Sacramento Kings -2.5 (-118) at Minnesota Timberwolves
One of the simulation programs that form the cornerstone of our NBA handicapping methodology calls for the Kings to dispatch the Timberwolves by a comfortable 7.5 point margin when the Sacramento unit makes their way to the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis this afternoon.
Similarly, our power rankings approach makes Sacramento almost ten points better than Minnesota for this contest.
The Kings lost badly to the Celtics last night in an all-around subpar game. Sac averages 101 points per game on the road, but were forced to settle for 84 Wednesday. Further, Sacramento normally sinks more than 50% of attempted field goals, but were held to under 40% at Boston. And while the Kings are the third best rebounding team in the NBA, the Celts won the battle on the boards.
Of note, Sacramento tends to perform poorly in the back half of two-game-in-two night sequences, dropping four of six such contests this season -- including losses to the likes of the Lakers and the Magic (competition only nominally better than the Wolves). However, we expect that the Timberwolves' well-documented struggles trump the Kings' woes (our favorite power rankings approach pits the Wolves at 29th -- second-worst in the league and only better than the Philadelphia 76ers; the Timberwolves are on a nine-game skid).
After combining for 13-46 from the floor yesterday, we are willing to bet on at least average production from Cousins, Gay and Collison, which will likely be more than adequate to get the cover at Minnesota.