No one thinks of the Sacramento Kings as a betting powerhouse but that is exactly what they have been the last 2 weeks. 8-0 ATS and 7-1 straight up. After losing 4 straight and looking like they were going to endure another season in the bottom of the Western Conference, they have given themselves a chance to contend for at least the 8th seed for now.
How have they covered each of the games? I'll take you through each game and why gambling can be so unpredictable.
1/22 vs NYK (SAC -3.5)
If I told you a team made 3 shots the final 6 minutes of a game where the score was within single digits the whole time, they would lose right? Well after a strong 3rd quarter, outscoring the Knicks 27-18, the Kings were able to escape with a 9 point win. They were led by Harrison Barnes in this one with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists.
1/27 @ ORL (ORL -1)
After Harrison Barnes led the way last time out, Buddy Hield had 29 points to lead the Kings in a wire-wire victory in Orlando. They outscored the Magic in every quarter except the 4th. Easy upset victory.
1/29 @ TOR (TOR -4)
After leading by 18 at one point in this game, the Raptors cut the Kings lead all the way to 1 with around a minute left. The Kings turned the ball over 9 times in the 4th. 9 TIMES. No team should win turning the ball over that many teams. Their 55% FG percentage saved them in this one. If the Raptors had played a lick of defense they could have stolen a win. Hassan Whiteside starred in this win with 16 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. The key through 3 games of the streak was getting contributions from all over the place.
1/30 @ MIA (MIA -6.5)
The only loss throughout this 8-0 streak was to the Heat on the second night of a back-to-back. This is where De'Aaron Fax's dominant stretch started, even though he wasn't able to carry the Kings to a win. Good teams win, great teams cover.
2/1 @ NOL (NO -2.5)
Fox. Fox. Fox. Some players have so much talent that they have stretches people can't believe. The younger these players come in the league the more we write them off. De'Aaron Fox has that. We forget just how talented he is. He had 38 points and 12 assists in this one, to overcome 20 turnovers as a team. The unsung hero was their defense, holding the Pelicans to 39% shooting.
2/3 vs BOS (SAC -1)
After not being favored on the road in the past 4 games, they returned home to face the Celtics and were favored by 1. Fox had 26 points and 11 assists in this one, but the Celtics weren't full strength. So as good as a win and cover against Boston looks, they didn't have Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, and Payton Pritchard.
2/6 vs DEN (DEN -2)
Who have I not mentioned during this stretch? The rookie Tyrese Haliburton. Well how does 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a game-high +12 off the bench sound? How else are you going to beat the Nuggets when Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley go a combined 2-17 from the field?
2/7 @ LAC (LAC -8)
The De'Aaron Fox show is back. Reggie Jackson and Lou Williams were the 2 point guards that played for the Clippers, not exactly the best defensive players in the league. Fox torched them for 36 points and 15-25 shooting. Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, just not enough without Paul George out there. Another lucky break for Sacramento that LAC were without their second best player.
How will they fare tonight against the 76ers? Sacramento is +4.5. Can they make it 9 straight?