NBA Saturday Night Picks ATS: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat

Detroit at Miami
Time: 6:30 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: MIA -5.5
Total: 201.5

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Miami Heat are currently 32-30 and in possession of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami leads No. 9 Detroit by three-games in the standings and the Heat will host the Pistons tonight as 5.5 point favorites in NBA action on NBA League Pass at 6:30 PM (CT).

The over/under is set at 201.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.

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The Pistons have lost seven of its past 10 and are now 29-33 overall on the season.

New acquisition Blake Griffin has somewhat struggled under Stan Van Gundy after flourishing his first several games. His averages of 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists have been done in 33 minutes a night, but he has a PER of just 14.6 since joining the Pistons.

Blake once paired nicely with DeAndre Jordan and now pairs just as formidable with Andre Drummond.

Drummond has already played a point-center role at times, functioning as a passer in pick and rolls, and graciously setting himself in high post situations. His game has grown. Together with Griffin, Detroit may have dialed up the best 1-2 big man combination outside of what the New Orleans Pelicans had prior to DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles’ injury.

The Pistons will miss Bradley, but he really may have been a season rental at best as he is due to be a free agent and will command a max-contract most likely, as the trend has gone. Reggie Jackson is still functioning well as a scorer, but he has missed time with an ankle injury.

The Pistons said he is due to return soon, but he is likely still out for this game. When the Pistons insert his 15 points a night, they will only grow tougher to beat. The Pistons are one of the hottest teams in the league, and Griffin still is a superstar. He may have declined in popularity, in status, whatever— he is still one of the tops at his position and can potentially change the fate of Detroit.


Miami currently resides No. 8 in the Eastern Conference and trails No. 7 Cleveland by just one game in the standings.

The Heat most recently fell 131-113 to the L.A. Lakers to snap a two-game win streak it had going with wins over Philadelphia and Memphis. The Heat have lost four of its last six games, but are still in the chase with a quarter of the season left. Miami is 16-13 at home.

Offensively, the Heat get it done with one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the league. Team-leading scorer Goran Dragic averages ‘only’ 17.3 points per game, but Miami boasts a league-best eight players who average 10 points per game or more. The depth the Heat have has mitigated the effects of a somewhat disappointing season from Dion Waiters, who is averaging just 14.3 points in 25 minutes a night.

Swingman Josh Richardson, combo guard Tyler Johnson, sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, stretch-5 Kelly Olynyk and versatile forward James Johnson all are a part of that double-figure-averaging core, and the team has fit together nicely with great chemistry, which has to in part be credited to the deft coaching of one of the league’s best, Erik Spoelstra.

But Miami’s calling card is still defense.

Miami has several lock down defenders, and Johnson’s ability to swing on rotations and come up with blocks and steals can hardly be ignored. Even if Justise Winslow is failing to become an adequate offensive threat (just six points per game), his defense has been paramount in the reasons the Heat are able to control the league’s best perimeter scorers.

As Miami continues to gel together, its defense will be what puts it over the top if it is to be successful in advancing to the second round of the 2018 playoffs.

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