Friday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Nets vs. Pistons Betting Preview
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- Nets vs. Pistons odds have held steady since coming out on Thursday night, but the total has dipped 1-1.5 points depending on the sportsbook.
- Detroit has been as bad as expected to start the year, shooting an unfathomable 39.5% from the field. Brooklyn hasn't quite lived up to expectations but is starting to round into form.
- See how Matt Moore is betting Nets-Pistons below.
Nets at Pistons Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Brooklyn Nets look to have settled down while the Detroit Pistons look, well, on their way to drafting a top-level talent to pair with No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. The Nets have won three in a row to calm the waters and Pistons have dropped three straight all by double-digits.
Totals have been a wild ride this season, with the books moving numbers down because of the under trend — and unders are still cashing wildly. In related news, the Pistons are shooting 39.5% from the field as a team. Will this be the game they finally, completely unexpectedly shoot well from the field despite all indications?
Is there any way the Nets lose this game? (Well, yes, this is the NBA.) Let’s find out.
Brooklyn Winning Without a High Octane Offense
Nic Claxton (illness) and Kyrie Irving (/gestures broadly) are both still out for this game.
Here’s a fun twist: the Nets are better in Defensive Rating (eighth) than Offensive Rating (19th).
The Nets are running a switch-heavy defense in pick and roll, and just bogging opponents into dirt. LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin are both holding opponents under 0.9 points per possession on switches, which is phenomenal.
Can they hold that up over a full season? Probably not. Can they hold that up against the Pistons? Absolutely.
Meanwhile, the offense has been strangely stagnant: Griffin has a 31.8% eFG (league average is .516), James Harden is shooting 39% from the field and averaging fewer than five free throws per game.
The Nets are dead last in points in the paint while being the No. 1 team shooting jump shots in a season where no one can hit jumpers.
Their formula offensively is pretty simple: Kevin Durant is spectacular, Harden, Patty Mills, and Joe Harris hit some 3s and the defense bogs things down things enough with its scheme for Brooklyn’s talent to win out.
It’s uninspiring, but it gets the job done. And honestly, against the Pistons, that’s probably good enough.
Early Offensive Struggles Hurting Pistons
Whew, boy, where to start here.
Well, how about this: the Pistons currently through their eight games have the worst field goal percentage since 1974. They have the 12th-worst Offensive Rating since the metric’s necessary stats started being tracked. Their Offensive Rating is comparable to the 2015 Process Sixers and the seven-wins-in-a-lockout-season 2012 Charlotte Bobcats.
Cunningham, through three games, is shooting … ahem … 17.9% from the field and 4.8% from 3. He’s 1-for-21 in total from 3-point range as he works his way back from an ankle injury.
This is absolutely nothing to worry about longterm for the No. 1 pick, a lot of rookies struggle shooting and he’s got very little help. It does, however, show how completely God-awful this Pistons team is offensively.
The stat sheet for the Pistons is a horror show:
- Killian Hayes: 31% from the field
- Veteran “star” Jerami Grant: 41% from the field, 31.6% from 3-point range, 2.3 turnovers per game
- Saddiq Bey: 38.9% from the field, 27.7% on 3s
On and on.
What’s killer is that the Pistons’ actual shot profile is pretty good. Their expected eFG% is actually 12th-best in the league. They have the widest distance between their expected and actual eFG% in the NBA by a wide gap.
That will probably regress. It’s simply not likely that a team in the modern era will be this profoundly bad at the most basic element of basketball: putting the ball through the little orange thing with the net.
The question is whether you want to try and bet on regression happening here or bet into the current unsustainable trend before it starts to turn.
The Nets are 4-3 as a favorite this season, and this line reflects a decent but not huge gap between the two teams. However, there is a considerable gap between the two teams.
The essential formula here is that Brooklyn’s offensive floor against a mediocre defensive team (Detroit is 18th in adjusted defensive rating) is high enough to clear the spread, provided that the Pistons don’t suddenly break out of what has been an incredibly bad offense.
Detroit’s second-best offensive rating for a game came Thursday night vs. the Sixers. The Pistons are on a back-to-back and their third in game in four nights here. The rest situation is always baked into the line, but under bets are 22-14 (61%) on the season for teams on a back-to-back.
That’s actually worse than the overall unders performance this season (64%) but also indicates that the line adjustment for rest isn’t moving this towards equilibrium.
You can make the argument that this is a buy-low spot for the Pistons offense. The Nets defense shouldn’t be as good as it has been, no offense should be as bad as the Pistons’ offense has been.
It’s also tough to just play the under because the Nets could just go off for 120 in this game and take care of the total themselves. Detroit’s defense hasn’t been awful, but on the back-to-back, the Pistons may lose the rope against an elite team in Brooklyn.
It seems likely that there will be some movement on the over given how low of a total this is. In the first matchup between these two teams, Brooklyn put up 117 and the under still hit with the Pistons only scoring 91.
I wanted to look for a spot to play the Pistons’ team total under, but it’s all the way down at 101. If there’s movement on the total but not the spread, that number might go up; I’d consider playing the under if it gets to 103.
Ultimately, I’m going to keep it simple. Brooklyn outclasses Detroit in a bad rest spot.
Pick: Nets -10
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