The Detroit Pistons (3-15) visit the Denver Nuggets (10-6) in an inter-conference affair on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Pistons-Nuggets prediction and pick.
Detroit has lost seven consecutive games and is in last place in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are 8-9-1 against the spread while 65% of their games have gone over. Denver sits in third place in the West following Sunday’s win over Dallas. The Nuggets are 7-9 against the spread while 50% of their matchups have gone over.
Here are the Pistons-Nuggets NBA oddscourtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pistons-Nuggets Odds
Detroit Pistons: +6 (-110)
Denver Nuggets: -6 (-110)
Over: 222 (-110)
Under: 222 (-110)
Why The Pistons Could Cover The Spread
The Pistons have been one of the worst teams in the league, having won just three games. They have yet to beat a team with a winning record and will be without two starters tonight as Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham continue to miss time. That being said, their opponents will be without a number of key players, too. Detroit is a poor offensive team that ranks 24th in scoring and 29th in defense. However, they do have a number of impact players on the offensive end who could take over this injury-riddled matchup.
Rookie guard Jaden Ivey has taken on a much larger role since Cunningham went out and has looked equally dazzling and perplexing. Ivey has scored double-digit points in every game since Cade was injured on November 9th, with mixed results. He has a pair of incredibly impressive games. In their loss to Boston Ivey scored 26 points on 8-15 shooting and in their loss to Sacramento he scored 24 points on 8-14 shooting. However, he also had a 10-point, 4-11 night against New York and a 5-18 shooting performance against Los Angeles. Ivey is an impact player who has flashed the ability to make his teammates better, too. The Nuggets do struggle to contain opposing guards – something to keep in mind when making a Pistons-Nuggets prediction.
While the rookie Ivey receives most of the buzz, forward Bojan Bogdanovic is actually the team’s leading scorer. The 6’7″ forward averages 20.5 points on 51% shooting and 41% from three. He’s been electric since Cunningham went down, averaging 23 points on 55% shooting since Cade went down. In those six games, Bojan has scored less than 20 points just once and has a trio of 25-point games. He’ll likely turn in another stellar performance tonight especially considering Denver’s long list of injuries.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
The Denver Nuggets hobble into tonight’s matchup with a number of injury designations. Center Nikola Jokic (Covid), guard Jamal Murray (Covid), and forward Jeff Green (knee) will all miss tonight’s game. In addition to those three, guards Bones Hyland (hip) and Ish Smith (calf) are questionable. That being said, Denver boasts a deep roster, and given Detroit’s injury concerns, Denver could certainly cover.
Forward Michael Porter Jr. is certain to be a popular play in Daily Fantasy lineups given the strong opportunity ahead of him. MPJ enters as the leading healthy scorer for the Nuggets. For the season, he averaged 16.3 PPG and 5.9 RPG on 47% shooting. He’s been one of the best outside shooters in the NBA, making over three three-pointers per game at a 44% rate. Porter Jr. has shown the ability to carry the Nuggets to victory, too. He was the leading scorer in their win over Chicago (31 points) and Oklahoma City (22 points). Porter Jr. has made just one three in each of the last three games after making multiple triples in the first ten games of the season.
If the Nuggets are going to cover, it’ll likely be thanks to guard Bones Hyland. Hyland was a popular sleeper pick to win Sixth Man of the Year, but was thrust into the starting lineup early and often given Denver’s injuries. He responded terrifically. Bones averages 16 points and four assists on the season. He’s been on fire from beyond the arc as well. Hyland averages over three three-pointers made per game and makes them at nearly a 46% clip. Bones is coming off one of the best games of his career. In Sunday’s win over Dallas Hyland scored 29 points on 10-21 shooting and dished out six assists. Known for his lights-out shooting and slick handling, he demonstrated some of his playmaking in the game as well.
Final Pistons-Nuggets Prediction & Pick
If Bones Hyland is active like we’re assuming he will be, I have to ride with Denver here. Even with Jokic and Murray out, they should have enough firepower to cover a home game against arguably the worst team in the NBA.
Final Pistons-Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Denver Nuggets -6 (-110)