The Sacramento Kings host the Utah Jazz on Friday night fired up after a win on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. On the other side, the Jazz was confident against the Oklahoma City Thunder and now hopes to post its first road win in this campaign. Utah swept the Kings last year, which only gives De’Aaron Fox and the guys more motive to play the best they can. We expect to see one very interesting match between two very offensive-minded teams who emphasize the defense first and only then attack.
Utah Jazz (-230) didn’t show any mercy towards the Thunder on the opening night, beating the guests from Oklahoma City 107-86. There wasn’t too much excitement in this one, because the hosts took over the command of the match early on, winning the first period 28-17. After that, it was really just a routine for the Jazz.
We know that the Thunder is in a rebuild, but Utah’s defense did a darn good job limiting them to only 86 points. The Jazz allowed only seven three-pointers in 35 shots and 37.4% of shooting from the field. Fantastic Rudy Gobert had 21 boards and 16 points, shooting six-for-nine from the field.
The French international opened the campaign by shutting down the rivals on both ends of the floor and keeping the glass safe. Bojan Bogdanovic had 22 points, while Donovan Mitchell scored 16. Jordan Clarkson was ruthless off the bench, as usual, with 18 points. Just to mention Hassan Whiteside, who contributed with 10 boards in 19 minutes.
Sacramento Kings (+190) had a gunfight with the Trail Blazers in Portland but defeated the big rivals, 124-121. Harrison Barnes was the man in the middle, with 36 points in 37 minutes. The sharpshooting forward made eight threes in 11 attempts while securing nine rebounds as well.
De’Aaron Fox had 27 points, with 8 assists, while Richaun Holmes scored 21 buckets with 11 boards missing only one shot from the field, 9-for-10. The Kings’ center had by far the best +/- rating of 21.
What is troubling the Kings at the moment is Marvin Bagley’s status. The recent comments of his manager created a storm in Sacramento, and the situation surrounding the former No.2 draft pick needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
Head to Head Games
As said previously, the Jazz swept the Kings in all three games last season. All the losses were pretty comfortable. The first game in Salt Lake ended 128-112 for the Jazz. The next one in Sacramento was a humiliation, with Utah winning 154-105, and the third also at the Golden One Center finished with the Jazz’s easy triumph, 121-99.
The line for the total number of points is set at 225.5. For us, this is a clear Over, due to the style of play both the Jazz and the Kings prefer. There is no doubt that we’ll see the high tempo on the floor, with a run-and-gun approach, especially coming from the Kings’ side. Utah will shoot threes in high volume as they usually do, and all this should be enough for the match to close with 226 or more points.
Pick: Over 225.5 points
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.