Detroit Pistons (5-10) at Milwaukee Bucks (12-3)
NBA: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 at 8:30 pm ET (Fiserv Forum)
Line and Odds: Milwaukee Bucks -12 Over/Under: 228
Free ESPN NBA Picks Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are hoping that the return of star forward Blake Griffin will help turn around their season. Blake Griffin has only played in 4 games this year because of injuries to his hamstring and knee. In his last outing, Griffin put up 24 points in 33 minutes played. It was his most efficient game since his return and contributed to a 128-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks. It was a much-needed victory that ended a 5-game losing streak for the Pistons.
Detroit scored 76 points in the first half against the Hawks, their highest first-half scoring mark since 1983. This scoring barrage was spurred by a 20-0 run in the first quarter. The Pistons hit the century-mark with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter (up 100-72). Detroit shot 59.8% from the field and went 17/34 (50.0%) from three-point range. Andre Drummond, Detroit’s most consistent player, contributed 23 points and 15 rebounds. Drummond has been stuffing the stat sheet all season, averaging 18.9 points and 16.7 rebounds per game. He leads the NBA in total rebound percentage (28.3%).
While they put on a strong performance against the Hawks, the Pistons have been disappointing this season. Detroit is just 5-10 on the year, 7 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Central Division. The Pistons have especially struggled on the road. They have gone 4-3 at home, but 1-7 on the road. It’s difficult to see that trend discontinuing against the Milwaukee Bucks today, even with the addition of Blake Griffin.
The Pistons rank 20th in net rating, getting outscored by 2.8 points per 100 possessions. They rank 13th in offensive rating, averaging 108.8 points per 100 possessions. Detroit shoots for an effective field goal percentage of 54.3%, ranking 5th in eFG%. The thing that stops the Pistons from having an elite offense is their inability to take care of the basketball. They rank 29th in turnover percentage and that limits the opportunities for them to have productive possessions. Detroit ranks 20th in defensive rating, allowing 111.6 points per 100 possessions. The Pistons rank 22nd in effective field goal defense, allowing teams to shoot for an eFG% of 54.0%. They are 26th in 3-point defense, allowing teams to shoot 37.7% from 3.
If it’s at all possible, it looks like the Milwaukee Bucks are becoming even scarier. The reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed into a more dangerous assistman. Giannis racked up a total of 15 assists in Milwaukee’s 137-129 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. This was Antetokounmpo’s career-high assist total, that combined with his 24 points and 19 rebounds to make an impressive triple-double. Giannis wasn’t even Milwaukee’s leading scorer against Portland. That honor went to guard Eric Bledsoe, who scored 30 points to go along with 6 assists. SG Pat Connaughton chipped in an efficient 18 points on 10 shot attempts off the bench. This game proved that they were able to produce offensively, even though Khris Middleton is out with a thigh injury.
Despite all of the hype surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks were the preseason favorites to win the Eastern Conference. They were projected to win 57 games according to the oddsmakers’ win total over/under. This Bucks team is playing as well as the experts predicted they would. The Bucks have won 6 straight games and 10 of their last 11. They have a record of 12-3 on the year which is the best mark in the entire Eastern Conference. The only team in the NBA with a better record is the 13-2 Los Angeles Lakers. The most impressive part of their great start has been how many road games they’ve had to play. Of their 15 games this season, 10 of them have been on the road. Milwaukee is 4-1 at home and 8-2 on the road, so their level of play doesn’t dip away from the Fiserv Forum.
The Milwaukee Bucks rank 3rd in overall net rating, outscoring opponents by 8.6 points per 100 possessions. Milwaukee ranks 3rd in offensive rating, averaging 112.3 points per 100 possessions. They also rank 3rd in effective field goal percentage, shooting for an eFG% of 55.1%. However, they struggle to rebound on the offensive end. Milwaukee ranks 25th in offensive rebound percentage. The Bucks rank 8th in defensive rating, allowing 103.7 points per 100 possessions. They rank 5th in effective field goal defense, forcing teams to shoot for an eFG% of 49.4%. Milwaukee ranks 2nd in defensive rebound percentage, grabbing 81.0% of the defensive rebounds available to them.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Detroit is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games against Milwaukee.
Detroit is 0-8 SU in their last 8 games against Milwaukee.
Detroit is 3-10-2 ATS in their last 15 games when playing as the underdog.
Milwaukee is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee’s last 9 games.
Milwaukee is 8-0 SU in their last 8 games when playing at home against Detroit.
ESPN NBA Scores Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
I’m taking the Milwaukee Bucks -12 in this matchup. I’m never crazy about swallowing this many points, but I think there is some value in Milwaukee here. The Pistons defense simply does not have the ability to slow down Milwaukee’s offense. Even with Andre Drummond in the middle of the Detroit defense, the Bucks are going to be able to get whatever they want inside. The Bucks rank #1 in 2-point shooting percentage, while Detroit ranks 17th in 2-point defense. Also, the Bucks love to spread the floor and shoot 3’s. Detroit ranks 26th in 3-point percentage defense. With Giannis playing the role of playmaker better than any other point in his career, the Bucks’ shooters will be wide open on the wings and in the corners. Detroit may be able to hit some shots on the Bucks, but they won’t have many opportunities to do so. The Pistons turn the ball over on 15.8% of their offensive plays. Milwaukee ranks 2nd in defensive rebound percentage, so Detroit won’t have the opportunity to get offensive rebounds. This is just a bad matchup for the Pistons. Take Milwaukee and give the points.