Nets vs. Pistons NBA Odds & Picks: Another Brooklyn Over a Strong Possibility
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Harris and James Harden.
- The Brooklyn Nets are heavy favorites on Tuesday night against the cellar-dwelling Detroit Pistons.
- After trading Derrick Rose, the Pistons are in full "lottery watch" mode for the rest of the season.
- Despite the mismatch, the play isn't the line here, it's the total.
Nets vs. Pistons Odds
|Moneyline||-350 / +280|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Not much has gone right for the Detroit Pistons this year as their 5-18 record is the worst in the NBA. Their performance against teams above .500, however, has actually been impressive.
Per our BetLabs data, Detroit has covered the spread in nine of its 14 games against winning teams.
The Nets (14-11 this season) currently sit third in the East standings and oddsmakers across the market have them listed as the favorites to win the conference.
The talent disparity between these teams should point to an easy game for the Nets, but they’ve shown a tendency to become complacent and either lose these games or allow underdogs to stay closer than they should.
Their inconsistency against lesser opponents makes the spread too risky, so let’s look at the total and see if we can find an angle with value.
Brooklyn’s all-out offensive attack has hit a bump in the road as the Nets have won just one of their last three games. Their 112.5 points per game on 46.4% shooting fell dramatically from their 126 points on 51.5% shooting average.
The major cause for the fall-off in play has been the absence of Kevin Durant. Due to health and safety protocols, Durant will be forced to sit out again on Tuesday. Missing Durant forces the Nets to replace his outrageous 29.5 points per game on an efficient 52.9% shooting.
Fortunately, of all teams forced to replace scoring, the Nets are best equipped to do so.
Getting Kyrie Irving back from a sprained index finger will be the first step to regaining that elite offensive production. Since his personal leave from the team, Irving is averaging 27.8 points per game on 55.7% shooting. This run included his best game of the year against the Clippers where his 39 points led Brooklyn to a four-point victory.
Of course, the Nets are not forced to only rely on Irving without Durant thanks to the presence of James Harden. Since moving to Brooklyn, Harden’s role transitioned to more of a true point guard instead of a ball-dominant scorer. Playing more as a facilitator, Harden’s 11.8 assists per game is the best of his career.
While their best player will sit, the offense for Brooklyn should have no problem chugging along thanks to Irving and Harden.
Check out our free NBA odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game. Subscribe to our NBA Insiders tool at Action Labs to beat the market with our cutting edge player projections, injury news and betting thresholds.
With the season quickly getting away from them, Detroit traded away its second-leading scorer in Derrick Rose. One major reason for the move was the inefficiency behind Rose’s scoring production. His 14.2 points per game came on just a 42.9% field goal percentage.
Rose’s departure opens even more opportunities for the improving game of Jerami Grant. Among the four teams he’s played for in his career, none elected to rely on his scoring ability the way the Pistons have this season. Fortunately, putting the ball in his hands has paid off. Grant currently averages 24.0 points per game, far above his previous high of 13.6.
While Grant leads the team, their highest-paid player Blake Griffin fell into an incurable funk. In his past 35 games with the Pistons, Griffin is averaging a mere 13.9 points per game and 5.0 rebounds. The worst part is his scoring came on a disastrous 35.7% field goal percentage.
The good news for the Pistons’ offense is the atrocious play of the Brooklyn defense. The Nets’ 113.7 Defensive Rating ranks 27th in the NBA this season.
Not even playing dreadful offensive teams helped, as the Cavs and Thunder both scored more than 120 points against Brooklyn. If the recent trends continue, even the Pistons’ troubled offense will find ways to score.
The Pistons’ struggles have them looking forward to the lottery despite being just one-third through the season. However, being underestimated helped Detroit secure four of its wins against teams over .500.
Scoring has been the major issue for the Pistons, as their 107.3 Offensive Rating ranks 26th, per Basketball-Reference. Luckily, the one cure for all troubled offenses is a matchup against the Nets.
For Brooklyn, missing one of the three best players in the NBA sets any team back. Against Philly on Saturday, the Nets also missed Irving and had one of their worst games since December.
The return of Irving paired with Harden should be more than enough for the Nets to have their way with the Pistons’ defense. The area Irving and Harden will not be able to recreate Durant’s influence is the defensive side of the court.
Having a shaky defense and being without their best defender gives me little reason to believe the Nets’ defense will show any competence. Pairing a shaky defense with a 10-point sprint is too risky for my blood.
However, the Nets’ terrible defense and prolific offense have led the Nets over to hit in 17 of their last 19 games. I am going to continue to ride that wave and take the over on Tuesday night.
Pick: Over 232.5 up to 235.5