The Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings are set for a Monday night matchup and with both teams coming in after playing games Sunday night. What should we expect from two tired teams? Let’s break down the NBA odds for this game.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Sacramento Kings
Monday, January 10, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at Golden 1 Center
Will Defense Be an Afterthought?
One thing you can count on from the Cavs this season has been their defense, but after playing last night in Golden State and only mustering up 82 points against a tough defense, you have to think that an offensive rebound is on the way now against a much softer Kings' defense.
However, the Kings have actually started to play some defense early in games, which is something the betting public and the best sportsbooks have yet to catch on to.
Over their last 10 games, the Kings rank 15th in first-half defense, allowing 109 points per 100 possessions. At home, they are slightly better than that this year, allowing 108.6 points per 100 possessions in first halves.
Being tired is going to play in this game, but the Cavs’ defense is going to show up regardless. Furthermore, the Kings’ offense has started to fall off slightly over their last five games and that could be a prelude of what’s to come tonight against a tough Cavs defense.
Sacramento is averaging just 102.4 points per 100 possessions over their last five first halves, which ranks them 26th in the league during that stretch.
The Sharp Pick
Playing on no rest has hurt both teams’ offense this season as well. These two have combined to cash the under at 11-4 this year when playing on no rest and I think we see similar effects on this game, especially early.
These two teams played one another recently when the Kings were on no rest and Sacramento only mustered up an offensive rating of 97.2 points per 100 possessions.
If you average the Kings’ offensive ratings over their last four games played on no rest, they are averaging just 102.4 points per 100 possessions and they have cashed the under in all four of those games.
Considering both teams aren’t at full strength and missing pieces from their previous meeting, I could see a brick-fest for this one, at least to start the game.
Cleveland has played well on offense over their last two games played on no rest, but their previous five games played on no rest earlier in the season had them with an effective field goal percentage under 50% in four of them and they were right on 50 eFG% in the fifth.
All signs point to this being a game where the offenses struggle early. If legs get tired later in the game, the full game total may not have as much value if shots start falling and lanes start opening up in the second half.
However, the Cavs will bring their defense early and often regardless of how tired they are, and at least for the first half, I think the Kings can slow this tired Cavs team down a little bit.
I doubt either team has more than 55 first-half points here, so add the first half under to your NBA picks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.