A ten-game NBA slate is on the board tonight, and one of those games will feature the Toronto Raptors heading to Sacramento to take on the Kings. We’ll preview the game before going over my best bet for the action.
The Toronto Raptors will enter tonight on two days' rest and coming off a win over the New York Knicks. That win brought their record over their last ten games to 5-5, and they finished that stretch with the 5th highest offensive efficiency rating in the league at 119.8.
Their overall issues during that span stemmed from the defensive end of the floor, as they allowed 114 or more points to be scored in seven of the ten games, leading to a defensive rating that ranked 23rd in the league. Opponents’ were able to shoot 41.1% from three in that span, which marked another stretch of the season in which they showed an inability to run shooters off the three-point line.
Opposing teams made an average of 14.3 three-pointers per game during that stretch, which could prove to be an issue tonight against a Kings team that got 36.4% of their scoring from behind the three-point line during that same span. Sacramento now leads the league in offensive rating for the entire season.
In six of the Kings' last ten games, they scored 130 or more points, resulting from them putting up a league-best true shooting percentage of 64.4%. Sacramento has seen a scoring increase in multiple starters during this recent span, including Harrison Barnes, who on the season is averaging 15.5 PPG but, over his last ten, is averaging 22 PPG.
Despite all the success, the Kings' defense has continued to be inconsistent at best. Even with winning seven of their last ten, Sacramento was 19th in defensive efficiency rating, and they allowed an average of 56.2 points in the paint per game which is the third-highest average during that stretch.
The play I’ll be making in this game is the over of the first-half point total currently set at 121.5. The first-half over is a combined 16-4 in these two teams' last ten games, and they have been two of the most profitable 1H over teams this entire season.
Toronto’s inability to stop three-point shooting will continue to haunt them tonight, with Sacramento currently being ranked 7th in both three-pointers made and attempted per game. The Kings have the 8th-best three-point shooting percentage in the NBA and enter tonight off a game in which they shot 55% from deep.
A big reason why the Kings have a lot of success from three is their ball movement and average of 27.2 assists per game, and this is another area Toronto still needs to improve in, as they are currently ranked 22nd in assists allowed per game.
The Raptors themselves have scored 62 or more first-half points in three of their last four games and will come into tonight fully rested and off a 46% shooting performance in their previous game. I’m expecting offensive fireworks right from the tip in this one and for these two teams to continue to produce a positive ROI in first-half overs.
1H Over 121.5