Kings vs Warriors Game 6 Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Dubs Keep Sabonis Contained

The Golden State Warriors defense has stepped up in this series with the Sacramento Kings, who entered the postseason as the No. 1 offense in the NBA. The key has been shutting down Domantas Sabonis, and our betting picks expect him to struggle again.

Apr 28, 2023 • 17:11 ET • 4 min read
 Domantas Sabonis Sacramento Kings NBA
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The Sacramento Kings are up against it now. After running out to a commanding 2-0 series lead against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, they’ve dropped three straight to put themselves on the brink of elimination. 

With the action now returning to Chase Center for Game 6 on Friday, April 26, the Kings face their greatest challenge yet: beat the Warriors at home, where they are 35-8 on the season (including the playoffs).

The Warriors, meanwhile, will be hoping to book their ticket to the second round, awaiting the winner of the clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Our NBA picks and predictions for Game 6 of Kings vs. Warriors take a look at how Golden State has managed to consistently shut down Domantas Sabonis’ passing game.

Kings vs Warriors Game 6 best odds

Kings vs Warriors Game 6 picks and predictions

While the Splash Brothers – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – are the faces of the Golden State Warriors dynasty, the open secret about the unrivaled success of this Warriors era is that they have always been a better defensive team than an offensive one. So when faced with the No. 1 overall offense in the league as their first round opponent in the Sacramento Kings, it was the ultimate litmus test as to whether this current group of Golden State players still had it, or if the dynasty had gasped its last.

While the story is not fully written yet, what has been plain to see through five games is that the Warriors' defense is still capable of hitting a gear no other team in the NBA can touch. While the individual brilliance of Draymond Green and Kevon Looney has played a key part, it's largely been Golden State’s overall gameplan discipline that has won the day.

The plan for the Warriors was simple but effective. They aimed to shut down Domantas Sabonis’ playmaking while mostly living with man-to-man coverage against everyone else. Sabonis is the axis on which the entire Kings offense turns, and his dribble handoff game is the catalyst for their 3-point shooting. While Sabonis used his interior scoring touch to pressure opposing defenses throughout the regular season, the Warriors decided to concede whatever he could do as a scorer in order to prevent his DHO game from bearing fruit.

Golden State has played way off Sabonis from the jump, locking and trailing the shooters working off his handoffs but daring him to shoot open jumpers from the free-throw line extended. The Warriors are shading off Sabonis in such a deep drop that they can disrupt any potential passing angles. Green and/or Looney are then in position to rebound and deny the rim. 

The Kings never found a way to deal with this coverage, so in Game 5 they tried to make the Warriors pay for it by simply having Sabonis step into his jump shot aggressively. Sabonis ended up going 4-for-7 on shots outside the restricted area – solid enough, but an acceptable trade-off for Golden State, since it allows the Warriors to shut the tap off on the Kings' bread-and-butter offensive sets. In fact, for stretches of Game 5, the Kings featured Sabonis as a pick-and-roll finisher rather than an initiator at the top of the key, further limiting his opportunities to generate assists.

Even when Sabonis has had a size advantage in the post against a player like Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors prefer to let him pound the ball and shoot a floater rather than bring help. Sabonis scored on these plays relatively efficiently, but with the Warriors refusing to send help, he didn’t generate any assists.

Sabonis averaged 7.3 assists per game in the regular season, but is down to 4.4 against the Warriors. He’s had four or fewer helpers in all but one game this series. With the Warriors' defense working to perfection and the Kings' answers all leading them to look for playmaking elsewhere, I’m banking on that trend to continue in Game 6.

If you’re feeling particularly spicy, you could pair this with the Over on De’Aaron Fox’s turnover prop at 3.5 (+120). Sabonis’ inability to get his passing game going has forced Fox to shoulder much more of the playmaking load, and though Fox started off Game 5 well, he had noticeable struggles with ball control as the game went on that were likely a product of his avulsion fracture. He finished with six turnovers, by far his single-game high for the series.

My best bet: Sabonis Under 5.5 assists (+110)

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Kings vs Warriors Game 6 spread analysis

With the exception of Game 3, which the Warriors dominated wire-to-wire, all of these games have been highly competitive affairs (and all within the 7.5-point spread for Friday’s game). The momentum may feel as if it has decisively turned in Golden State’s favor, but the Kings are far from roadkill in Game 6. 

For one thing, while their role players are still largely struggling to shoot the ball, Malik Monk continues to play beautiful basketball. And after a slow start, Keegan Murray has settled into the series.

Less encouraging is the developing situation with Fox’s finger injury. While the Warriors figured out Sabonis early in the series, they have struggled to contain Fox. But Fox was frequently clutching his injured hand down the stretch of Game 5. His broken finger took a beating over the course of the game, and his touch seemed to slowly evaporate after a hot start.

The Kings have been resilient all year, including recently going 4-1 against the spread in their last five games following an ATS loss. But the Warriors are a different team at home. They’re 40-17-1 ATS in their last 58 home games.

Kings vs Warriors Game 6 Over/Under analysis

As detailed in the best bet section, the Warriors' defense has shown up in this series. The plan to limit Sabonis’ playmaking opportunities has had the desired effect on Sacramento’s overall offense. 

The Kings are only generating 35.3% of their shots from three against the Warriors, compared to 38.4% during the regular season, largely due to Sabonis being unable to effectively run his dribble handoff game. After leading the NBA in offensive rating through the regular season, their 110.5 offensive rating ranks 10th among 16 playoff teams. The Under is now 9-4-1 in Golden State’s last 14 home games.

For their part, the Kings have also done an admirable job slowing down Golden State. While Davion Mitchell deserves particular praise for his physical play against Curry, in truth, the entire Sacramento team has done nice work communicating and keeping the Warriors out of the paint. 

But the job of defending Golden State borders on the impossible if Curry and Thompson both get going at the same time. And there’s always the possibility that Game 6 Klay makes an appearance on Friday night, as he was in quite a groove on Wednesday before landing in foul trouble. 

Kings vs Warriors betting trend to know

Kings are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Kings vs. Warriors.

Kings vs Warriors Game 6 game info

Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Date: Friday, April 28, 2023
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Kings vs Warriors Game 6 key injuries

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