The Denver Nuggets will travel east to take on the Detroit Pistons in what is expected to be a lopsided affair between two NBA teams who have opposite goals at this point in the season. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series with a Nuggets – Pistons prediction and pick.
Unlike the Nuggets, who are fighting to earn a championship, the Pistons only remain optimistic due to a chance that a ping pong ball may fall in their favor during the upcoming NBA Lottery.
With a win from the away side tonight, the Nuggets would earn the season sweep and have a chance at becoming the third seed in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Pistons are only playing for pride at this point as they are officially listed out of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Nuggets-Pistons odds.
NBA Odds: Nuggets-Pistons Odds
Denver Nuggets -8.5 (-112)
Detroit Pistons +8.5 (-108)
Over 216.5 Points (-108)
Under 216.5 Points (-112)
Why the Pistons could cover the Spread
Despite the Detroit Pistons being so poor with a 20-50 record, they are a decent team when it comes to covering the spread. Dwane Casey and his men are 35-33-2 this season against the spread. In fact, they are even greater ATS when examining just their home games, covering 54.5% of the time.
However, if the Pistons are to continue their success covering the spread against one of the heavy hitters in the league, they will need to improve their ability to find open looks significantly. According to cleaningtheglass.com, Detroit is in the bottom-fifth of the league in effective field goal percentage with a rating of 51.9%.
Since the Pistons were officially deemed lottery-bound, they have only been playing their younger players. Jerami Grant has played in just three of the last ten games.
This is a common trend with many of the other veterans on the team. Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, and Wayne Ellington are also not earning as much playing time as late.
With that said, the key for the Detroit Pistons to cover the spread is for Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey to catch fire from the field.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
The Denver Nuggets are one of the hottest teams in basketball. Since the All-Star break, they have the best record in the league at 25-9 and have shown that they are still legit contenders, despite Jamal Murray’s season-ending injury. They have been equally solid ATS during that same time span with a 19-15 record.
Despite the NBA regular season having just three days remaining, there are still many postseason implications on the line for the Nuggets. They are just one game behind the Los Angelos Clippers for the No. 3 seed in the West. Meaning, unlike the Pistons if they have their players ready to go, they will be in the lineup.
The @sixers can clinch the East’s #1 seed with a win tonight!
— NBA (@NBA) May 14, 2021
The biggest advantage for Mike Malone’s men as they prepare to take on the Detroit Pistons is none other than the Nikola Jokic. The front-runner for MVP nearly put up a triple-double in the first matchup against Detroit on 81% shooting.
Expect the Nuggets to run the offense through Jokic as they have all season and allow him to dictate the game’s pace. If the big man is feeling it, this one could get ugly.
Final Nuggets-Pistons Prediction & Pick
The Nuggets have one of the best players in basketball and are still highly motivated to close the regular season strong. The same cannot be said for the Detroit Pistons.
For those reasons, the Nuggets should cover the spread and continue their battle.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR NUGGETS-PISTONS: DEN 119, DET 108 (DEN -8.5)