The Detroit Pistons begin their 2019-20 campaign with a visit to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a clash with the Indiana Pacers.
Blake’s All-Star Form
The Detroit Pistons made the playoffs last season thanks mainly to the efforts of Blake Griffin who returned to All-Star form for Motor City. Traded from the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin revitalized his career in his first full season with the Pistons. Griffin averaged a career-high 24.5 points per game for Detroit last season and played 75 games, the most he’s played since 2014.
However, Griffin missed four out of the last six regular season games and missed the first two games of the playoffs with an injured left knee. Griffin underwent surgery to fix the knee during the summer and his health heading to this season is the major concern for the Pistons and their fateful.
Detroit didn’t make plenty of moves during the summer. Their biggest move was adding former MVP Derrick Rose to their lineup. While Rose had a terrific comeback last season, he doesn’t look to be a difference maker given his injury history. Detroit also signed Markieff Morris but their fate still lies in the knee of Blake Griffin.
Odds Not Yet Available
The Indiana Pacers had high hopes last season after Victor Oladipo was named as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player during the 2017-18 season. But their aspirations came crashing down when Victor Oladipo suffered a season ending knee injury in January. Without their leading scorer, the Pacers were swept in the first round of the 2019 playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Oladipo is still out of commission and the Pacers also lost Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Utah Jazz this summer. However, Indiana signed former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. McConnell to bolster their backcourt. With the frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis returning, the Pacers still have a fighting lineup.
Indiana has been booted out in the first round of the playoffs in the last four years. But this season, their first order of business would be to keep the boat afloat while Oladipo is still on the mend. If the Pacers can stay in the thick of the fight with ‘Dipo out, they will be a force in the weak Eastern Conference when he returns to action.
Detroit is 2-8 SU in their last 10 games played. The Pistons are 1-7 SU in their last 8 games played on the road and 0-7 SU in their last seven games played against the Central Division. Indiana is 1-6 SU in their last seven games played. The Pacers are 1-5 SU in their last six games played at home but 11-4 SU in their last 15 games played against Central Division teams. Head to head, the Pacers are 13-5 SU in their last 18 games played.
The only major change that Detroit made during the summer was adding Derrick Rose. Rose had a quality season the last time out but I don’t think he can be a big difference-maker for the Pistons. Detroit doesn’t have depth behind Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Reggie Jackson. Opening at a -4 points, the Pistons are the NBA betting underdogs in this matchup.
On the other hand, the Pacers lost Bogdanovic but added Malcolm Brogdon. Sure, they will be without Oladipo on opening night but Indiana still has Domanta Sabonis and Myles Turner. Brogdon, T.J. McConnell, and Jeremy Lamb provide a veteran presence, experience and plenty of production. I think the Pacers are the deeper team here and their depth is going to carry them to a home win over the Pistons.
Prediction: Indiana Pacers
Other Bets to Make
The Pistons are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games played. Detroit is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Pacers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games played. Indiana 1-5 ATS in their last six games played at home. Head to head, the Pacers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games against the Pistons. Indiana is also 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games played against Detroit.
Odds Not Yet Available
The Pacers have outscored the Pistons by 5.9 points per game in their last 10 meetings and 8 points per game in their last three meetings. The opening line here was +4 for the Pistons. I like the Pacers to win by at least six points here. Indiana has much more depth, experience, and firepower than Detroit.
The total has gone over in three out of the last four games played by the Pistons. The over is 4-2 in Detroit’s last six games played in October. The total has gone under in four out of the last six games played by the Pacers. The under is 7-1 in the last 8 Wednesday games played by Indiana. Head to head, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams. The over is 2-1 in the last three meetings played in Indiana.
Odds Not Yet Available
These teams have combined to score 207.7 points per game in their last ten meetings. 210.66 points per game in their last three games played. The Pistons were 25th in the NBA in scoring last season at 107.0 points per game and they basically have the same core this year. The Pacers were 22nd in the NBA in scoring last season at 108.0 points per game mainly because leading scorer Victor Oladipo played in just 36 games due to injury. With Oladipo still out in this game, I don’t expect the Pacers to be a high scoring team to start the year. The opening line here is 227.5 points and I expect the total go under that. Anything below 220 points would be good for me.