The Sacramento Kings enter the 2023 NBA playoffs with the third best record in the Western Conference. This typically means they would be heavily favored in their first-round matchup. But that's not the case as they prepare to take on the Golden State Warriors.
To be sure, the Kings do not enter as underdogs. As the latest odds for the 2023 NBA playoffs show, they are actually favored to win Game 1 over the Warriors:
|Golden State Warriors||-102||-105||-110|
As you can tell from these NBA playoff betting lines, Sacramento is just barely getting the stamp of approval. This isn't just because they're taking on the defending NBA champions. It's also not because the Kings haven't been to the playoffs in over 15 years. It's because oddsmakers, bettors and analysts alike do not trust Sacramento's defense. They also, generally, don't believe the Kings offense will hold up in a postseason setting.
Are these sentiments fair? Accurate? That's what we're here to answer.
First, though, we would ask you to remember that you must double-check these NBA online betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Kings vs. Warriors betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, April 12. That gives linemakers plenty of time to shift their odds in advance of tip-off on Saturday, April 15, at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Granted, you don't have to worry about accessing the latest online NBA betting odds if you sign up with the right bookie. That's where our reviews of the top online sportsbooks can come in handy. We have covered every nook and cranny of all the biggest names, arming you with the information necessary to find the best online betting sites for the 2023 NBA playoffs in the business.
And now, let's get to our Game 1 predictions for Warriors vs. Kings.
The Sacramento Kings are More Dangerous Than People Think as They Take on the Golden State Warriors
Too many people, in our opinion, consider the Kings a steppingstone for the reigning champs. Are we concerned about the Kings' defense? Absolutely. Sacramento hovered around the bottom five in points allowed per possession, and the Warriors have a top-10 offense when playing on the road.
Still, the Kings have shown some signs that they might be better on the less glamorous end than the raw numbers indicate. First and foremost, they actually rank ninth in points allowed per possession when playing on the road. That's something to keep an eye on as this series progresses. For Game 1 purposes, though, we should pay attention to their rebounding and ability to get the defense set. The Kings are among the best squads at grabbing opponent misses, and only two teams force offenses to travel deeper into the shot clock on their possessions. Bake in Sacramento's ability to limit their own fouls, and you have a recipe for treading water with your best units.
Let's also not forget that the Warriors have been on the road all year. They have failed to win even 10 games away from Chase Center. Andrew Wiggins' return should help the defense, but Saturday will be his first game back in months. It could take him some time to re-acclimate himself.
As for the Kings' offense, we don't buy this notion that they can't play fast in the postseason. Sacramento is first in points scored per possession. That doesn't happen by accident. Maybe they don't deserve to be heavy favorites for this series. But they certainly deserve to be heavier favorites for Game 1.
OSB Prediction: Sacramento Kings (-116)
Odds Makers Expect Warriors vs. Kings to be Tightly Contested...Should You?
Here are the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Kings vs. Warriors:
- Sacramento Kings, -1 (-110)
- Golden State Warriors, +1 (-110)
Rolling with the Sacramento Kings to cover the point spread over the Golden State Warriors offers better value than the moneyline. The worst-case scenario in a Kings victory would be a push, in which case you'd get your money back. And if you don't believe they'll win, you should avoid betting on this game altogether.
Some people will harp on the Kings losing the season series to the Warriors 3-1. That's fine. But the final game of that set was a dumpster fire; Sacramento benched all their important players. The other three games, meanwhile, were determined by seven or fewer points apiece, so it's not like the Kings were a world behind Golden State.
Perhaps we're not accounting enough for playoff jitters. The Kings haven't been to the postseason in forever. But Domantas Sabonis and Harrison Barnes are no stranger to big games, and we firmly believe Sacramento's arena will be rocking in a way that galvanizes their effort.
OSB Prediction: Sacramento Kings, -1 (-110)
Will the Golden State Warriors Defense Continue to Struggle on the Road?
Check out the latest NBA over/under betting odds for Warriors vs. Kings Game 1:
- Over 227 (-110)
- Under 227 (-110)
We are going "over" all the way here.
For starters, three of the four Kings-Warriors games cleared the over during the regular season. What's more, the numbers wildly support an "over," as well.
More than 69 percent of Golden State's road games have cleared the "over" this year—the largest mark in the league. Conversely, more than 62 percent of the Kings' home games have hit the "over," which is the second largest share in the NBA. Game 1s can always be awkward, but we're banking on these trends holding firm.
OSB Prediction: Over 227 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting: