The Sacramento Kings have quietly seized first place in the Pacific Division, and moved into fifth place in the Western Conference standings. You can back the Kings right now at -165 odds as a favorite to make the playoffs, according to a prop bet at DraftKings.
The Kings seek their first playoff appearance since 2006. They have the longest running playoff drought in the NBA, and one of the longest in the major North American sports leagues. Fans, executives, and players all hope that this will finally be the year that the Kings snap their playoff jinx.
NBA PROP BET: Will the Sacramento Kings Make the Playoffs?
The Kings have fallen on hard times since they last qualified for the postseason. They have not posted a winning record since the 2005-06 season when they were 44-38 and secured the #8 seed in the 2006 Western Conference Playoffs. They were knocked out in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.
The Kings have not won a playoff series since the 2003-04 season. They were 55-27 that season, but were knocked out in the 2004 Western Conference semifinals by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After churning through 11 coaches since 2006, the Kings hired Mike Brown as their head coach this season. Brown won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors last season as their top assistant under Steve Kerr. The Kings hoped that the Warriors’ championship luster will rub off on their squad. So far, Brown has more than exceeded expectations.
Say Hello to the First Place Kings
It’s a tight race in the Pacific Division. But for now, the Kings occupy first place with a 20-17 record. The Los Angeles Clippers are right behind them with a 21-18 record. Both teams hold a one-game lead over the Phoenix Suns (20-19) and Golden State Warriors (20-19). The Los Angeles Lakers are in last place in the division at 17-21, but they’re 3.5 games out of first place.
The Suns are the betting favorite at +200 odds to win the Pacific Division for a third-straight season. However, they just lost shooting guard Devin Booker for at least a month while he recovers from a left groin injury.
The Clippers were a popular pick to win the division with All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard returning from a knee injury. However, Leonard rushed back too quickly, and missed a couple of weeks until swelling in his knee subsided. With Leonard finally back at full strength, the Clippers are now +220 odds to win the Pacific for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
The Warriors are a popular team that the public loves to back. Despite a rough start to the season, and a left shoulder injury to Steph Curry, the Warriors are still +250 odds to win the division.
Bettors and bookies are not 100% sold on the Kings right now, despite their recent surge. The Kings are only +550 odds to win the division as the fourth favorite on the board.
Meanwhile, the banged-up Lakers are the long shot to win the Pacific at +3500 odds.
Banged-Up Sabonis, All-Star Fox, and Red Velvet
Domantas Sabonis, one of the premier big men in the Western Conference, has been playing the last two weeks with a fractured thumb. The injury is on his nonshooting hand, but it’s still a painful injury that will require surgery to fix. Sabonis will try to play the remainder of the season with the fracture and wait until the summer to undergo surgery.
It’s been a long summer,” said Sabonis. “A lot of team expectations. Everyone has put a lot of work in. Missing a large number of games just didn’t seem right. If I could play through it, that’s something I could try, at least.”
Point guard De’Aaron Fox leads the Kings in scoring, averaging 23.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. He’s shooting a career-best 50.4% from the floor, and having his second-best season from 3-point range with a 34% success rate. Fox looked like an All-Star when he recently dropped 37 points against the Utah Jazz. He also knocked down a game-winning shot to seal a victory.
Shooting guard Kevin Huerter joined the Kings in an off-season trade. He was nicknamed “Red Velvet” by his teammates with the Atlanta Hawks because of his red hair and his silky-smooth shooting style. Huerter is the Kings’ third-best scorer this season, averaging 15.9 points per game. He’s also the team’s top 3-point shooter, averaging 42.1% from beyond the arc.
Power forward Keegan Murray has been making strides during his rookie season. Murray, the fourth-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Iowa, started 33 games at small forward this season. He averages 11.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and has been gradually improving every game.
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