The 36-36 Brooklyn Nets and 34-35 Sacramento Kings have both been flirting right around .500 for most of the season. Today they’ll get a chance to prove themselves against each other in Sacramento (10 p.m. ET Tuesday).
Despite their similar records, the Nets are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference (with a shot at moving up to sixth) while the Kings are close to being eliminated from playoff contention in the West. That should tell you what you need to know about the overall quality difference between the conferences.
Brooklyn will be playing the fourth game of a seven-game West Coast road trip, while the Kings will be on the second game of a four-game home stand.
These teams are relatively evenly-matched, but we will dive into some factors that could set them apart in this preview. Then, we will provide some picks and betting advice with our Brooklyn Nets vs Sacramento Kings predictions.
Who Wins the Battle of Rising Young Point Guards?
Both of these teams are led by young point guards who were drafted with top-five overall picks and are now coming into their own this year. De’Aaron Fox gets things going for the Kings’ offense, and D’Angelo Russell earned an All-Star nod for his big offensive season in Brooklyn.
The two floor generals operate differently, however. Fox’s game is predicated on his breathtaking speed with the ball, along with solid finishing and passing. Russell is a tricky ball-handler whose high-arcing jumper is dangerous from behind the three-point line and in the midrange areas.
Fox and Russell should have plenty of time guarding each other in this game. Even if they don’t, both guys’ performances correlate strongly with their team’s chances at winning.
Will Ed Davis Create Problems for the Kings With His Rebounding?
The Nets’ Ed Davis is an absolute fiend on the glass. Brooklyn’s bench big man grabs an insane 17.1 rebounds per 36 minutes, which ranks very close to the top of the NBA. About one-third of those rebounds are on the offensive end. Davis has been especially on fire with his rebounding in the past two weeks. He has pulled down 10 caroms in just 18.6 minutes per game over his last seven contests.
The Kings are definitely on the weaker side as a rebounding team. Out of 30 teams, they rank 18th in the league in offensive rebound percentage and 26th in defensive rebound percentage. Sacramento’s big men are long and athletic, but many of them are young and may not have the strength to hold off the veteran Davis.
If Davis plays tough down low, he could get the Kings’ big men into foul trouble. Also, his presence on the offensive glass could force Sacramento to rebound with more players on the defensive end, slowing down the Kings’ fast break.
Will Bogdan Bogdanovic Break Out of His Slump For This Game?
Bogdanovic’s season can be divided into two clear sections: his first 34 games when he was hitting shots and his last 23 games when he has been ice-cold.
The Kings’ second-year swingman had been averaging 15.4 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range in his first 34 contests. That’s down to 12.9 points per game on 37.8 percent shooting from the field and 29.2 percent from three-point range since then.
Bogdanovic has a good matchup to reverse his downward trend against Brooklyn. One of the Nets’ biggest weaknesses is perimeter defense. They have no real lockdown defender at the point of attack, as the team is lacking in the athleticism department on the perimeter.
Our Betting Preview’s Brooklyn Nets vs. Sacramento Kings Predictions & Picks
I believe the Kings are the better team in this matchup. Brooklyn has the slightly better record, but Sacramento plays in the much tougher conference and has a 17-11 record against the East.
Sacramento will also find it easier to play its preferred fast pace on its home floor against a Brooklyn team that isn’t very fast or athletic. Ed Davis may be tough to deal with for the Kings, but his teammates haven’t given him enough help on the boards recently. Sacramento can survive a 20-minute-per-game role player grabbing a bunch of rebounds if no one else is really hurting them in that aspect. With those opinions ringing in our ears, these are the Brooklyn Nets vs Sacramento Kings predictions for this preview:
- The Kings are a 4-point favorite with the U.S. sports betting sites. I think betting on the Kings -4pts @ -110 with Bovada, Bookmaker, BetOnline or Intertops is the smartest decision.
- I like the Kings’ chances at dictating a fast pace on their home court against a less athletic team, especially with the Nets potentially weary from being on their long West Coast road trip. I recommend betting the over 232 total points @ -105 with Bovada.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.