NBA League Pass Odds: Denver Nuggets at Detroit Pistons

Reggie Jackson needs to step up his scoring to get Detroit back to its winning ways

Denver at Detroit
Time: 6 PM CT (NBA League Pass)
Spread: DET -6
Total: 212.5

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Detroit Pistons hot start to the 2017-18 season has precipitously cooled as Stan Van Lundy’s club has dropped its past six games. Now just 14-12, the Pistons host the Denver Nuggets trying to get back on track as 6-point favorites in the game.

The over/under is set at 212.5 points for the game by NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes, and it will air locally and on NBA League Pass at 6 pm (Central).

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Many wondered if Detroit’s hot start was illusory, and the definitive answer at this time appears to be “yes.” Detroit is still 8-4 at home this season, but it has fallen to the No. 7 spot in the East after maintaining top-3 standing for the first quarter of the season. Losses to Washington, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Golden State, San Antonio and Boston have brought Detroit back to earth. Its offense had been somewhat strange to begin with, with center Andre Drummond oddly serving as an effective passer both from the post and the high post positions on the court.

Drummond is averaging 14 points, 15 rebounds and nearly four assists per game while posting a team-high PER of 22.4.

Outside of his play, Avery Bradley, Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris have functioned well as a trio of scorer, but Detroit still has the look and feel of a team that really lacks a definitive No. 1 option. Harris leads the team in scoring at 18.8 points per game, but outside of the four mentioned players, the Pistons are an assortment of players who are fringe-roster-worthy, never mind the fact that Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway both see double-digit minutes.

Van Gundy has a penchant for getting the most out of little talent, but one must wonder whether Detroit’s 103.2 points per game are even sustainable, and it is not a valiant mark to begin with.

Reggie Jackson at times resembles a major scorer, but Ish Smith brings more as a playmaker, and neither are good defenders. It is tough to envision Detroit resuming the high level of play with which it began the season, and realistically this is a .500 team that simply overachieved for the first 20 games of the season.


The Nuggets have lost three of its past four games, most recently falling 126-116 to the Indiana Pacers, and Denver is 14-12 this season.

It should not really be a surprise to see this Nuggets team playing plus-.500 basketball, though. Center Nikola Jokic is a wizard with the basketball, and he has plenty of talent around him to dish the rock to. Jokic leads the Nuggets in scoring (16.3 points per game), rebounding (11.2) and assists (4.5) while posting a team-best PER of 25.2.

New addition Paul Millsap has thrived alongside him while giving the Nuggets a legitimate post defender all at the same time. Denver is still several moves away from being a true contender, and it must start with moving some of the backcourt talents. However, Millsap is now battling an injury, which leaves Denver shorthanded in the frontcourt.

Beyond that, Denver basically has five shooting guards fighting for time at two positions, without a true point guard in the mix. Emmanuel Mudiay was supposed to be that but appears to be nothing more than an exciting role player after a couple seasons to base such observations upon. Jamal Murray is thriving as a second-year guard from Kentucky, but he is still really playing out of position at the 1-spot.

Murray averages just 2.3 assists per game while turning it over 1.9 times per game, hardly a favorable ratio. For all the talent Denver has, it really needs to consider shopping for a point guard, and with the Orlando Magic struggling while starting Elfrid Payton, that is one option that seems to scream “reclamation project.” Of course, that is just one scenario by which the Nuggets could obtain a true playmaker, but the reliance on Jokic to create almost everything is in some ways detrimental to a league based around strong guard play.

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