Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick – 29109

Detroit Pistons (26-9) +3, o/u 181 at San Antonio Spurs (23-10), 8 pm Eastern Thursday, TNT
by Zman of

Two of pro basketball’s true powers clash when the Detroit Pistons hit Alamo City to take on the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of an NBA/TNT double-header Thursday night.

NBA betting boards list San Antonio as 3 1/2-point home favorites for Thursday’s game, with a total of 181. Also, the Spurs are posted at around -200 on various moneylines, with Detroit getting around +170 as road underdogs.

It’s almost hard to believe, but both of these teams are coming off losses entering this game. In fact, after winning 11 straight games, Detroit has lost two in a row, falling at home to Boston Saturday and at Dallas 102-86 Wednesday, allowing the Mavericks to shoot 57% from the field.

San Antonio started this season by winning 17 of its first 20 games, but after falling in overtime at Golden State Monday 130-121, the Spurs have lost seven of their last 13 games, thanks in large part to injuries and missed time of their Big 3 C Tim Duncan, G Tony Parker and F Manu Ginobli.

Nonetheless, both these teams lead their respective divisions. The Pistons lead the Central by 8 games over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but San Antonio’s recent slide has allowed Dallas to pull into a tie with the Spurs atop the Southwest Division, with the third-place New Orleans Hornets lurking just a game back.

Detroit is one of the most profitable teams in the league so far this season, going 23-11 against the spread, and 13-6 straight up and 12-6-1 vs. the numbers on the road. On the other side of this match-up, San Antonio is 17-16 ATS this season, and 17-2 SU (best in the league) and 11-7-1 against the spread at home.

Last season the Spurs swept two games from the Pistons, but the previous season it was Detroit that swept San Antonio. So while these two teams have split their last four meetings, the o/u has gone 1-3 in those games because they’ve averaged just 164 total points per.

And these two teams are both ranked in the top three in scoring defense this season, Detroit 2nd at 89.7, San An 3rd at 92.5.

Also –

– The Pistons rank 2nd in the league in per-game point differential at +9.5, the Spurs 4th at +6.1.
– Detroit is shooting 47% from the field as a team, 37% from 3-point range and 76% from the free-throw line.
– San Antonio is shooting 46% from the floor, 39% from beyond the arc and 76% from the stripe.
– The Spurs rank 4th in the league in rebounding at +2.2 per game, while the Pistons rank 13th at +1.0.
– Detroit ranks 2nd in FG defense at 44%, while San Antonio ranks 20th at 46%.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at rank the Pistons 2nd at 99.0, the Spurs 4th at 95.4.

The o/u is a combined 30-38 in Detroit and San Antonio games so far this season. Pistons games are averaging 189 total points, while Spurs games are averaging 191 points.

Zman’s Pick: The Spurs prevail at home. Lay the points.