Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
Line: Golden State -7
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
When: Thursday, 4/28 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Some Sacramento fans had started making plans for the second round of the playoffs after the Kings took a 2-0 lead over the Warriors to open the series, but they are now simply hoping to survive on Friday night.
The Kings have lost three straight games heading into Game 6, putting them at +600 to win the series at DraftKings. Golden State is a -900 favorite in the series and has the second-shortest odds to win the Western Conference at +270.
Oddsmakers opened Golden State as a 7.5-point favorite to close out the series on Friday, but the early betting action moved the line down to -7. The total remains at the opening number of 235 points.
Steph Curry has taken over in the playoffs yet again, scoring 30-plus points in each of the last three wins for Golden State. He paced the team with 31 points in a critical road win on Wednesday night, as the Warriors won a road game for an NBA-record 28th consecutive playoff series.
“The experience that they’ve had over the last decade playing in a lot of big games, it’s definitely helpful,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought they did a great job tonight of staying poised down the stretch when Sacramento made their run and really made some big plays in the last five minutes to seal it.”
Draymond Green scored 21 points and dished out seven assists in his first game back in Sacramento since being ejected and later suspended for stepping on Domantas Sabonis’ chest in Game 2. It was his highest-scoring game in more than five years.
The Warriors struggled away from home throughout the season, winning just 11 road games and losing their first two in Sacramento. They have been outstanding at home, going 35-8 straight up and 28-14-1 against the spread.
“This is a different team than what we had all year,” Kerr said. “What happened in November and December and January on the road has nothing to do with right now. This is the team we’re looking at, is a team that won a championship last year and won a ton of road playoff games.”
Sacramento star De’Aaron Fox started Game 5 despite breaking the tip of his index finger on his shooting hand late in Game 4. He helped the Kings build a 10-point lead in the first quarter when he made all three of his 3-pointers before ultimately finishing with 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, shooting 9 of 25 from the floor.
Sabonis posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting guard Malik Monk had 21 points and five rebounds off the bench. Monk went down briefly with what appeared to be a left knee injury on Wednesday, but he returned to finish the game.
The Kings are winless in their last eight games at Golden State and have only won three of the last 14 meetings overall. They have covered the spread in three of the five games in this series, though. Golden State is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 Friday home games.
Sacramento has gone ‘under’ in four of its last five road games and 27 of its 43 road games overall this season. Golden State has gone ‘over’ in four of its last six games and is 24-18-1 in favor of the ‘under’ at home this year.
The pick: Kings +7
I’m going to stubbornly go down with the Sacramento ship here, as I’ve felt the Kings were undervalued from the beginning of the series. They have been disappointing over the last three games, though they have still been profitable overall by covering three out of five games. Their road record has been sparking this year as well, covering at a 28-15 clip away from home. Sacramento’s self-inflicted wounds were the story on Wednesday, as they gave the ball away 19 times. Golden State’s championship pedigree will attract plenty of bets from the public on Friday night, creating value on the scrappy Kings.