Hornets vs Kings Prediction & Picks (Dec. 19): Will Sabonis, Sacramento hammer the hapless Hornets at home?
The late game on tonight’s NBA schedule sees the surprising Sacramento Kings look to win their third straight game in a row against LaMelo Ball and the struggling Charlotte Hornets.
Entering today’s NBA slate, the Kings (16-12, 8-4 home) are fifth in the Western Conference, just 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, who sit atop the West with a 19-10 record.
Sacramento will be looking for a happy homecoming after wrapping up a six-game road swing on Friday with a win over the Detroit Pistons.
The last time Sacramento was over .500 through 28 games was the 2018-19 season, so this is no small feat.
The Pistons have the second-worst record in the NBA, while the worst record belongs to the Hornets (7-23, 3-12 away). Charlotte will be aiming to end an eight-game losing streak tonight after being on the receiving end of Nikola Jokic’s 40-point, 27-rebound, 10-assist triple-double last night in Denver.
Will Sacramento add to Charlotte’s dreadful December? Read on for our Hornets vs Kings prediction, as well as our Charlotte vs Sacramento betting picks and analysis.
Charlotte Hornets vs Sacramento Kings Odds
- Charlotte Hornets +10 (-112)
- Sacramento Kings -10 (-108)
- Over 241 (-110)
- Under 241 (-110)
- Charlotte Hornets +350
- Sacramento Kings -460
Can Charlotte Keep It Close in Sacramento?
While there isn’t a lot going right for the Hornets right now, they aren’t getting blown out night in, night out.
Against the Nuggets, they trailed by 14 entering the fourth quarter, but they rallied to make it a one-possession game on multiple occasions down the stretch.
And even though they are on a back-to-back, early results this season are skewed positively towards the Hornets covering tonight.
This will be the fifth time this season that they have played on consecutive days, and while they have won just one of those games.
- lost at Orlando (10/28), won at home vs Golden State
- L at Memphis (11/4), L by four at home versus Brooklyn
- L versus Portland at home (11/9), L at Miami by five in overtime
- W versus Washington at home (12/2), L by nine to Milwaukee at home
All of those games were without LaMelo Ball, who played in just his sixth game of the season last night. And it was his best performance of the season, as he went for a season-high 31 points (10-21 FG, 4-9 3PT, 7-7 FT) and added five rebounds and five assists.
Will Sabonis’s Stellar Stretch Continue Against the Hornets?
It’s still way too early to make any proclamations that the Kings will finally break their long playoff drought this season.
But after starting the season 0-4, Sacramento has gone 16-8 to make a major move in the Western Conference standings.
A big reason for their success, both in terms of physical size and his impact, is Domantas Sabonis. Trades don’t always work out for both teams, but just as landing Tyrese Haliburton has worked out well for the Indiana Pacers, landing Sabonis has worked out well for the Kings.
Sabonis has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in each of the last four games, and he is averaging 20.3 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 6.5 RPG in eight games this month. In Friday’s 122-113 win over the Pistons, he had 23 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists.
When these two teams met in Charlotte on Halloween, Sabonis scored a season-low nine points, but he had 16 rebounds and seven assists to help Sacramento pick up a 115-108 win.
Charlotte Hornets vs Sacramento Kings Prediction and Picks
Hornets vs Kings Prediction: Kings to win
Hornets vs Kings Picks: Hornets to cover
Among the sources we use for our NBA consensus picks, only one is backing the Kings to cover. And as much as I love to be a contrarian sometimes, I like the Hornets to match their previous efforts with no rest.
Among our recommended sports betting sites, BetMGM has the best available value on backing the Hornets to cover. If you can grab it at +10.5, then don’t hesitate, but I like this bet even at +10 or +9.5.
Charlotte Hornets vs Sacramento Kings Player Props
Pick #1: LaMelo Ball over 3.5 made threes (Best Value: -110 at BetMGM)
The sample size is small given how few games he has played this season, but LaMelo has drained at least four threes in five of the six games he has played this season, including all three since he returned to action last Wednesday.
- vs Detroit (12/14): 5-13 3PT
- vs Atlanta (12/16): 7-13 3PT
- at Denver (12/18): 4-9 3PT
As mentioned above, Sabonis had 16 rebounds and seven assists in the first meeting between the Hornets and Kings.
If this game is competitive throughout, which I expect it to be, that increases the probability that this bet hits.
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Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.