The Detroit Pistons are 4-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last four games; the Sacramento Kings started well, but have gone chilly, and haven't covered a spread in almost a month. Detroit hosts Sacramento Sunday night.
Kings-Pistons Betting Odds
Most NBA betting odds opened Detroit at -2.5 over Sacramento, with a total of 207; many of those outfits then bumped the Pistons to -3, and the total to 207.5.
Just before Christmas Detroit sat at 5-29, had just lost four in a row, and looked like a lost cause. But suddenly the Pistons have won four straight, beating Indiana, then winning at Cleveland, at Orlando and, Friday night, at New York 97-81, easily covering as four-point road favorites. Detroit shot 50 percent from the floor Friday, and at one point early in the fourth quarter led the hapless Knicks by 33 points.
Don't laugh, but at 9-23 Detroit is only four games behind eighth-place Miami in the battle for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Sacramento started 9-5 this season, with wins over the Blazers, Clippers, Spurs and Bulls. The Kings also covered 11 of their first 16 pointspreads. But since Nov. 25 Sacramento is 5-14 SU, 3-14-2 ATS. In fact, the Kings haven't covered a spread since Dec 9, in a loss to the Lakers as four-point underdogs.
Sacramento has also already gone through a coaching change this season. The Kings lost the first two games of their current four-game road trip, at Brooklyn last Monday and at Boston New Year's Eve, but won at Minnesota Thursday 110-107. And yet, even in winning, they couldn't cover the spread as four-point favorites.
Sacramento shot 54 percent from the field Thursday and hit 25 of 29 free-throws. What are the chances of a repeat of that performance Sunday night? We'd guess slim. At 14-19 Sacramento now trails eighth-place Phoenix by four games in the Western Conference standings.
Detroit took the first meeting between these teams this season, beating the Kings, who were without DeMarcus Cousins, 95-90 out in Sacramento three weeks ago. The Pistons only shot 44 percent from the floor that night, but held the Kings to 36 percent shooting and won outright as five-point road dogs. That game also played UNDER its total of 195.
Last season Detroit swept two games from Sacramento, by scores of 97-90 and 99-89. Both of those games played UNDER, too.
Kings-Pistons Key Numbers
Sacramento ranks 12th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, 13th in FG defense at 45 percent, leads the league in rebounding at +5.5 per game but also owns a 20/16 average assist-to-turnover ratio, which is lousy. Detroit ranks just 29th in both FG shooting at 42 percent and FT shooting at 67 percent, 16th in FG defense at 45 percent, 14th in rebounding at +0 per game, and owns a 21/13 A/TO ratio, which is about average in this league.
Kings-Pistons Betting Trends
Detroit is just 3-13 SU, 4-12 ATS at home this season, while Sacramento is 6-9 SU but 8-7 ATS on the road.
Detroit is 14-17 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Pistons games have averaged 196 points.
Sacramento is 19-14 on the totals, as Kings games have averaged 206 points. They've also played seven OVERS in their last eight games, as they've allowed opponents to hit the 100-point mark in each of their last nine games.
Kings-Pistons Free Pick
Detroit looks like it might be on the improve, and we're going to assume that home record will also get better. Meanwhile, Sacramento is simply not inspiring any betting confidence as of late. So we'll go with the home team here at the short spread for our NBA picks of the day.
Free NBA Pick: Pistons -3 at 5Dimes