Last year, the Sacramento Kings were one of the league's biggest surprises and seemed like a team on the rise. After a tough start to the year, it seems that they're back on that track once again.
Under new head coach Luke Walton, the Kings are 4-7 so far this season. They struggled out of the gate and lost their first five games, but they have been resurgent in their last six games, logging a 4-2 record. And that's in spite of the fact that they've been without De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley in recent games.
Still, the Celtics figure to be a tough test for the Kings. Though the Kings just played the Los Angeles Lakers (and lost 99-97), they haven't seen a team quite like the Celtics so far. The C's are on a massive 10-game win streak and while they haven't played their best basketball yet, they're simply finding ways to win.
Speaking of finding ways to win, that's what I'll be looking to do today, as I'm pinch-hitting for Darren Hartwell in this spot. Darren is 16-10-1 so far with his betting picks this season, so I have quite a bit to live up to. Here are our betting picks for Celtics-Kings, as well as two NBA locks against the spread.
(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)
Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings, 3:30 p.m. ET
Moneyline: The Celtics (-145) are coming off a sloppy win against the Warriors and aren't favored to win this game by much despite their 10-game winning streak. It seems that experts are expecting that the Celtics will trip up at some point on this road trip. But if they can clean up some of their mistakes from Friday night and win the turnover battle once again, they should beat the 4-7 Kings.
Point Spread: By virtue of the team's close win over the Warriors in which the Celtics failed to cover a seven-point spread, this spread has come down a full point. As good as the Kings have been in recent weeks, including their two-point loss to the Lakers in L.A. on Friday night, the Celtics (-2.5) seems like the right side if we're going to pick them to win this one. They should be able to notch at least a three-point victory and cover this spread.
Point Total: In each of the Celtics' last four games, both the C's and their opponents have scored at least 100 points. And prior to their loss to the Lakers, the Kings had scored in triple figures in six consecutive games. Thus, it feels that the OVER is the right side here as the two teams should be able to surpass the 218.5 point total in their mid-afternoon clash.
Jacob's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 0-0-0
NBA Locks of the Night
Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers (+7): The 76ers are mired in a slump and are just 2-6 overall in their past eight games. One of the wins came against the Cavaliers at home, but it was just by a single point. Amid the 76ers' struggles, this spread just seems too high and the Cavaliers should improve upon their 6-3-2 record against the spread.
Washington Wizards (+7) at Orlando Magic: Much has been made of the Wizards' poor defensive play this season. While they have been awful on that side of the ball, they have scored 133 and 137 points in each of their past two games. If Bradley Beal and the offense can stay hot, the Magic may have trouble keeping pace with them as they rank second-to-last in the league in points per game.
Jacob's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 0-0-0
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Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Kings, which tips off Sunday at 3 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.