Lakers vs Kings: Bet Sacramento to Start Fast

Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor-Watts previews how to bet Sunday's late NBA matchup out West. Read below for a Lakers vs. Kings betting prediction.

Lakers vs. Kings Odds

Lakers Odds +2.5
Kings Odds -2.5
Moneyline +118 / -138
Over/Under 235
Time Sunday, 9 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Lakers travel to Sacramento to face the Kings, where they’ll look to win their second straight game after taking care of a depleted Suns team 100-95.

The Kings lost their rivalry match against the Warriors on home court Friday night and will look to even their home record before an upcoming three-game road trip.

Let’s get down to business and make a Lakers vs. Kings prediction.

Lakers vs Kings Picks, Prediction

The Lakers came out of the gate hot against Phoenix and scored the first seven points, but a massive scoring drought ensued and the Lakers gave up a 30-11 run to finish the quarter. LeBron James, as part of his minutes restriction, was the first to be subbed out, and that meant Rui Hachimura was first off the bench. Hachimura’s minutes have been bad so far, but the sample size is small. He has a horrendous -39.8 Net Rating in his 13.6 minutes per game.

That number will undoubtedly improve, but the play has been poor early. Hachimura had a breakout shooting performance in last year’s playoffs with shooting splits of 56.9/52.4/83.3, but his Estimated Plus-Minus during the 2022-23 regular season was -2.4, according to Dunks and Threes. His negative contributions have been part of the Lakers early game struggles.

D’Angelo Russell has also struggled at times this season, but mostly in the first quarter as head coach Darvin Ham continues to tinker with rotations. Russell’s 4.8 overall Net Rating plummets to -29.4 in the first quarter. That positive impact over the rest of the game primarily comes from his ability to distribute.

Russell is averaging the most Potential Assists of any Laker this season (10.5). Even last year, Russell was third on the Lakers with 11.1 Potential Assists, trailing just Russell Westbrook (12.9) and James (12.6). Over 5.5 assists is intriguing, as it’s a number he’s cleared for his regular season average every year since the 2018-19 season.

The Kings are in an interesting position. They exceeded last year’s expectations by a monumental margin as they won 48 games and easily went over their win total of 34.5. However, opposing teams have had a full season to game plan against Mike Brown’s offense and we could see Sacramento come down to earth. It looked like the Kings were poised to continue their dominance as they routed the Jazz 130-114 in Utah’s home opener. However, things went differently against the Warriors on Friday.

First quarters have been kind to Sacramento this season, but their depth has been the difference in their ability to hold early leads. The Kings have the second best Net Rating in the first quarter (29.7) and are 2-0 ATS.

Lakers vs Kings Picks, Odds

I’m taking the Kings in the first quarter as my biggest play of the game. Sacramento has the bounce-back narrative in its favor after a disappointing loss to the Warriors. The Kings will want to come out swinging against the Lakers, who struggled to put away an injured Suns team.

Sacramento gave up a lot of open looks in its first quarter against the Warriors and definitely benefited from Golden State’s misses. However, the Lakers aren’t a team that will be able to punish them. Los Angeles has continued to come out flat thanks to iffy minutes from key rotation players. Additionally, the Lakers have by far the worst Net Rating in the first quarter this season (-51).

I also took a small play on Russell’s assists. He’s struggled mightily shooting the ball, but his distribution has maintained from previous years. In fact, based on his 10.5 Potential Assists Per Game, he’s been somewhat unlucky to be averaging just six.

Picks: Kings 1Q -1 (.5u) | D. Russell o5.5 Assists (.25u)