Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#579 Sacramento Kings vs.
#580 Dallas Mavericks
Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7:35pm EDT
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Sacramento Kings will head on the road to American Airlines Arena on Sunday evening for a Western Conference showdown against the Dallas Mavericks.

Sacramento has been in the midst of a free fall down the Western Conference standings over the last few weeks. The Kings have dropped nine straight games to come into Sunday’s contest with an unsightly 22-34 overall record. Meanwhile, Dallas has climbed into seventh place in the West with a 30-25 overall mark.

Can Dallas bounce back with a win at home against the Kings on Sunday evening?

Kings appear to be tanking down the stretch

Sacramento pushed its current slide to a season-high nine games on Thursday with a 122-114 loss on the road against the Phoenix Suns. De’Aaron Fox finished with 27 points and eight assists while Buddy Hield added 24 points in the loss. The Kings were short-handed upfront, as they were forced to play without big men Marvin Baglet III (fractured hand) and Richaun Holmes (right hamstring strain).

With just 16 games remaining in the regular season, the Kings are one of the organizations that could benefit from losing down the stretch. Sacramento currently sits two games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers for the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Getting into one of the top-six slots would give the Kings at least a 9.7 percent chance at earning the top pick in the draft and nearly a 40 percent chance of landing in the top four. That would be a significant increase compared to the 7.5 percent and 31.9 percent chances at their current position in the standings.

According to, the Kings rank 26th in the NBA with an adjusted net rating of -4.1. Sacramento has been the NBA’s worst defensive team, sporting an adjusted 117.7 rating on that end of the floor. That has helped negate the Kings’ offense, which owns an adjusted offensive rating of 113.7, good for 12th in the league.

Mavericks still fighting for No. 6 seed in the West

Dallas continued their recent slump on Friday night with a disappointing 117-109 home loss versus the New York Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Luka Doncic added 22 points, 19 assists, and eight rebounds in the loss.

The Mavericks remain just two games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the coveted No. 6 seed and have a favorable schedule down the stretch with 12 of their final 17 games against below-.500 teams, including three games against the Kings. Dallas will also play Detroit (twice), Cleveland (twice), and Minnesota during that span, giving them a very good chance of getting out of the play-in tournament come playoff time.

According to, the Mavericks rank 11th in the league with an adjusted +2.1 net rating. Dallas sports the 11th-best adjusted offensive rating in the NBA at 114.2 and it ranks 14th defensively with an adjusted 112.2 rating on the other end of the floor. The Mavericks have also played the league’s toughest overall schedule to this point in the season, ranking first in overall strength and first in defensive strength of schedule as well.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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These two teams will play each other three times over the final weeks of the regular season, which is probably good news for the Mavericks. Dallas has won just two of its last six games with losses versus the Rockets, Spurs, and Knicks during that span. However, the Mavs should be able to bounce back at home against a team that appears to have no interest in winning over the final few weeks of the regular season. Sacramento has tied a season-high by losing nine straight games. During that streak, the Kings have dropped all four of their road games by at least seven points, so this number should feel like a bargain here. Take the Mavericks to cover the spread at home in this Western Conference clash on Sunday night.

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks -8

Full-Game Total Pick

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These two teams are projected for 228.5 points but that number seems a bit too low here. Sacramento plays at one of the league’s fastest paces, so this will be a major pace-up spot for the Mavericks against the NBA’s worst defensive team. Sacramento has given up at least 120 points in three of its last four games and at least 115 points in each of its last six road contests. That should be more than enough to push this game over the projected total here. Take the over with confidence in Dallas on Sunday night.

Prediction: Over 228.5

Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.