Warriors vs. Kings Expert Pick – April 15, 2023
WARRIORS VS. KINGS EXPERT PICK - APRIL 15, 2023 - Greetings and salutations basketball fans. It is official. The NBA postseason is here as the No. 8 seeds in each conference were determined on Friday night.
My beloved Chicago Bulls fell to the Miami Heat 102-91. Chicago held a 90-87 lead with 3:47 left to play, but produced just one point the rest of the way. That’s kind of how their season has been, never knowing which team will show up on a given night. Miami’s reward for clinching the final playoff berth is first-round with the league’s best team – The Milwaukee Bucks.
In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves bounced back from a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in their previous play-in game and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. 120-95 They will face the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round.
Now that we’ve brought you up to speed, our marquee game from day one of the NBA playoffs features the Golden State Warriors (No. 6 seed) taking on the Sacramento Kings (No. 3 seed). Let’s dive right into the matchup to determine which team has the edge and why.
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings Season Trends
Have The Warriors Solved Their Issues with Their Poor Play on The Road?
Since the Dubs are the defending champs, it is only fitting that we start with them first.
The Warriors come into this matchup on the heels of three consecutive wins to close out the regular season and eight wins in their final 10 games.
This includes the season finale in which they demolished the Portland Trail Blazers to the tune of 157-101. If you think that’s a misprint, trust me when I say that it is not.
Golden State set an NBA record by scoring a whopping 55 points in the first quarter and led 84-53 at the break.
The rest of the game was a mere formality after that. The one factor to watch in this series is how poorly the Warriors have played on the road this season.
They won just 11 times in their 41 road games, which equates to a .268 winning percentage. The Dubs did manage to win four of their final five games on the road, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues against the Kings.
The Sacramento Kings Are Back in The Playoffs for The First Time In 16 Years
On the flip side of the coin, we have a nice story with the Kings for a few reasons. First, this team snapped a 16-year playoff drought. No easy feat, to say the least.
Second, they posted a 48-34 record, which was good enough for the third-best record in a rugged western conference. The last time this franchise won more than 48 games was 2004-05, when they won 50 games.
Unlike their counterparts in this first-round matchup, the Kings did not finish the season on a high note.
They dropped four of their final five games, including a trio of losses to the Dallas Mavericks, the Warriors, and the Denver Nuggets.
Can the Kings prove they are deserving of the No. 3 seed or will they crumble under the pressure of being in the postseason for the first time in forever?
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings Head-To-Head & Betting Trends
The Warriors and Kings played each other four times during the regular season, with the Warriors taking three of those games.
Each of the first three games was decided by a seven-point margin or less. With the Kings opting to rest their top three scorers in the matchup between these two teams on April 7, the Warriors came out on top 119-97.
Klay Thompson scored a game-high of 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. His splash brother teammate, Stephen Curry, added 25 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
The current projected O/U total for this contest is 237.5.
These two teams averaged a combined 239.6 points per contest during the regular season. The Kings have hit the Over 40 times during the season (48.8%). The Warriors have exceeded the O/U in 45 of their 82 opportunities this season (54.9%).
Here are a few other notable trends as well.
The OVER is 6-1 for the Warriors in their last seven first-round playoff games and 40-15 in their last 55 road games against an opponent with a winning home record. The Kings are 23-18 at home this season.
The OVER is 35-15-2 for the Warriors in their last 52 road games and 16-7-1 in their last 24 games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points. The Warriors defeated the Trail Blazers by a 56-point margin in the season finale.
Sacramento has hit on the OVER in 23 of its last 34 home games against teams with a losing road record. Again, the Warriors were 11-30 on the road this season.
The Over also holds a 25-12-1 record in the Kings’ last 38 games at home. They will host Games 1 and 2 of this first-round playoff series.
Prediction: Over 237.5 points
The Warriors are currently a one-point favorite to win Game 1, while the Kings are the underdog at (+1)
In its last 16 games, Golden State is 11-4-1 against the spread and 32-14 ATS in its previous 46 first-round playoff games.
Sacramento is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games following a loss. They were defeated by the Nuggets 109-95 in their season finale on April 9.
The Kings hold a 19-9 record ATS in their last 28 games following a loss of more than 10 points. Denver beat them by 14 points in their last game of the season.
Prediction: Given the low spread, either team can easily cover in this matchup. I will have to go with a Pick ‘Em for this one.
Play Prop Bet
My key player to watch in this game is none other than Stephen Curry. He currently has -120 odds to score more than 29.5 points and -110 odds of scoring less than 29.5 points.
Curry has played against the Kings 42 times. He has accumulated averages of 24.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds.
While his scoring average against Sacramento is noticeably lower the projected total, Curry has eclipsed the projected total three times in his last six outings against Sacramento. And in the four-game against the Kings this season, he is averaging 33 points per game on an uber-efficient 58.4 percent shooting from the floor.
And on the road, which is where Golden State will be in Games 1 and 2, Curry is averaging 29.5 points per contest.
Prediction: Curry will exceed the projected total of 29.5 points.
Over 237.5 total points
PPB: Stephen Curry OVER 29.5 points