Last Updated: 2017-03-06
It is a favored saying on the part of some NBA observers that "As LeBron James goes, so go the Cleveland Cavaliers." But actually, a similar statement would be much more truthful about DeMarcus Cousins and his value to the Sacramento Kings. So it is incumbent that the enigmatic big man have himself a big game as the Kings play host to the defending NBA champions in a Friday night game. This one will start at 10:35 PM ET at the Golden 1 Center in California's capital city. VietBet customers get the advantages of reduced juice on the NBA odds before the game, and then after the opening tip they can place wagers in real time through the magic of Live Betting Ultra.
The Cavs are determined to be the #1 seed in the East when the playoffs begin. Currently they are 28-10 straight-up, which puts them three games ahead of the Toronto Raptors in the battle for the best overall record in the conference. Cleveland is 16-20-2 against the basketball pointspread. The Kings (16-22 SU, 19-18-1 ATS) are just a half-game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. At the same time, they are only a game ahead of New Orleans and Denver.
It has been rough lately on the road for the Cavaliers. Three nights ago they were locked up pretty good by the Utah Jazz, shooting just 36.5% in a 100-92 loss, but Utah is known to be a defensive-minded team. There was simply no excuse the next night against the Portland Trail Blazers, who are down near the bottom of the league in Defensive Rating, as they hit just 34% of their shots and went rather meekly (102-86).
In the NBA odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Cavs are the road favorites:
Cleveland Cavaliers -6.5
Sacramento Kings +6.5
Over 211 points -110
Under 211 points -110
Cousins is averaging 28 points and just over ten rebounds, and his Usage rate, which measures the percentage of plays he is actually involved in on the offensive end, is second in the NBA, right behind Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City. So it can be argued that he is as important to his team as anyone. In each of the last three games, he has had double digits in rebounds, but prior to that he's gone through a seven-game stretch in which he averaged just 6.4 boards. But his 24-point, 13-rebound effort was a big help in defeating the Detroit Pistons three nights ago. This is a Kings team that has had two full nights off, and they have gone just 6-16 ATS in those situations over the last three seasons.
LeBron is shooting 53.4% from the field over the last nine games, and that includes 41% from three-point range. But he hit only field goals against the Blazers. That was the sixth consecutive pointspread loss for the Cavs, who have covered just one game since their Christmas comeback victory over Golden State. Including that game, they have shot under 40% in five of their last ten contests. But most VietBet patrons know this team loves to launch triples; they have taken more then anyone in the NBA aside from the Houston Rockets, and they shoot for the third-highest percentage in the league (38.4%). One of Sacramento's difficulties this season has been in guarding the perimeter, as they have surrendered an even 38% from beyond the arc. Only the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, the two worst teams in the West, have been less effective in stopping long-range gunners.
These teams played twice last season, and the Cavs shot 79 treys in those two meetings, hitting a little under 37%. They hit the 60-mark before the half in both games en route to covering efforts that also went over the total. We like their chances to find the mark here, so we're laying the points with CLEVELAND in the NBA odds on Friday night.
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