Lakers at Kings Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/30/2013
Every game counts as the Los Angeles Lakers continue their quest for a spot in the postseason this Saturday night with a trip to the Sleep Train Arena to play the Sacramento Kings. This Pacific Division battle is slated to get underway at 10 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
Los Angeles took another step backwards Thursday night with a 113-103 loss to Milwaukee as a two-point favorite on the road. It was the Lakers fourth straight up loss in their last five games while going an expensive 0-5 against the spread. The total has gone “over” in their last four games.
The Kings have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but at 27-46 SU (33-38-2 ATS) they are basically relegated to the role of spoiler in this game. They are coming off back-to-back road wins over Golden State and Phoenix to improve to 4-2 both SU and ATS in their last six games. The total has stayed “under” in three of their last five outings.
Lakers at Kings Betting Storylines
The Lakers’ recent slide has them clinging to a half-game lead over Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with a much-improved Dallas team lurking just one game back, so another loss on Saturday night could be devastating. The problem is the last five games have been must-wins, and this team has failed to deliver four times.
Adding to their woes are nagging injuries to both Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Nash had to leave the game against the Bucks due to back pain, and Bryant has a nagging bone spur in his left foot. Both are listed as probable for this contest, so the pressure will be dialed up even higher on these two veteran all-stars to play through the pain to help snap their team out of this funk.
Sacramento is ranked last in the NBA in points allowed in giving up an average of 104.7 points a game. This makes it obvious that the primary way it has managed to win 27 games this season is by outscoring its opponents as opposed to trying to stop them. The Kings are averaging 100 points a game, but they have exceeded this average in nine of their last 10 games.
DeMarcus Cousins remains the team’s biggest scoring threat. He is coming off a 34-point night in the Kings’ 117-103 victory over Phoenix on Thursday which was almost double his 17.2-point season average. Tyreke Evans leads a group of four other players scoring in double-figures with 15.4 points a game.
Lakers at Kings NBA Betting Odds and Trends
The Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven division games and 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. The total has gone over in four of their last five games on the road.
The Kings are 5-1 ATS in their last six Pacific Division games but just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a SU win. The total has gone over in eight of their last 11 games playing on one day’s rest.
Head-to-head in this series, the home team has covered in the last four meetings, and the total has gone over in 16 of the last 22 games played in Sacramento. This season, Los Angeles has won two of three meetings both SU and ATS, but it was hammered 113-97 as a 5.5-point favorite in its last trip to the Sleep Train Arena. The total went over the 204.5-point line in that game as well.
Lakers at Kings Picks and Betting Predictions
Despite the fact that the Lakers desperately need a win on Saturday night, they are walking into a very tough situation to get one. Sacramento’s young guns would love nothing more than putting another dent in LA’s postseason plans and will play hard all four quarters to get it done. The only thing we know for sure is that points will not be scarce, making the best play in this matchup the “over” on the total line despite the big number on the board.
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