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Kings/Pacers Parlay Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
NBA Parlay Picks of the Day

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers
Wednesday, April 5, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis

Missing De’Aaron Fox

Sacramento misses starting point guard De’Aaron Fox, who remains out due to COVID.

Fox was by far the team’s leading scorer. He averages 25.2 points per game.

One aspect in which Fox excels is scoring in transition.

He is known for his speed with the ball, his ability to race down the court in order to rapidly convert scoring opportunities.

Without him, the Kings offer less in transition, which, throughout the season, had formed a relatively strong part of its offense.

Fox’s absence has kept Sacramento from reaching its scoring average in any of its past five games, that is, since April 25, which is when Fox’s absence began.

Buddy Hield

Without Fox to help the offense score, teammate Buddy Hield acquires greater responsibility.

Hield is characteristically a high-volume three-point shooter. He averages over five three-point attempts per game more than any other active King teammate.

But Indiana is absolutely the wrong team for Hield to succeed against.

Throughout the season, the Pacer perimeter defense has been extremely attentive, doing a great job of limiting opposing three-pointers made.

Center Myles Turner has received too much credit for the success of Indiana’s perimeter defense.

The Pacer shot-blocker encourages his teammates to guard the perimeter more closely because he is confident in his ability to clean up any messes at the basket.

But even since his prolonged absence began on April 19, the Pacers have been the best team at limitng opposing open three-point attempts and the third-best team at limiting opposing wide-open three-point attempts.

So not only will Fox be absent for the Kings. But Sacramento’s second-leading scorer, too, will struggle.

Bounce-Back Spot

It might seem tempting to want to go against Indiana’s defense after the Wizards just accrued an absurd 154 points against this team.

But you should not be misguided by recency bias.

After awful defensive efforts, the Pacer defense tends to bounce back in the following game especially against less capable offenses.

For example, after giving up 132 points to Washington on March 29, the Pacers gave up 92 points in the following game against the Heat.

There are other and more recent examples of Indiana’s defense bouncing back.

High Total

The tendency of the Fox-less Kings to fail to reach their scoring average is crucial when you consider how high the over/under is in Sacramento games. The NBA odds account for Sacramento’s season-long stats, but not the stats produced by the recently Fox-less Kings.

Their over/under will often exceed 230 and sometimes reach 240. If the Kings are struggling to reach even 110 points, then there is a ton of onus on the opposing offense in order to help the total “over.”

Because of Sacramento’s scoring struggles, the “under” is 4-1 in King games without Fox.

Key Trend & Pacer Offense

The following key trend guides my take on tonight’s best spread bet and on Indiana’s offense.

Indiana is suffering an 0-13 ATS losing streak in its first home game after a road trip.

The Pacers already struggle to cover at home — on the season, they are 8-22 ATS at home.

But this trend puts Indiana’s home struggles in perspective because the Pacers cover at basically a 50-percent rate when they are not playing their first home game after being on the road.

In this specific situation, the Pacer offense tends to lay clunkers, like failing to reach its scoring average against Portland’s low-ranked defense, failing to reach 100 points against San Antonio, and the list continues.

It doesn’t help that Malcolm Brogdon is listed as ‘questionable’ and might be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury.

Brogdon is a crucial part of the Pacer offense. He leads the team in scoring with his individual scoring abilities. He’s dangerous off the bounce and is an efficient three-point shooter.

Without him in the lineup or without Brogdon at 100%, the Pacer offense that is already in a terrible situation is even worse off.

Parlay Verdict

Sacramento’s offense will be limited by the absence of its leading scorer and the struggles of its second-leading scorer.

Indiana’s offense, too, though, will also struggle since it returns home from a road trip. In this particular spot, the Pacers are suffering a massive ATS losing streak.

For the above reasons, take the underdog and the “under.”

Best Bet: Kings ATS & Under