Two of the best teams to start the second half of the season will matchup tonight in Sacramento as the Kings will play host to the New York Knicks. We’ll preview this exciting showdown before going over my best prop play for the game.
Both the Knicks and Kings have gone 6-1 since the All-Star break, and the Knicks currently rank 4th in NET rating while the Kings rank 5th. New York had started the second half of the season out on a six-game win streak, but they lost on the road to the Hornets in their most recent game by a final score of 112-105.
The Knicks went into halftime leading by 16 points but were outscored by 14 in the third quarter and only managed 16 points in the fourth quarter. It’s been a rare sight recently to see the New York offense fall apart, especially since their 121.4 offensive rating ranks 6th in the league.
New York has also shown they can get the job done on the defensive end, with their 11th-ranked defensive rating. Defense was how they beat the Kings in their one other matchup this season, as they held them to just 99 points on 40% shooting from the field. Holding this Sacramento team to under 100 points again will be quite the task since they have the best offensive efficiency rating in the league since the break.
Over their seven games since the return, the Kings have not scored under 123 points, and their 66.4% true shooting percentage is the best in the NBA in that span. Every aspect of the Kings' offense is clicking right now, as they even rank 6th in the league assists to turnover ratio and 5th in rebounding percentage.
Defense, however, is an entirely different story for the Kings. Sacramento is 29th in defensive efficiency rating since the return from break, and their most recent win over the Pelicans was the first time in the past seven games they have held a team to under 115 points.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Julius Randle over 3.5 three-pointers made at (-115). Over the past ten games, Randle is averaging 4.1 threes per game and has gone over his prop total in seven of those games. Tonight is an excellent matchup for him to continue his solid shooting.
No team since the All-Star break has allowed a higher opponent three-point percentage than the Kings. Opponents are shooting 42.7% from deep against them, and they are also allowing an average of 16.3 made threes per game which is the second most in the league.
The opportunities will be there for Randle, and he has never been shy to take them. Over the past ten games, he averaged 10.1 attempts per game, and he leads the team in average three-pointers made when they play on the road like they will be tonight. Between the rate at which he is shooting them and the Kings' inability to run shooters off the line, I think this is the perfect spot to target this prop.
Julius Randle Over 3.5 Three Pointers Made (-115)