Nikola Jokic will be looking to lead the Denver Nuggets to their first win against the Sacramento Kings this season. Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire.
- The Denver Nuggets will travel to Sacramento to face the Kings on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 6th, 5:10 pm EST)
- This is the third meeting between these conference rivals already this season
- Get the odds, preview, and best bet below
The Sacramento Kings will be looking to continue their dominance of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, February 6th, when the two clubs meet at 5:10 pm EST. De’Aaron Fox and co. won back-to-back contests against Denver in late December.
The Kings are currently on a two-game winning streak after beating the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, while Mike Malone’s squad lost to the defending champion LA Lakers on Thursday evening.
Nuggets vs Kings Odds
|Denver Nuggets||-3 (-110)||-148||O 228 (-110)|
|Sacramento Kings||+3 (-110)||+126||U 228 (-110)|
Odds taken Feb 5th at FanDuel.
Nuggets Need to Improve Defensively
Jokic has been nothing short of outstanding this season, emerging as an early candidate for MVP. The Serbian big man is averaging 26.1 points, 8.4 assists, and 11.7 rebounds per night, while also collecting five triple-doubles already through just 21 games.
Nikola Jokic in December/January:
1st in PER
2nd in total points
3rd in total assists
3rd in total steals
4th in total rebounds pic.twitter.com/uqrXfwur1S
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 2, 2021
But, there has been a lack of help at times for Jokic. Jamal Murray is putting up just 19 per night, while their next-best scorer is Will Barton with only 11 points per game. However, the Nuggets have been a lot better recently, going 7-3 in their last 10 games. They ended Utah’s 11-game winning streak last Sunday thanks to the Joker’s 47 points, while five other players registered double-digit scoring performances.
On the defensive end though, Denver needs to show improvement. Their defense ranks 20th in the league. Thursday’s loss to the Lakers was a prime example. The Nuggets had a 12-point lead at halftime but allowed their opposition to outscore them 68-35 in the last two quarters. Denver ended up losing by 23, much in part to LeBron James going off for 27 points.
Gary Harris was absent for this game and he happens to be one of Mike Malone’s best all-around players. But even with Jokic only dropping 13 points, Denver would have still had a chance in this game if their defense didn’t collapse. They will have their hands full on Saturday with a solid offensive team in the Kings who possess an electric backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield/Tyrese Haliburton.
2021 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Brighter Days Ahead in Sacramento
Their record may not show it at just 10-11, but there is a lot to be excited about with this Kings team. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton has shown flashes of star potential, while Fox is putting up career-best numbers across the board.
Sacramento has won five of their last six games, including victories over the Raptors, Pelicans, and most recently, the Celtics. They took full advantage of a shorthanded Boston team, with Fox collecting 13 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter.
Haliburton, the 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft, had 21 in Wednesday’s victory. The former Iowa State standout is playing the second-most minutes in the league among first-year players behind only Cleveland’s Isaac Okoro (28.8). Haliburton is proving to be a key piece of the Kings’ backcourt rotation and is also developing into a tremendous playmaker, averaging 5.4 dimes per contest.
One area that Sacramento may struggle with on Saturday is on the glass. They’re 25th in rebounds per game, while the Nuggets are a lot better around the hoop, much in part to Jokic.
“Keep getting better. 𝙀𝙑𝙀𝙍𝙔. 𝘿𝘼𝙔.”
🗣 Sounds from the Locker Room with Coach Walton after the gutsy win over Boston 🔊 pic.twitter.com/8DHx0NiC7C
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 5, 2021
The Kings will also need to do their best to contain a surging Denver lineup that has been firing on all cylinders lately. That will start with the Joker, who literally does everything for this team. It won’t be easy for Luke Walton’s team though, who are statistically the worst defensive team in the league. But, they have improved in this category in the last weeks, ranking in the top-10.
Both teams have been playing relatively well lately, but the Nuggets will have that extra fire in their belly after losing two previous meetings with the Kings. Denver is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite on the road.
Sacramento however, is 6-0 ATS in their last six outings. With all of this taken into account, this could be a tough one to gauge for bettors. But, I simply don’t see the Nuggets losing again to the Kings. Also, Jokic won’t have another off night like Thursday, so expect him to show out for at least 25 and lead his team to a big victory against their Western Conference counterparts.
Pick: Denver Nuggets -3 (-110)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.