Detroit Pistons (13-9) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (17-9)
NBA Basketball: Friday, December 7 2018 7:00 PM EST (Little Caesars Arena)
Line: DET +2
FREE NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons
The Philadelphia 76ers travel to Detroit this Friday night to take on the Detroit Pistons in Eastern Conference action. The 76ers saw their 4-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night in Toronto, falling to the Raptors 113-102. The Pistons are looking to rekindle their winning streak after dropping their last two games to the Thunder and Bucks.
The Pistons seemed to be catching their groove with a 5-game winning streak going 7-3 over a ten-game stretch. Two of those wins came against playoff teams: the Raptors, Rockets, and Warriors. The rest of those wins, and many of the Pistons’ wins this season, come against the bottom of the league. The last two games have seen the Pistons suffer against top competition, getting blown out by the Thunder and the Bucks, 110-83 and 115-92, respectively. The Pistons weren’t just going up against 2 of the teams, but the #1 and #6 defense in the NBA per defensive rating. The Pistons offense struggled mightily over those last 2 games, with Andre Drummond scoring just 23 points on 10-24 shooting to go with only 14 rebounds. Those stats are a far-cry from his 18-15 averages so far. His prognosis doesn’t look good for tonight either, as Drummond has struggled mightily against Sixers center Joel Embiid so far this year. In the two games they have played this year, Drummond has shot 9-28 for 22 points including a ghastly 6-20 in their first game in October. The Pistons have been averaging 109 points a game, good for 17th in the NBA but they averaged just 87 points over their last 2 games. While Drummond has struggled, Blake Griffin is still playing at a very high level, averaging 25 points and 9 rebounds on the year. His also shooting a career best from downtown at 36% (discounting the 14-15 season when he shot 40% on just 25 attempts). The Pistons will need Drummond to perform at a high level tonight to match Griffin’s effort if they want to have any chance.
The Sixers have developed into a even more of a force in the East. After starting the season off slowly, the Sixers are 8-2 in their last 10 games. They are scoring 113 points a game, good for 8th in the NBA and putting up solid shooting from the field but still lack spacing shooting the 3-ball. Their only reliable outside shooters are J.J. Reddick and at times, rookie Landry Shamat. Joel Embiid fancies himself an outside shooter, but is hitting just 29% from downtown while taking 4 a game. Opponents still respect his outside shot however, as Embiid was able to go by Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas with shot fakes in their game against the Raptors on Wednesday. Jimmy Butler is having his best career year from downtown, shooting 47% ever since he joined the Sixers and is 42% on the year. While I doubt we will still see this type of outside shooting from Butler over the course of the year, it is a much-welcome addition to a team that desperately needs spacing. He is meshing with teammates nicely, as the lineup of Butler, Reddick, Wilson Chandler, Embiid and Ben Simmons is putting up a +15.2 net rating in their 122 minutes together, 6th best in the league for lineups that have 100+ minutes together.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Detroit is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
Detroit is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit’s last 5 games
Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games
Philadelphia is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games on the road
Philadelphia is 4-11 SU in its last 15 games on the road
FREE NBA Prediction: Detroit Pistons vs. Philadelphia 76ers
I expect the Pistons to play the 76ers closer in this match-up than they have over their last 2 games. Even though the 76ers have had mighty away struggles, I see them being able to cover in this game. Drummond has struggled against Embiid and without him, the Pistons will have a harder time scoring.
Pick: PHI -2.5