Detroit Pistons vs. LA Lakers Pick & Prediction
Detroit Pistons (17-21 SU, 17-20-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (22-19 SU, 17-23-1 ATS)
When: Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 – 10:30 PM ET
Where: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
TV: ESPN / FSN
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DET +1.5 / LAL -1.5 (Some bookies offering 1 or 2 over night)
Power Rankings: Los Angeles -7
Takeaways From Detroit and Los Angeles’ Most Recent Games
The Pistons are currently riding a two-game losing streak that saw Detroit drop two home games in MoTown to the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs. In both contests, the Pistons were priced as mild underdogs (+3.5 against Utah and +2.5 against San Antonio). Most recently, it was the Spurs that had their way with Detroit as they marched onto a 119-107 victory on Monday against the Pistons.
The Lakers snapped a three-game skid of their own with style when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks on the road, Monday night. Closing as a 7.5-point underdog, the Lakers would defeat the Mavs by a score of 107-97. Forward Brandon Ingram and Guard Lonzo Ball led the way for Los Angeles in the absence of the presently injured LeBron James.
How the Public is Betting the Detroit-Los Angeles Game
Presently, 67% of the betting public are spotting the points with the Lakers. In light of the aforementioned narrative, the line has yet to move as a result of this lean.
This is the first meeting of the year between the Lakers and Pistons as they have not met since March of 2018. In the last contest between these two franchises, the Pistons defeated the Lakers in Detroit by a score of 112-106 to narrowly cover as a five-point favorite.
The central plot line surrounding this game is the injury to LeBron James who will be sitting it out until mid-January thanks to a groin strain. In addition to missing The King, the Lakers will also be without veteran point guard Rajon Rondo who will be out of action until late January thanks to a finger injury.
Can Detroit Overcome Their Road Troubles?
The Pistons own a discouraging 6-11 SU road record. A huge question that has been raised is how this team will perform in an animated environment such as the Staples Center. That answer lies in the dynamic duo of Forward Blake Griffin and Center Andre Drummond. Griffin, a former Clipper is familiar with playing at this venue and he has been a weapon for the Pistons in 2018. Blakey The Kid averages 25.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per outing, and 5.2 assists per contest. He is complemented by one of the game’s best rebounders in Drummond who averages 14.9 rebounds per contest along with 17.1 points per game, 1.6 steals per contest, 1.8 blocks per match, and 1.2 assists per outing. Drummond is also a 50.7% shooter. The two are a nightmare tandem for any team to face and it is extremely disconcerting for Los Angeles who will be tasked to face them without its best player there to counter them.
Can The Lakers Keep Their Head Above Water Without LeBron?
Since The King has been injured, the Lakers have gone 3-4 SU. Nevertheless, the Lakers own a huge advantage in the shooting department as they hit an average of 47.3% of their attempts (8th in the NBA) in comparison to Detroit’s 29th ranked 43.5%. Furthermore, the Lakers average 112.2 points per game (10th in the league) which five points more per outing compared to Detroit’s 24th ranked 107.2 points per contest.
The Pistons have won four of the last five meetings between these two sides and have produced a matching 4-1 ATS record over this span. However, Detroit has been a liability when the game has taken place in Los Angeles as they are 1-7 ATS in their previous eight contests in the City of Angels. The Pistons may find refuge from this trend in the notion that the Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their previous five home games.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Detroit +102
Given the fact the Pistons are priced lower than they have been in their previous two games where they lost by considerable margins (5 and then 12 most recently), there is reason to suspect the market perceives an upset brewing in Los Angeles despite Detroit having a poor road record. This can be chalked up to the potential mismatch of a LeBron James-less Lakers against the front court of Griffin and Drummond. In addition to this possibility, the Lakers are the worse team in the league in both shooting and defending free throws, averaging a free throw percentage of 68.6% while opponents hit 79.5% of their attempts. In a game that is forecasted to be settled by a mere bucket, this is a huge angle for Detroit to exploit. We trust that they will and will get the job done in Los Angeles.