably won't change, but the Duke alum can certainly close the gap if he can get healthy and can start to find his role. I'm cautiously pessimistic but prepared to be proven wrong.
Harry Giles: The third high-profile youngster on the roster has, to date, been the biggest disappointment. After being drafted 20th out of Duke last year, he missed all of the 2017-18 season due to injury. He came back this year and had some pretty big expectations - some even talked about him as a value pick to win the Rookie of the Year. Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you bet on him you should probably write off the loss now. He's back in the G-League now and hasn't even been able to find the rotation when Bagley is out. It's too early to panic yet, but when a guy is spending full games in his sweatsuit on the bench a year and a half after being drafted in the first round, he certainly isn't living up to expectations. Optimists could point out that the team is doing well and all he is contributing is upside, so that's a positive. But pessimists would question how much of that potential upside will ever be realized.
Betting performance: The team has been a real pleasure to bet on this year. At 19-12 ATS, they are the second most profitable team in the league and are only one loss behind the leading Nuggets. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games, so they aren't really cooling down, either. And the fun doesn't stop there, either - they have gone "over" the total in 21 of 31 games, so there are even more profits to be had there. They have gone over in their last five games, too, so they aren't showing signs of cooling here anymore than on the sides.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top NBA handicappers. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, for a limited time only get three top NBA handicappers for the price of one! Click Here . Get free NBA picks today at Doc's Sports basketball predictions page.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- LA Lakers Could be in Real Trouble with LeBron and AD Injuries
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/20/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/13/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/1/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 12/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/23/2020 and Opening Line Report