Sacramento Kings Are Good Underdog Bet

By Lucas M.

There’s no doubt about it: the Sacramento Kings are one of the worst teams in the NBA. One of their latest embarrassing losses came against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, when the Kings lost 98-91 in OT and their best (but most volatile) player, DeMarcus Cousins, was ejected before the second half even began.However, the Kings were nine-point underdogs, and easily covered.

“When DeMarcus went out, that was huge for us because he was active, he was really active early on,” said the Utah Jazz’s Randy Foye. “But it just made my job a lot harder with Tyreke Evans because every play he was coming right at me. They did a good job of getting him the ball in areas where he could be effective.”

Cousins is one of the most frustrating and enigmatic players in the league. He’s averaging 17.2 points per game and ten rebounds, but he also leads the league with 12 technical fouls, and frequently finds himself in heated altercations with other teams (and even his own coach).

“I think there was conversation on both sides and the referee got to the point where he didn’t want to hear any more,” Kings coach Keith Smart said. “The part where it is halftime and you’re walking toward them, you will probably always get in trouble doing that.”

The Kings are NBA basement-dwellers in every sense of the term. Their roster is as poorly constructed a mish-mash of players that you’re ever likely to see in the NBA. They have a slew of shoot-first wing players like Tyreke Evans and Isiah Thomas Jr., Cousins showing equal flashes of frustration and brilliance in the paint, and a promising rookie, forward Thomas Robinson, completely lost in the shuffle. Jimmer Fredette is even on this team. It’s an awful mix of personnel, and the Kings’ poor 17-33 record reflects that. To make matters worse for the Kings’ fan base, it’s looking increasingly likely that the team will be sold to a Seattle group who plans to relocate them to the Pacific Northwest and rebrand them as the now-defunct Seattle Sonics. It’s a shame, too; the Kings have one of the most passionate fan bases in the league, and Sacramento is trying their hardest to get the team out from under the incompetent ownership of the Maloof family.

“Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a top-20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history,” Sacramentio Mayer (and former NBA All-Star point guard) Kevin Johnson said. “When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL.”

If the team is sold to Seattle, you can expect an instantaneous fire sale on Kings players in the trade market. Cousins and Evans, in particular, make for intriguing trade chips for veteran teams looking to add superstar-caliber talent while simultaneously rehabbing their careers. The Kings are 19-30-1 against the spread this season, so capitalize on one of the league’s most inept teams while you can by betting on them as underdogs.