Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics Pick
(41-27 SU, 34-33-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SAC +7.5 / BOS -7.5 (WagerWeb)
Power Rankings: Boston +6
Takeaways From Sacramento and Boston’s Most Recent Games
The Kings enter this contest off a loss three days ago when they were defeated on the road by the Washington Wizards. As a two-point underdog, the Kings failed to cover as they were defeated 121-115 by Washington.
The Celtics saw a three-game winning streak come to an end, and we saw our KC take the L, when they were defeated on the road three days ago in the City of Angels by the Los Angeles Clippers. Closing as a two-point favorite, the Celtics were blown out, 140-115.
How the Public is Betting the Sacramento-Boston Game
From the opening of the market, we have seen much of the betting consensus on the Celtics here as the line has moved upward by half of a point from the Celtics opening as a seven-point favorite.
The Celtics have won the last three games versus the Kings. The Kings and Celtics last met in March in Sacramento where the Kings fell to the Celtics by a score of 111-109. The result generated a push for both sides as the Celtics closed as a two-point favorite.
For Boston in particular there is one concern that the Celtics could potentially need to address. Guard Marcus Smart is listed as questionable heading into this cross-conference clash as he battles an illness. Should he be unavailable, Terry Rozier will get the nod at Guard. Rozier has been a weapon dating back to Boston’s playoff run in the 2017-2018 season. Be that as it may, Rozier put up 26 points against the Clippers in Boston’s last game on Sunday. The Celtics will not miss a beat should Smart not be good to go.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams enter into this contest on three days’ rest. For Sacramento, they will wrap up a four-game road trip tomorrow in the City of Brotherly Love against the Philadelphia 76ers before heading home to face the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. For the Celtics, this is their first game back at home after a four-game West Coast road-trip. Boston steps into a spot that is historically known as quite profitable being a team playing their first game back at home after a long away stint.
Can Sacramento’s Bench Address Kings’ Road Woes?
The Kings stand at 13-19 SU away from Sacramento this year and have won just two of their last six road games. Sacramento will have their hands full stepping into what could be quite an intimidating environment. At home, the Celtics stand at 24-10 SU on the season. For Sacramento to keep itself competitive in this contest, they will have to turn to their bench who provides them an edge. Sacramento’s bench averages 42 points per match which is three points more than their Boston counterparts that average 39 bench points per game. The Kings will need to rely on this advantage to hang around all four quarters. Contrarily, should this game get out of hand early the Kings could create a back-door cover if it does become a battle of the benches.
Can Boston’s Defense Throw Its Weight Around?
The Celtics are presently sixth in the NBA in scoring defense as they allow just 107.1 points per game. Boston is also one of the better teams in disrupting their opponents’ shooting operations as the opposition hit a fourth-ranked 44.8% from the field. The Celtics will utilize this approach to undermine Sacramento’s top-ten scoring offense which produces 113.7 points per game (10th in the NBA). On the flipside, Sacramento’s defense is 26th in the NBA in scoring at 114.8 points per contest. By virtue of this narrative alone, Boston’s defense gives up 7.7 less points per game compared to Sacramento which gives the Celtics a huge advantage. The Celtics own the 14th-ranked scoring offense which procures 112.3 points per game but they could easily see an uptick in scoring given the favorable match-up. Should Boston’s defense take center stage and throw its weight around, the Celtics could win and cover with ease.
A prevalent betting trend that has taken shape is the Kings stand at 1-6 ATS in their previous seven outings in Boston. For Over/Under players, the Under is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between both teams.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Boston -7.5
This is the ideal situation for the Celtics to bounce back from the ugly loss on Sunday. The Celtics have had the Kings number as of late and it doesn’t help Sacramento’s cause that they will have to play this game in Boston being a poor road team all season long. Furthermore, the Kings have shown that they are not a team that can hang with the NBA’s best. Against teams with a record greater than .500, Sacramento sits at a paltry 11-24 SU. For Boston, they play near .500-basketball against .500 teams or better as they are 16-18 SU on the year against teams of that caliber. Given the fact, Sacramento is exactly .500 on the year, it is worth noting that Boston is 22-9 SU against any team that dips below the .500 benchmark. Sacramento will find itself sub .500 with a loss here and I cannot suspect a reason why Boston will not win this one by significant margins and cover while doing so. To make a long story short, Boston is the superior team and they will be sure to let the Kings know when they come to Beantown.