NBA odds: Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets Preview & Pick
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Kings at Nuggets Matchup
The Sacramento Kings closed out 2010 with a sensational victory; can they carry some momentum into the New Year? That will be a tough challenge with the Denver Nuggets on tap.
Date: Saturday, January 1, 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Broadcast: CSCA, ALT
Kings vs. Nuggets lines from BetUS.com
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Sacramento (6-23, 8-20-1 ATS) had lost 16 of 17 games, including eight straight, before Wednesday’s thrilling 100-98 victory over Memphis. The Kings covered for the first time in six games thanks to a miracle shot.
Tyreke Evans was the hero. He buried a three-pointer from midcourt as time expired, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Evans finished with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals, but there’s still great concern that he could go down at any moment. Evans is battling a nasty foot injury; he’s trying to play through the pain, but there’s a good chance he could opt for surgery, which would sit him down for the next four months.
Losing Evans would be disastrous. Sacramento already struggles mightily to put up points, averaging about 94 per game. Without their leading scorer, it’s hard to imagine the Kings keeping pace with anybody—not that they usually do even when Evans is rolling.
Denver (18-13, 11-18-2 ATS) wrapped up 2010 with a two-game winning streak, which helped erase the sting of a recent 1-4 run. The Nuggets topped Minnesota 119-113 on Wednesday, covering for the second straight game.
It was an impressive win, considering Denver had to battle Kevin Love despite missing numerous bodies on the front court. Nene, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington all missed the game, forcing the Nuggets to go small. It worked. Chauncey Billups buried six three-pointers and finished with 36 points, while Ty Lawson came off the bench to score 19 points.
That doesn’t even take into account the absence of Denver’s most important player, Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has missed the last five games after the death of his sister. He’s expected to return to the lineup Saturday.
Sacramento’s half-court heave against Memphis was impressive and may inspire its players but, at the end of the day, most of those players still aren’t very good. With Evans hobbled and Anthony returning to the Denver lineup, the Nuggets should have no problems crushing the Kings. Sorry, Sacramento fans, but 2011 merely offers more of the same.
Under is 7-1 in SAC last 8 road games.
SAC are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games.
SAC are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 Sat. games.
DEN are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 home games.
Over is 9-4-1 in DEN last 14 home games.
Underdog is 10-3-2 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
SAC are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Denver.
Sacramento at Denver pick: Denver
Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts.