The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are close to wrapping up their preseason schedule, as both teams get set to tip off the regular season in less than a week. These two teams have had very different preseasons, with the Lakers going winless so far while the Kings have yet to lose a preseason game. In this matchup, both teams will put those records to the test.
So far this preseason, the Kings have put a lot of stock into developing a rapport between their stars and young talent. The Lakers, meanwhile, have put significantly less effort into getting their star players ready for the regular season. Here, we give our expert pick for the Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings preseason matchup as both teams look to pass one last test before the NBA season begins in full.
Los Angeles Lakers – Winless In The Preseason
The Los Angeles Lakers have played five preseason games, and have lost all five of them, mostly in convincing fashion. Four of their five preseason losses have come by double digits, with the lone single digit loss they suffered coming in a game where the Lakers’ reserves came back from over 20 points down to make the game close in the end. In this game, the Lakers likely will not overexert their stars again, especially LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
In their last game against the Warriors, the Lakers played the members of their starting lineup for between 20 and 30 minutes each. They aren’t likely to increase those totals prior to the start of the regular season, especially given the injury histories of several of those players. That means the Lakers are likely to stick with players like Chaundee Brown in the second half, which will give the Kings plenty of openings to run up a lead.
Expected Line-Up: Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis
with best odds
Sacramento Kings – Undefeated In The Preseason
Sacramento has been one of the best teams in the preseason this year, if not the best team in the preseason. They have won all three of their preseason matchups, defeating the Suns, Trail Blazers and Clippers. All three of those wins have come by double digits, as the Kings have relied heavily on players that will appear in their regular season rotation during the preseason, unlike many teams expected to outperform them this season.
Among the standouts for the Kings this preseason has been Davion Mitchell, who has played very well in his first career preseason. The Kings rookie has shot over 60% from three-point range in these tune-up games, taking advantage of the slightest bit of space to get his shot off with great success. Even with De’Aaron Fox shooting 2/10 from the field in Sacramento’s last game against Portland, players like Mitchell have made them virtually unbeatable in the preseason.
Expected Line-Up: De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Mo Harkless, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes
Expert Pick #1 – Kings +4.5 @ -110
The best bet for this game is the Sacramento Kings at -110 odds, as they should not be an underdog based on the way they have played this preseason. During the regular season, the Lakers are definitely a better squad than Sacramento, but that has simply not been the case during the portion of the year where both teams are ramping up for the 2021-2022 campaign. Sacramento should cover the spread here, as they will play some of their nucleus for much longer than Los Angeles.
Expert Pick #2 – Kings to Win @ +160
In a similar vein, the Kings moneyline is another bet worth making this game at odds of +160. A 3-0 team in the preseason definitely has a chance to win against a team that is 0-5 in the preseason, even if the public perception of these teams would lead bettors to wager on the Lakers. The trio of Fox, Mitchell and Harrison Barnes are going to outperform a Lakers team that knows it can coast to title contention again this year in the West.
Expert Pick #3 – Under 220 @ -110
Finally, the under is a decent bet to make here at -110 odds. The Lakers have one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, and will also slow down their scoring when they play their reserves in the second half. The scoring in this contest should start out fast, but quiet down substantially when the fourth quarter rolls around and the benches empty.
Sometimes in the NBA, motivation is the most important factor when deciding who to bet on. That is the case here, as the Sacramento Kings are going to come into this game with more motivation than their opponents. That will translate to a win for the Kings, as they will move to 4-0 in preseason play and raise expectations for themselves ahead of the regular season.