Knicks vs. Kings Top Picks for Thursday: De’Aaron Fox Will Play … What About Jalen Brunson?

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Jalen Brunson of the Knicks attempts a shot against Dejounte Murray and John Collins of the Hawks on February 15, 2023. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Kings -2.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Kings -2.5 (-110)
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Picks Summary:

  • Kings -2.5 (-110)
  • Under 239 (-112)

The New York Knicks start a four-game West Coast trip on Thursday in Sacramento and it’s not clear as of this writing if Knicks second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson will play.

Which side of the 2.5-point spread at the top-rated sportsbooks has the best value for your NBA pick tonight? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the Big Apple who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated New York betting sites.

New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings 

Thursday, March 9, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Golden 1 Center 

Per usual, TNT has an NBA doubleheader on Thursday – although it won’t for a few weeks after this due to the NCAA Tournament – and the nightcap is Knicks at Kings. The first game is Warriors at Grizzlies, and we’ll also preview that here at BMR as well. 

New York goes for the season sweep as it was a 2.5-point home favorite on the NBA odds on Dec. 11 and beat the Kings 112-99.

Julius Randle and RJ Barrett each scored 27 points – Randle had all his points by halftime, then was ejected with 3:35 left in the third quarter for two technical fouls. Domantas Sabonis had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings. Star De’Aaron Fox was out.  

It will be a bit of a Kentucky reunion here as Kings players Fox, Malik Monk, and Trey Lyles, and Knicks players Immanuel Quickley and Randle all played there. The Knicks have won the past four in the series overall and covered the NBA betting spread in each. 

Knicks Off Shocking Loss 

Want to know why it’s so hard to be profitable night after night betting on the NBA? Because sometimes things just don’t make sense.

On Tuesday, the Knicks entered their home game against Charlotte on a season-high nine-game winning streak and with the NBA’s best against-the-spread record since the start of February. They were 10-point favorites against a tanking Hornets team that recently lost its best player, LaMelo Ball, to a season-ending injury. 

So, naturally, the Hornets won 112-105.

Seeing the Knicks struggle a bit after a mammoth double-OT win in Boston on Sunday was understandable, but not losing outright at home. New York’s players did look tired as the team totaled just 39 points and shot under 30% in the second half (5-for-26 in the fourth quarter), getting outscored by 23 after leading by 16 at the break.  

Were the Knicks Fatigued?

“We just ran out of gas, that’s all,” Julius Randle said. “We gotta be better and take care of business. We gotta take care of business, regardless.” 

RJ Barrett scored 27 points, but Randle shot 5-for-17 and finished with 16. Second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson missed a second straight game with a foot injury. Immanuel Quickley had 38 points starting in his place Sunday and had jumped into the favored role for NBA Sixth Man of the Year, but he was just 5-for-16 for 14 points against the Hornets.

Quickley is still the (-165) favorite at the top-rated books for NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year over Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon (+120). 

Jalen Brunson is Key

Brunson is on the trip as expected and there’s a solid chance he plays Thursday – listed as questionable. The former Maverick has been worth every penny so far in free agency as Brunson has 16 30-point performances this season. Those are the fifth-most by a guard in franchise history.

Brunson also ranks second in the NBA with 131 “clutch” points, trailing only the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox. Brunson is shooting 50.6%, including 37.5% from deep, during “clutch time” with only four turnovers. 

  • The Knicks are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight-up record. 
  • The Knicks are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. 
  • The Knicks are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up loss. 

Kings Get Fox Back 

Sacramento is the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA: No respect!

The surprising Kings (38-26) are up to second in the Western Conference yet are still (+3500) long shots to win the conference behind the following teams:

  • Phoenix Suns (+190)
  • Denver Nuggets (+330)
  • Golden State Warriors (+550)
  • LA Clippers (+750)
  • Dallas Mavericks (+900)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (+1000)
  • LA Lakers (+1500)

What do those teams all have that the Kings don’t? A superstar or two. 

Just making the playoffs for the first time since 2006 (that’s a lock) probably would satisfy Kings fans. Mike Brown has done a fantastic job.

We told you at the All-Star break that he was our pick to win NBA Coach of the Year even though he wasn’t the favorite then. Hope you listened because now he’s not great value at (-205), jumping well ahead of Boston’s Joe Mazzulla (+220), the former favorite. 

The Kings won for the sixth time in seven games Monday, 123-108 over New Orleans. Kevin Huerter, who has been a smart offseason pickup from Atlanta, had 25 points, eight assists, and five rebounds, and Domantas Sabonis had his eighth triple-double of the season with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He leads the league with 52 double-doubles.

Sabonis is on pace to become the fourth player in NBA history to notch averages of 18.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. 

Star Fox is Not Just on Nintendo 64 Anymore

Star point guard De’Aaron Fox was out with left hamstring soreness but Brown said that he “feels confident” Fox will be ready to go Thursday after getting in a full practice Wednesday. Fox is averaging 25.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds and isn’t on the injury report.  

Fox has scored at least 20 points in 12 of his last 15 games, including 25 points or more in 12 of those outings, averaging 29.3 points and 7.2 assists per game on 53.5% shooting in that span. He leads the NBA in total points in “clutch” moments with 165. In the fourth quarter this season overall, Fox has totaled 443 points, ranking first in the NBA. 

This should be much higher scoring than the first matchup with New York. Sacramento leads the NBA in scoring at 121.1 and New York averages 115.3 ppg.  The Kings are third-from-last in defense at 118.4 ppg. Normally, I’d go over but I think this total is too inflated.  

  • The Kings are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. 
  • The Kings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points. 
  • The Kings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. 

NBA Pick: Under 239 (-112) at BookMaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Under 239 (-112)
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