Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings NBA Pick – January 3rd

The NBA is set for a total of three games on Thursday night. One of these games will be between the Denver Nuggets and the Sacramento Kings. Both of these teams are competing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings have been struggling recently, but with a chance to turn it around at home, I believe this will be a close game. The game will be on at 10 PM Eastern time.

Denver has started out the season with a record of 24-11, which has been good enough to earn them the top spot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets have won three games in a row against the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs. Denver will look to keep that winning streak alive with a road victory against the slumping Kings on Thursday night.

The Kings have put up a record of 19-18 to open up the season. Sacramento has earned the ninth-place spot in the Western Conference standings. The Kings have lost back to back games and three of their last four games. Sacramento will look to end this little slump with a home victory against the Western Conference leading Denver Nuggets.

Thursday night’s matchup between the Nuggets and the Kings will be the second matchup of the season series. Denver and Sacramento will meet up one more time on February 13. These two teams have put up winning records, but with the Kings wanting to avoid falling to an even record, I believe that this should be an exciting game.

Previous Matchups

The Nuggets and the Kings met up a total four times last season. Denver was able to take the season series 3-1. The Nuggets took both of their games at home, while the Kings went 1-1 at their home. All three of Denver’s wins were by sixteen or more points. Sacramento’s win was by eight points. The Kings finished in twelfth place of the Western Conference, while the Nuggets were one win outside of the playoff picture last season.

Denver hosted the first game of the season series this season. Marvin Bagley III had a solid night off the bench for the Kings, dropping 20 points and 9 rebounds. Sacramento’s bench combined for 68 points, but it was not enough to keep up with the Nuggets. Jamal Murray had 19 points, while Gary Harris had another 18 points. The Nuggets starting lineup totaled up for 73 points to help give Denver a 126-112 win.

The Nuggets have gone 6-1 against Sacramento in the last seven games over the last couple of seasons. Denver has been a solid team, while the Kings have struggled to compete. This season Sacramento is playing much better with their younger lineup, which could help them get over the hump and knock off Denver. This game being at home should help the Kings get an edge.

Injuries

Denver has been hit hard with injuries this season, but they are beginning to get healthy. The Nuggets are missing Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr., Isaiah Thomas, and Jarred Vanderbilt right now. Denver has gotten Paul Millsap and Gary Harris back into their lineup recently, which helps strengthen the lineup. As the Nuggets get healthy, they should become an even stronger team.

The Kings are not hurting to bad from injuries at this point in the season. Right now, Sacramento is missing standout rookie, Marvin Bagley III. Bagley has averaged almost 13 points and 6 rebounds per game this season. He has been doing a solid job coming off the bench this season.

While Sacramento is missing Marvin Bagley III, the Nuggets are still hurting worse from injuries. Porter Jr., Thomas, and Vanderbilt have yet to play this season, but they could all help strengthen the depth. Barton only started two games this season, but he had a solid stat line in those two games.

Top Performers

Nikola Jokic has been off to a strong start this season for Denver. Jokic is averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Jamal Murray has averaged 18 points and 5 assists per game from the Point Guard position. Gary Harris is averaging 16 points per game this season. Paul Millsap has averaged 13.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. Juan Hernangomez and Monte Morris are both averaging 10 points per game this season.

The backcourt duo of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox have both been leading Kings this season. Hield has averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds per game. Fox is averaging 18 points and 7.5 assists per game. Willie Cauley-Stein is averaging 14 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season. Bogdan Bogdanovic has averaged 16 points per game off the bench.

Even though Harris has returned to the lineup, his production has not been quite back up to his high level. This will give Hield a chance to take advantage at the Shooting Guard position. Jokic and Cauley-Stein will play a tightly contested matchup in the paint. I expect Murray and Fox to also have a competitive matchup at Point Guard. If Bogdanovic can go off from the bench, I believe it will give the Kings the win.

Pick Overview

Sacramento has hit a bit of a rough patch recently, while the Nuggets have been building up a winning streak. I believe that both of those streaks will end on Thursday night. The Kings are at home and I believe they will be able to knock off an injured Denver team. Sacramento has some tight matchups with the Nuggets that I believe will give them a chance to take the win.

BetOnline has Denver listed as a -3 against the spread. I believe that the Kings have a chance to take the win at home. Sacramento has been dominated by the Nuggets recently and I believe the Kings can turn it around. This gives Sacramento a lot of value in Thursday night’s matchup. I am taking the Kings with the points.

My Pick
SACRAMENTO KINGS +3
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.