We begin in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will be without LeBron James as they host the Sacramento Kings, but it’s a big man on the other side we’re eyeing.
Kings Center Willie Cauley-Stein
Over 13.5 Points (-125 @ Betonline)
Cauley-Stein’s scoring has been down slightly of late – he’s eclipsed this number in just four of his last eight games – but he’ll have plenty of opportunities tonight.
Expect a blistering pace as his 18-16 Kings host the 20-14 LA Lakers:
- Sacramento ranks second in the league in possessions per game and fifth in points per game with 115.2.
- The Lakers are nearly as quick on the pace, totaling the fifth-most possessions per game and the ninth-most points.
The Kings center is averaging 13.9 points per game, and his task is a little easier tonight. Not only are the Lakers LeBron-less, but they’ll again without starting center JaVale McGee.
A better matchup with Ivica Zubac should help increase efficiency, and the pace will provide plenty of volume for Cauley-Stein.
Bucks SF/SG Khris Middleton
Over 17 Points (-114 @ Betonline)
This line is likely being weighted down by a brutal performance by Middleton when these two teams met on Christmas Day.
- Middleton went 2 for 12 from the field for a .167 shooting percentage — his lowest of the season.
- He went 1 for 7 from beyond the arc, a .143 shooting percentage that was also his worst of the year.
It’s highly unlikely that Middleton is that bad again. Betting on a bounce back in a rematch against a Knicks team allowing the fourth-most points per game looks like solid value.
New York has allowed 20-plus points to opposing SF/SGs in three of it’s last five games, and it’s a matchup we know Middleton can take advantage of — he had his best scoring game of the season when he put up 30 on the Knicks early in the season.