Kings vs. Clippers Preview: LA Has Clear Edges Over Sacramento

Shayne Trail breaks down the betting value in the NBA matchup between the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers.

Kings vs. Clippers Odds

Kings Odds +6.5
Clippers Odds -6.5
Over/Under N/A
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

We get an all-California matchup on Wednesday night when the Clippers host the Sacramento Kings.

While the Clippers got a nice night of sleep on Tuesday, the Kings were busy losing at home to the LeBron James-less Lakers.

Let’s break this matchup down.

Was Walton the Problem in Sacramento?

After losing eight of nine, a stretch that saw Luke Walton get fired, Sacramento has split its last four games, beating the Lakers and Trail Blazers. The Kings have covered in three of those last four games.

This season, 3-point shooting hasn’t been a strong point for the Kings, as they rank 25th in 3-point percentage, according to NBA Advanced Stats, at 32.6%. More importantly, Sacramento is regressing even further, shooting 28.6% from beyond the arc over its five games prior to Tuesday night’s loss. That ranked 29th in the league during that span.

Sacramento entered Tuesday ranked 19th in the league in field goal percentage and 22nd from the free throw line, although the Kings were 29th from the charity stripe over its five games before falling to the Lakers.

What does this show? The Kings are a young, athletic team that plays fast but not efficiently.

Sacramento isn’t defending any better, though. The Kings entered Tuesday ranked 26th in Defensive Rating at 111.2. They had given up at least 121 points in each of their previous three games before facing the Lakers.

The numbers indicate that Sacramento is still on a downward spiral, despite firing Walton.

Clippers Defense Should Thrive vs. Clippers

The Clippers have lost two straight games but will have an extra night of rest compared to the Kings.

While Sacramento has struggled this season defensively, the Clippers have the second-best Defensive Rating this season in the NBA. Big man Ivica Zubac has led the charge, ranking sixth in the NBA among starting centers over the last five games. Given Sacramento’s offensive struggles, the Clippers defense should thrive.

Offensively, the Clippers go as Paul George and Reggie Jackson go.

Jackson has stepped up as Los Angeles’ second-leading scorer this season without Kawhi Leonard, who will miss most of the season after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

Jackson enters this game averaging 17.6 points per game, which is the second-highest total of his career. He is taking a career-high 16.5 shots per game and shooting just 40.2%.

Kings-Clippers Pick

Since 2017, the Kings are 3-11 straight-up and 4-10 against the spread (ATS) against the Clippers. In addition to that, there’s a key trend that gives the Clippers a huge advantage. Since Nov. 13, the home team in a conference matchup that has the rest advantage is 15-0 ATS, per Sports DataBase Query Language. 

Play the Clippers in the range of -6 to -8.

Pick: Clippers -6.5 (play to -8)