Warriors vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
It’s been a dud of a first round — but not this series.
The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors are four games in to a first-round series that’s felt more like the Western Conference finals, with two games coming down to a missed 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Now the series is tied 2-2, a best of three with everything on the line. But just when everyone’s blood pressure was returning to normal after a classic Game 4, news broke that De’Aaron Fox had broken his finger and would be listed as doubtful — now questionable — for Game 5.
Fox has vowed to play, calling himself 99% likely. With any luck, that should make for an excellent Game 5 that sends one team to the brink of elimination. Which one will it be? Let’s get into the Warriors vs Kings betting preview and discuss some predictions.
Golden State Warriors
As unpredictable as this series has felt, the home team remains undefeated.
That’s nothing new for the Warriors, an ugly 10-33 on the road including the playoffs, who still need one of these last two in Sacramento to avoid elimination. Golden State’s defense has been largely to blame, somehow third-best by Defensive Rating at home but third-worst on the road.
Part of Golden State’s road problems is the whistle. The Kings shot 61 free throws in two home games to just 41 on the road. Sacramento also forced 35 turnovers at home versus 22 on the road, turning defense into easy offense. Stephen Curry had five turnovers each road game but just one each home game.
With Draymond Green and Gary Payton II out Game 3, Steve Kerr built his lineups around one big. That spaced Sacramento out and opened up Golden State’s offense with so much shooting available.
The Warriors started Game 4 with Green off the bench to play with one big again, but the Kings countered by with Keegan Murray attacking Golden State’s alternate starter, Jordan Poole. Murray showed up for the first time all series with 23 points and the Warriors started Green in Poole’s place in the second half, returning to their usual rotations and opting for defense over offense.
Be careful with Kevon Looney. Despite 17 rebounds and 7.5 assists the last two games — up from 8.0 and 1.5 in Sacramento — he had one assist in the second half of Game 4 after five the first half, once Green resumed his role as the pick-and-roll big. Looney’s rebounds line ballooned to 11.5 too, so I’ll stay away.
Poole is a smart fade. He saw a diminished role in the second half, and he’s been better at home in the playoffs than on the road. He scored 19 PPG in the two home wins with just 10.5 PPG in Sacramento, and he could lose a few minutes to a healthier Payton too. I like Poole’s under 17.5 points. He’s gone under that in eight of 10 career road playoff games.
Green was aggressive attacking the basket in Game 4, taking 14 shots. He made three field goals but scored 12 inefficient points. His points over looks playable at 8.5. I’m also eyeing Andrew Wiggins rebounding line at 5.5. He’s averaged 6.7 RPG in three starts and was at 7.5 last postseason.
The Kings had the best regular season offense with a 119.4 ORTG, but that offense hasn’t translated to the playoffs at 110.8, bottom half of all postseason teams.
Domantas Sabonis has struggled to stay involved, and Golden State has done a great job neutralizing his dribble hand offs as a hub of the offense.
The Warriors have had little success slowing down Fox. He’s averaging 31.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in 38.5 minutes, lethal against Golden State’s drop coverage with a barrage of floaters and pull-ups. He’s also stepped up his 3-point volume and made 3.3 per game. How much of that production holds up with the injury, once we get prop lines?
There’s little reason to expect a minutes drop, but the injury is on Fox’s shooting hand. It’s reasonable to expect his shooting to fall off some, so under 3.5 3s could be tasty. I’m also tempted by 3+ turnovers since he’s done that in five of seven Warriors games, and that handle could be loose with the injury. Rebounds are another consideration. Fox had nine boards each of the last two but averaged 3.4 RPG the five previous Warriors games, and you figure he crashes the glass a bit less with the injury.
If we’re looking for someone to pick up the slack for Fox, Malik Monk looks like the right play. Much like Poole — and most role players — Monk has been far better at home. He scored 25 PPG in the two home wins versus only 10 PPG in the pair of road losses. His points line was 15 in Game 4.
This line has bounced around. It opened at Kings -1.5, climbed to Warriors -4 when it looked like Fox would miss, and has settled at Warriors -1.5 in the middle.
This feels like a desperation spot for Sacramento. The Kings can’t go down 3-2 heading back to San Francisco, giving the champs a chance to end the series at home.
It feels like the Kings have been the slightly better team over the four games, and they were certainly the better team at home. I lean Kings if you want to play a side, but this series has been so unpredictable that it’s tough to pull the trigger on either side.
The home-road splits also happen to be win-loss splits for these teams, and that could mean a ripe spot for a Same Game Parlay. If Fox goes under his points and 3s, the Kings likely struggle to score and are more probable to lose. If Poole doesn’t score but Monk does, Sacramento has a good chance of winning.
I like that final combo with such strong home-road splits — but I’ll play without the side.
Give me Poole under 17.5 and Monk over his points line (I’m expecting 15 points) once it posts, and you can play them together if you like at +240.