Lakers vs. Pistons Odds & Picks: How to Bet Based on Status of LeBron, AD

Lakers vs. Pistons Odds & Picks: How to Bet Based on Status of LeBron, AD article feature image

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers look to bounce back after their first road loss of the season with a win over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.
  • Should you back the Lakers in their second game of a back-to-back, or will the Pistons steal this one at home?
  • Joe Dellera breaks down Thursday's matchup and shares his betting pick below.

Editors note:Anthony Davis will miss Thursday's game due to a right quad contusion.

Lakers vs. Pistons Odds

Lakers Odds-10.5
Pistons Odds+10.5
Moneyline-520 / +460
Time8 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds as of Wednesday night and via FanDuel. Get up to a $1,000 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Lakers lost a heartbreaker to the 76ers in Philadelphia and travel to Detroit on Thursday to take on the Pistons in the second game of a back-to-back.

Can the Lakers take care of the hapless Pistons, or will the Pistons cover this double-digit spread?

Los Angeles Lakers

At the time of this writing, the Lakers have not listed anyone on the injury report, but considering how this season has gone, expect to see LeBron James and Anthony Davis pop up since they have been listed nearly every day. Since this is a back-to-back, be sure to check on their status using our Labs Insiders Tool.

This season, the Lakers are 3-1 ATS as a double-digit favorite, including 2-1 on the road. The Lakers are bucking the trend across the league as every team besides them is a combined 2-6 as a double-digit road favorite, per BetLabs.

The Lakers just lost their first road game of the season Wednesday to the 76ers and they should be highly motivated to come out and stop any potential skid from starting.

Not only did they lose straight up, but they also failed to cover the spread. This season, when the Lakers are off an ATS and SU loss, they are 3-1 ATS and 4-0 SU. They have yet to lose two games in a row and I don't expect it to happen against this Pistons team.

Detroit Pistons

The subject of recent trade rumors, Derrick Rose is listed as questionable for this contest with a knee injury.

The Pistons are in rough shape this season, sitting at 4-14 and just fighting to be at the top of the lottery. However, they are 9-7-1 ATS, including 9-5-1 as a dog, which is much more important to most bettors.

The Pistons are bad, but they aren't the worst team in any of the major advanced stats. In fact, they are the 21st-ranked team in Net Rating (-3.0), per NBA Advanced Stats.

The one area where they are the worst in the league? Expected wins differential.

Cleaning the Glass has the Pistons listed with -2.6 expected wins, in other words, the Pistons should have over 50% more wins than they currently do. This correlates with their ATS record. They are hanging in and playing close games, and their average spread differential of +3.4 (best in the league) demonstrates that the market has undervalued the Pistons.

Lakers-Pistons Pick

This game hinges on whether or not AD and LeBron are load-managed for the first time this season. The Lakers are significantly better than the Pistons across the board, and they own a key matchup advantage: 3-point shooting.

The Lakers are the sixth-best 3-point shooting team in the league, with a 38.5% percentage from deep. The Pistons allow 39.2% from 3-point range, the third-worst mark in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. While the Pistons shoot about league average in terms of their frequency and accuracy from 3-point range, the Lakers limit their opponents to the fourth-lowest shooting percentage from 3 (34.3%).

Dating back to last season, the Lakers are 8-4 ATS on no rest, and if Davis and James play then they should easily cover this double-digit spread in Detroit.

If Davis plays but LeBron does not, I would stay away, as the Lakers are just +2.8 points per 100 when LeBron is off the court. If LeBron plays and Davis sits, I think this is actionable if the spread moves to single digits because the Lakers are +9.6 points per 100 when AD is off the court. LeBron drives this team, so if he plays you can take a slight discount if AD sits.

One note for our Michigan bettors — FanDuel Sportsbook is running their Spread the Love Promotion that has a maximum wager of $50 to take the Pistons at +132.5 (-110). Considering this game is currently set at 10.5, +132.5 (at the time of this writing) provides significant value.

Pick: Lakers -10.5 if LeBron and AD play

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