Free NBA Picks: Suns at Kings Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/18/2013
I'm sure those living in the Sacramento area are happy just to have an NBA team as it appeared the Kings were as good as in Seattle early last offseason before a last-ditch effort by Sacramento mayor and former all-star Kevin Johnson found a new owner and got a new arena bill passed. Still, Kings fans have to be about fed up with product on the court. The only thing keeping the Kings, who haven't finished with a winning record since 2005-06, out of last place in the Western Conference is a terrible Utah club. To make this 2-7 start even worse is that the schedule has been very friendly thus far with only two road games. That changes starting Wednesday with three straight on the road, including the second of a home-and-home with Phoenix.
The Suns enter Tuesday's matchup apparently not having gotten the memo that they were supposed to be the worst team in the NBA this season and in full-bore tank mode. They are one of the league's surprises at 5-4 -- I wasn't sure Phoenix would have five wins by Christmas. That said, the Suns only have one win over a team with a winning record, coming in the season opener against Portland. The Suns already have made one significant trade to theoretically tank even more by sending solid starting center Marcin Gortat to Washington for Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-round pick. Okafor has yet to play this season because of a herniated disc in his neck, and there's question as to whether he will at all in 2013-14. I honestly don't think the Suns care, and they might buy Okafor out. They wanted that draft pick. Phoenix could potentially have four first-round picks in the stacked 2014 draft, so it could be a contender again in a few years with the right selections.
Suns at Kings Betting Story Lines
One of the best offseason trades in the NBA was most certainly Phoenix landing Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers as Bledsoe looks like a star and will be a building block going forward. He's going to get a fat new contract as well even though he and the Suns couldn't come to an extension before the deadline. Phoenix will be able to match any contract Bledsoe would be offered as he will be a restricted free agent. Bledsoe leads the team in scoring at 20.4 points per game -- shooting a very good.500 from the field -- while adding 6.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Bledsoe might be looking at a max deal because he's playing better than John Wall is, and he recently got one.
Phoenix also has gotten breakout seasons from power forward Markieff Morris (14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds) and center Miles Plumlee (10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds). They have helped offset the fact that 2013 No. 5 overall pick Alex Len of Maryland has played in only two games due to injury. Len did return to practice on Sunday but won't play Tuesday. He might be able to Wednesday. He'll back up Plumlee whenever he does return. The Suns have dropped two straight by a combined three points, losing Wednesday 90-89 at Portland and Friday against visiting Brooklyn 100-98 in overtime.
Sacramento gave a big new extension to center DeMarcus Cousins this offseason, a four-year $62 million deal. The former Kentucky star is ultra-talented but a tad scatter-brained. For example, in Friday's loss to the Pistons, Cousins dominated with 26 points and 13 assists. In Sunday's 97-86 loss to Memphis, Cousins had only nine points and five boards in 18 minutes. Cousins took a seat with the other starters early in the second half when the Kings were down 20. At least the Kings were smart not to give Tyreke Evans a big new extension as well as he's struggling in New Orleans.
Sacramento also has to be disappointed thus far in their 2013 first-round pick Ben McLemore. He's averaging 7.4 points on a wretched .379 from the field in 20.4 minutes. The Kings struggle offensively, averaging 93.0 points per game. Look for them to make a deal or two before this winter's trade deadline. They'd give up Jimmer Fredette for a bag of balls. Ditto John Salmons, who is shooting .306 from the field and may have lost his starting spot to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who was in the first five on Sunday. Power forward Patrick Patterson missed Sunday's game with a knee injury but could play Tuesday. He's also struggling.
Suns at Kings Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Sacramento opened as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 192.5. The Suns are 7-1-1 ATS (4-0 on road) and 4-5 “over/under” (2-2 on road). The Kings are 1-7-1 ATS (1-6 at home) and 2-7 O/U (2-5 at home). Phoenix is 5-1 ATS in its past six after a loss. It has covered just three of its past 13 against teams with a losing record. Sacramento is 2-8-1 ATS in its past 11 following a double-digit loss at home. The Kings are 2-9 ATS in their past 11 at home against teams with a losing road record. The over is 4-0 in Phoenix's past four after a loss. The over is 6-0-1 in the Kings' past seven Tuesday games. The Suns are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 5-2-1 in the past eight in Sacramento.
Free NBA Picks: Suns at Kings Betting Predictions
Phoenix and Sacramento split four meetings last year, each going 1-1 at home. The Suns have been turned into a good defensive team under rookie head coach Jeff Hornacek, ranking fifth in points allowed. Since nearly every important Kings player can't drop the ball in the ocean from the end of a pier right now, take the points here and the under.
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