Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) takes off on a fast break after a turnover by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

KINGS VS LAKERS, JAN. 4

Kyle Barrette

The NBA is slowly turning the corner on the massive COVID-19 outbreaks that have been all over the league for the past month, and now we’re getting close to regular play. Both of these teams continue to improve. The Lakers finally started winning a few games, and the Kings come into this game about as healthy as they have been in a while. So who has the edge in this west coast matchup? Let’s break it down and find out.

Lakers
The Lakers put together a few wins intertwined with a few more losses. Let’s look at their wins really quickly. They beat one of the worst teams in the league, the Rockets, and I. Doing so allowed them to score 123 points. Next, they beat a Blazers team that was 2-13 and could not win on the road to save their lives. Lastly, they beat a Timberwolves team that was without their top two players by only five points. The question starts to become, can the Lakers continue to beat teams that are at or near full strength? The Lakers have struggled to cover the spread all season, finishing near the bottom at 15-23 ATS.The spread has crept up to seven here, making this an interesting spot for LA.

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Kings
Coming off a seemingly endless home stand, it doesn’t get too much better for the Kings, as they get about the closest thing to another home game as possible. The Kings have finally gotten basically fully healthy, and it’s showing. They were able to win two of their last three against two teams that will likely be in the playoffs. Granted, those teams were not at 100%, but the Kings were not favorites to win those games either. The Timberwolves dominated the boards against the Lakers (56-28) and no doubt that’s what kept them in the game, but the Kings held significant rebounding leads on the offensive side compared to the Lakers. Also, if a team like the Timberwolves, who rank near last in the league in both rebounding categories, can hold those kinds of numbers against the same Lakers team, then the Kings should be able to hold the advantage on the boards as well.

Prediction: Kings +7.5
The Lakers will likely win this game, but the spread seems to be a bit too big. These teams are very close in almost every statistical category. Unless one team simply has an off night, this one should stay within the spread. Take the Kings +7.5.

Same Game Parlay
Kings +6.5, LeBron James First Basket, Harrison Barnes Over 14.5 Pts, LeBron James Under 30.5 Pts, Tyrese Halliburton Under 9.5 Assists and LeBron James Under 3.5 Made Threes.

SGP Odds +8749

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