It’s a battle of Western Conference teams on opposite sides of the playoff cut line as they do battle on the hardwood in the Beehive State. The Sacramento Kings are on the road as they make the trip to face the Utah Jazz Saturday night. Sacramento comes in off a 113-101 home loss to the Pistons Thursday night in their most recent contest. Utah rolled over Portland 122-103 at home in the second game of a back-to-back situation Thursday night. In the all-time regular season series, the Jazz own a 110-84 advantage and have won 10 of the last 12 meetings. That includes a 123-101 home victory in the most recent matchup on January 18, 2020.
Sacramento Kings Hoping to Get Back on TrackSacramento suffered their fifth straight loss since a five-game win streak as they were dumped at home by the Pistons in their previous contest. The Kings entered Sunday last in the Pacific Division, 14.5 games behind the Suns for the top spot. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team was 12th, 2.5 games behind the Warriors for 10th place and the final spot for the play-in tournament for the postseason. Against the Pistons, the Kings were even in the final minute of the first quarter before giving up an 8-0 run to trail 31-23. Sacramento never cut the deficit closer than six the rest of the way and went down in defeat. The Kings shot 44.2% from the field, including seven of 30 from three-point range, while allowing Detroit to shoot 52.4% from the floor in the contest. De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
The Kings enter this game 9th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 114.4 points per game. Sacramento is 27th in rebounding with 42.3 boards a contest while the team stands 11th by handing out an average of 25.7 assists per contest. The Kings are 29th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 118.5 points a night. De’Aaron Fox leads the team with 24.6 points plus 7.1 assists a night on the year. Harrison Barnes (15.6 points, 6.7 rebounds) and Buddy Hield (16.5 points) are solid scoring options as well. Richaun Holmes (14.2 points, nine boards), Marvin Bagley III (13.9 points, 7.4 boards) and Tyrese Haliburton (13 points, 5.1 assists) are each averaging in double figures. The Kings also have Hassan Whiteside, Delon Wright (10 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists), Terence Davis and Glenn Robinson III to lean on in their rotation. Sacramento is 7th in field goal percentage by shooting 48.2% from the floor as a team on the year. The Kings are 21st by knocking down an average of 11.9 three-pointers a night while they are 18th by knocking down 36% of their attempts from beyond the arc this season. Bagley III (hand) is out until at least mid-April though he did not require surgery.
Utah Jazz Looking to Maintain Home Winning StreakUtah snapped a two-game skid as they ran their franchise-record home win streak to 23 by rolling over Portland Thursday night. The Jazz entered Friday leading the Northwest Division by 5.5 games over the Nuggets. In the Western Conference standings, Utah owns a 2.5-game edge over the Suns for the top spot and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Against Portland, Utah led by one after the opening quarter and trailed by three at the half. The game was tied with 7:40 to go in the third quarter before the Jazz ripped off a 25-4 run to take a 93-72 with 30.1 seconds to play in the stanza. They weren’t challenged the rest of the way. Utah shot 45.3% from the field, including 12 of 42 from three-point range, and dominated the glass by a 58-41 margin. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 37 points in the victory.
The Jazz comes into this contest 3rd in the league in scoring offense with 116.9 points per game this season. Utah is 1st in rebounding by pulling down 48.3 boards per night while standing 22nd by dishing out 23.5 assists a night. Utah is 3rd in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.3 points per contest. Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz with 26 points plus 4.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest this season. Mike Conley (16.3 points, 5.4 assists), Jordan Clarkson (17.2 points), Rudy Gobert (14.7 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.8 blocks), Bojan Bogdanovic (14.8 points) and Joe Ingles (11.7 points) each are averaging in double figures. Derrick Favors, Royce O’Neale, Matt Thomas, Ersan Ilyasova, Uzoka Adubuike and Georges Niang are important pieces for coach Quin Snyder. Utah is shooting 46.7% from the field, which is 14th in the league in field goal percentage. The Jazz knock down an average of 16.8 triples per game, which is 1st in the league, and stand 4th in three-point field goal percentage by knocking down 39% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Clarkson missed Thursday’s game with an ankle injury so he will need to be monitored here.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- Kings are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- Jazz are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s going to be a challenge for the Kings in this one, even with the Jazz playing their third game in four nights and their fourth in the last six days. Utah hasn’t lost at home this calendar year as their two home defeats came back in December. The Jazz boasts one of the most explosive offensive attacks in the league and they face one of the worst scoring defenses in the Kings. Sacramento has been above average on the offensive end of the floor but they have their issues slowing teams down. The Kings don’t have the depth to keep up with what Utah brings to the table on either end of the floor. Utah makes it 24 straight at home by rolling to the win here.
Full-Game Total Pick
This is going to be interesting to see how things shake out. Sacramento is 11th in the league in tempo as they average 100.4 possessions a game. The Kings are happy to run, which helps their offense, but their defense is awful. Utah is playing terrific basketball on both ends of the floor, making them that much more dangerous. The Jazz are 19th in the league in tempo with 98.7 possessions a night though they make up for it by shooting well from the floor. Utah is dangerous from the perimeter and, facing a Sacramento team that can’t stop anyone, pushes this one over the total with another offensive showing.