Friday NBA Picks: Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin-Love-timberwolves-42Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves
Time: 8:05 PM ET, Mar 7, 2014
Spread: MIN -9
Total: 218.5

Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes

Detroit entered the season with a lot of hype surrounding the acquisitions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. That hype has dissipated in a season of disappointment, but not all hope is lost for Detroit.

The Pistons sit just three games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East. It must be taken into consideration that the Pistons have lost eight of its past 10 games, and NBA oddsmakers are seemingly factoring that into account. The Pistons are 9 point underdogs as it travels to face the Timberwolves in Minneapolis.

The Timberwolves would be well in the playoff picture if the club were in the Eastern Conference. Instead, despite playing .500 ball the Wolves still linger five games out of the playoff picture. Minnesota has won six of its past 10 games, but the team’s defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Wolves are surrendering 102.3 points per game, mostly as a result of poor transition defense. Tyson Chandler even went as far as to call out Wolves superstar Kevin Love saying he can “play no D.”

That notwithstanding, Love is going to be a sought after free agent, perhaps second only to Carmelo Anthony this summer. The 6’10” power forward is averaging 26.5 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. He forms a strong offensive tandem with big man Nikola Pekovic, but the pair is slow footed and doesn’t rotate well on defensive rotations.

Pek, too, is having a big season with 18 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. But the Wolves are hopelessly outclassed in the West, in one of the most imbalanced power distributions in NBA history.

The Wolves fell 118-106 to the hapless Knicks on Wed night, so it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that the Pistons could sneak out a road victory in this one, despite being just 10-17 on the road this season. The game certainly holds more meaning to the Pistons with the Wolves playoff hopes continuing to look more desperate in light of Memphis’ strong play and the fact that the Wolves must overcome both Memphis and Dallas to wind up in the playoffs this season.

DET Trends: OVER 4-1 in last 5 Friday games; 8-2 ATS in last 10 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; 4-1 ATS in last 5 following SU Loss.

MIN Trends: UNDER 9-1-1 in last 11 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 following SU loss; UNDER 9-2 in last 11 on 1 days rest.

Head-to-head: Pistons 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 meetings; Pistons 3-1-1 ATS in last 5 meetings in Minnesota.

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