Dallas Mavericks vs Sacramento Kings (2/10 @ 10:00 PM EST)
Spread: Kings -2
Money Line: Mavs +115 / Kings -130
Overview and Betting Info
The new-look Dallas Mavericks (30-26) will head north to Sacramento to take on the surprising Kings (31-23) on Friday night. This will be the first meeting between these two teams, and they will meet again on Saturday. The Kings are third in the West, while the Mavs are just two games behind in fourth.
The Mavs are 19-33-3 against the spread this season and have covered the last three games. They have gone over the total 30 times but have been under in six of their last ten games.
The Kings are 29-23-1 versus the spread and have covered three of their last five games. They have gone over the total 24 times but have been under in seven of their previous ten.
The Mavericks have won four of their last five games despite Luka Doncic picking up an injury that has him on the bench. They had struggled before the hot streak, winning three of their previous eleven games. The Mavs were busy before the trade deadline, landing Kyrie Irving in a blockbuster deal. They needed his offensive abilities as Dallas ranks twenty-third in scoring (112.5 PPG), twelfth in field goal percentage (46.3%), fifteenth in three-point percentage (36.1%), and twenty-seventh in free throw percentage (74.6%). Their defense has been better, ranking eighth in opponent scoring (112.0 PPG), but they have failed to generate turnovers and are bottom five in steals (6.6 SPG) and blocks (3.8 BPG). The Mavs have struggled on the road, going 11-17.
While Luca Doncic (33.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 8.2 APG, 1.5 SPG) has been out, it seems he will be ready to suit up for at least one of these two games against the Kings. He is tied with Embiid to lead the league in scoring, averaging 33.4 points. He leads the Mavs in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals. Fortunately for the Mavs, new addition Kyrie Irving (27.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.0) will be back in the starting lineup. He was fantastic in his first game on Wednesday, with a stat line of 24 points, five assists, and four rebounds, and he made 50% of his threes. Irving’s ability to score alongside Doncic is huge, but his play on defense will be equally crucial for a Dallas team that does not generate turnovers.
While Irving’s addition is a huge boost, the Mavs sent away a lot of key role players in Spencer Dinwiddie (17.7 PPG, 5.3 APG) and Dorian Finney-Smith (9.1 PPG, 35.5% 3PT). This means they rely more on Christian Wood (18.1 PPG,8.4 RPG, 1.2 BPG) and Tim Hardaway Jr (13.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG). Wood missed most of January with an injury but returned to action this week. He was held to under 20 minutes in the two games, which will likely continue through this weekend. Hardaway’s scoring has skyrocketed with Doncic out, averaging 19.3 points during that span. Keep an eye on Josh Green as well, as the guard is averaging 18.7 points and making 56.4% of his shots in his four games this month.
After starting the season 0-4, the Kings have exploded to rise to third place in the conference. It’s an incredible feat for a team that was expected to miss the playoffs. They have won four of their last six, though their offense was shut down in those two losses against Indiana and New Orleans. The Kings’ success is generated by the most explosive offense in the league. They lead the NBA in scoring (119.3 PPG), third in field goal percentage (49.3%), fourth in assists (27.0 APG), and tenth in three-point percentage (36.8%). Their defense has been more of an issue, ranking twenty-second in opponent scoring (116.6 PPG), but they are top ten in rebounds (45.1 RPG) and blocks (4.2 BPG). The Kings are 16-11 at home this season.
The Kings are led by De’Aaron Fox (24.1 PPG, 6.2 APG, 1.0 SPG) and Domantas Sabonis (18.6 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 7.0 APG). Fox continues to develop into one of the top point guards in the league. He’s had a fantastic start to February, scoring 31 points and 10+ assists in two of his three games. Fox is averaging 27.8 points and 7.8 assists over his last five games. Sabonis is having another fantastic season and has turned up his defense this month with six steals in his previous five games. He was excellent against the Mavs last season, averaging 20 points and 11.6 rebounds.
The Kings have a ton of depth behind their top two stars, with four other players averaging 12 or more points. The group is led by Harrison Barnes (15.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG) and Kevin Huerter (14.8 PPG, 1.1 SPG). Barnes is coming off a fantastic January, where he averaged 19.1 points and 1.2 steals per game. Those numbers declined in February, but he still makes 48.8% of his shots and 40% of his threes. Huerter has struggled from three this month, but his defense has been fantastic, with seven steals in five games. The Kings also have Malik Monk (13.5 PPG) and Keegan Murray (12.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG), both of whom have been vital offensive pieces. Murray is a dangerous three-point shooter, making 41.4% of his attempts. Monk has been red-hot lately, averaging 17.4 points and 1.2 steals over his last five games.
Free Pick: Mavs +2
The Kings have been a great story this year, but their last impressive win came back on December 28th against the Nuggets. Since then, they have beaten only beaten the Rockets (4 times), Jazz (twice), Magic, Lakers, Thunder, Grizzlies (without Ja Morant), and the Spurs (twice). They also had some bad losses against teams like the Pacers and Raptors during that span.
Even without Luca, the Mavs’ defense has been playing well and will only improve as Kyrie settles in. Their scoring has been limited, but we think that changes with Kyrie having a game under his belt and Christian Wood creating a significant matchup problem for the Kings. Wood is still working his way back into form after his injury, but he should be able to play well enough to take advantage of a shaky Kings defense.
We’re taking the points to roll with the Mavs on the road.