In under a week, the NBA will be back in action, so what better way to count down the days than by going over some win-total bets for the 2023 season? To start us off, we’ll be lighting the beam and taking a look at the Sacramento Kings, who are coming off their best season as a franchise since 2005-06. Following a preview of the team, I’ll break down whether or not I like the Kings to go over their win total and make consecutive appearances in the postseason.
Being able to return the nucleus of a team where everyone is happy to be there is becoming less common in the NBA, but the Sacramento Kings were able to do that. Following a strong season last year, both De’Aaron Fox (25 PPG) and Domantis Sabonis (19.1 PPG and 12.3 REB) are back with a solid supporting cast around them.
The Fox and Sabonis combo led the Kings to have the best offensive efficiency rating in the league last season at 118.6, which resulted in a 48-34 record and a trip to the postseason. Offensively, the Kings have become a team that defenses hate playing since they run one of the more effective pick-and-rolls in the league while finishing second in effective field goal percentage (57.2%) last season behind the NBA champion Denver Nuggets.
With Fox and Sabonis both possessing strong passing skills, the Kings took an average of 37.3 three-pointers per game last season, the 6th most in the league. Behind guys like Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, the team had the 9th best three-point shooting percentage, and that will likely improve with the addition of Sasha Vezenkov, the Euro League MVP, who is allegedly outshooting everyone on the team in practice.
The big question with this team, like it was last year, is their defense. Sacramento had a 2.6 NET rating last year because their defensive efficiency rating of 116 ranked them 24th in the league.
The Kings were at the bottom of the league in points in the paint allowed. With an average of 53.5 points in the paint allowed per game, Sacramento was 26th in that statistical category. With big men like Nikola Jokic and now Victor Wembenyama in the Western Conference, this is an area that could limit how far they go this season.
Sacramento’s win total is currently set at 44.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play. I was high on them going into last season and feel the same this year. Any team that can finish above the defending NBA champions and teams like the Celtics and Warriors in offensive efficiency is doing something right. Not to mention that the same team will be retaking the court this year but with a more experienced Keegan Murray and a potential top-ten three-point shooter in Vezenkov.
Not only did this team finish above this win total last year, but they come into this season filled with confidence after taking the Warriors to game seven in a playoff series. On top of the confidence, this is a young team that will likely take the regular season seriously, unlike some of the more veteran-heavy teams in the Western Conference. When the Clippers decide to rest half of their team, the Kings will be there to take care of business.
Defense is a concern with this team, but I see that as more of a postseason problem. If their offense can perform at a similar level this season, then I think they can mask their defensive problems a bit, so as long as Fox and Sabonis can stay healthy, then I’ll light the beam and take the over.
Over 44.5 Wins