Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The first game on the Monday night NBA card is the Sacramento Kings (17-25) visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers (16-26). These teams have not faced each other since April of 2019 when the Kings defeated the Cavaliers 117-104 in Sacramento.
Last time out for the Kings they lost 129-105 to the Sixers on Saturday night. They had won their two previous games against Boston and Washington. The last time out for the Cavaliers they were able to defeat Toronto 116-105 on Sunday night. According to ESPN’s BPI, the Kings have a 63.6% chance at defeating the Cavaliers Monday.
Kings Fall To Sixers 129-105
The Kings last played on Saturday on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers and dropped a tough loss 129-105 in a game they were outscored 42-21 in the first quarter. The 76ers were without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but Tobias Harris scored 23 of his 29 points in the first half to never really give the Kings a chance in that contest. The Kings were a (-4) point road dog and ended up losing by 24 points with the total hitting on the over as the line was 229.
Sacramento currently sits 13th in the Western Conference standings about 4.5 games out of the eighth spot which is currently held by Dallas. The Kings are dead last in the Pacific Division 11 games behind the Phoenix Suns. Sacramento is one of the better offensive teams in the league averaging 114.5 points per game which ranks 9th in the NBA. The main issue for Sacramento is their defense. The Kings allow opponents to score an average of 119.6 points per game. That is the 29th ranked defense if you were wondering. Luckily for the Kings against the Cavaliers Monday, they’ll be facing the league’s worst offensive team as Cleveland ranks dead last in the NBA at 104 points per game.
De’Aaron Fox…CLUTCH. 🦊🦊🦊
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 18, 2021
De’Aaron Fox leads the way for Sacramento with 23.7 points per game to go with 7.5 assists. Fox has had a season high of 43 points this season against the Pelicans back in January. Buddy Hield is second in points for the Kings at 16.8 points per game to go with his 4.6 rebounds per game. And right behind Hield is Harrison Barnes who is contributing an average of 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Cavaliers Defeat Toronto 116-105
The Cleveland Cavaliers have played six games since the All-Star break winning two of those six contests. The Cavaliers beat the Raptors Sunday night 116-105, and earlier in the week beat Boston 117-110. The issue in the four losses has been the same issue all season and that is no or very little offensive production from the Cavaliers. In the four losses since the All-Star break Cleveland only managed to put up an average of 93 points in those losses. In the two victories, the Cavaliers have scored 117 and 116 points respectively.
The starting lineup for the Cavs against the Raptors was as follows: Collin Sexton (G), Jarrett Allen (C), Darius Garland (G), Larry Nance Jr. (F), and Isaac Okoro (F). The Cavaliers were able to hand the Raptors their eighth straight loss. Cleveland led 59-57 at the half. In the first half there were 10 lead changes and seven ties, but none after the intermission. The Cavaliers scored the first 12 points in the third quarter and never looked back.
CAVS WIN ‼️‼️
13-24 FG (54%)
6-9 3P (66%)
Pretty good for a “bench” player 🔥pic.twitter.com/YtRY6QHx6O
— Tony Pesta (@Tony_Pesta) March 22, 2021
After Sexton’s 36 points last night he has now successfully led the Cavaliers in scoring the last nine straight games. That lifts Sexton’s season average to 24.2 points per game. Darius Garland is contributing 16.4 points per game on average and 15 last night in the win over the Raptors. Jarrett Allen is seeing more minutes with the Cavs sitting Andre Drummond for trade purposes, and Allen had 17 against the Toronto on Sunday. The Cavaliers are still looking for Larry Nance Jr. to turn the corner as he has only averaged 10.7 points per game since the All-Star break.
- Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Kings are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Both of these teams have played six games since the All-Star break with the Kings winning three of their six while the Cavs have won two of their six games. Sacramento is 7-6 as a favorite this season and they have an 8-13 road record. Cleveland is 11-11 at home this season and is 14-24 as an underdog. Cleveland has also only won back-to-back games a handful of times this year. In the victory last night against the Raptors the Cavaliers made 17 3-pointers going 17 for 33 behind the arc. That is 15% above their normal average for three-pointers in a game, and I don’t see that happening in back-to-back games even against one the league’s worst defenses. The Kings play at the 9th fastest pace of any team in the NBA while the Cavaliers rank 26th. According to Dunks and Threes, the Kings are 10th in the NBA with 113.9 points scored per every 100 possessions compared to the Cleveland 105.6 points every 100 possessions. The Kings are the better team, the better offense, and are in a great spot to cover the four points they are laying on the road Monday night. I’ll be taking the Kings to cover.
Sacramento Kings -4
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
The total for this game is at 225 points in a contest that features one of the worst defenses and worst offenses in the NBA. According to Dunks and Threes Cleveland owns an adjusted defensive rating of 112.9 points that opponents score per 100 possessions, and Sacramento is dead last 118.4 points their opponents score every 100 possessions. Over their last 10 games the Kings are averaging 115.8 points per game while the Cavs are letting opponents score 106.9 points per game over the last 10 games. I believe this total is going to be super close, but I have to side with the over. Although this contest has under written all over it I like the Kings to get to 115 points and the Cavs to get to 110 points. I know the 110 points expected from the Cavs is a bit of a stretch, but remember the Kings have the worst defense in the league. I like the over in this Monday night contest between these two teams.