NBA Picks Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, November 17, 2013 3:52 PM GMT

The Pistons crowned the Kings in their last effort to snap a four-game losing streak while the Lakers are losers of four of their last five but which team has the edge in our NBA odds preview?

 

Detroit Pistons (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS)

The Pistons are not a great defensive team to begin with but during their recent four-game shame spiral, they abandoned it completely by allowing an average of 110 points per game.  However, on Friday night they decided to go back to fundamentals and thus walked away with a 97-90 victory over Sacramento in the third game of their four-game Western road swing.  Detroit tightened up defensively and the effort paid off but it also had a lot to do with small forward Josh Smith who paved the way with 21 points, eight boards, seven helpers, five steals and four blocks. 

Yet, as good as Smith proved to be on Friday night it was the immense performance by Andre Drummond who owned the glass with a career-tying 18 rebounds which allowed the Pistons to control the speed and tempo of the game.  It was a much needed improvement that allowed Detroit to not only win the game but cover the number in NBA odds as they got the outright victory despite being tagged by the oddsmakers as two-point road dogs. 

LA Lakers (4-7 SU, 5-5 ATS)

There was a Kobe sighting in LA and he actually practiced with the team but that means about as much to the Lakers chances of success in this game as the color of the pretty little dress I am wearing at this very moment.  I'm just kidding, I'm not wearing a dress - it's a smart yet practical knitted skirt.  But I digress. 

Have you seen the Picks on Grizzlies & Kings~

The Lakers cannot pull it together this season and their woes continued on Friday night as they dropped the fourth of their last five games to the Memphis Grizzlies 89-86.  You know things are rough in Tinseltown when the immortal Jodie Meeks is leading the team in points with a mere 13.2 per game.  The Lakers kept it close in their last game but were uncharacteristically outrebounded by the Grizzlies 51-40 and hit just over 50% from the charity stripe.  The Lakers are 1-6 straight up when held to less than 100 points because they are simply not defending well.  The team is currently ranked 25th in the league in points allowed, surrendering over 104 points per contest.  Simple arithmetic will tell you that the Lakers are giving up six points more than they are scoring this season so it is no wonder why they are counting the days on the calendar until number 24 puts back on his uniform.

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The Free Pick:

The Pistons are just 2-38 in their last 40 games against Western Conference road opponents and here they are actually favored in tonight's game.  Now I know this Lakers edition does not hearken back to the championship days of yore but they have defeated Detroit in seven of the last eight meetings.  Their last tango in LA came a little over a year ago when the Lakers put on a clinic en route to a 108-79 thumping of the Pistons for their backers' NBA picks.

But that Lakers team boasted the services of future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant and this is a markedly different team without the perennial All-Star.  Yet, Pao Gasol has scored at least 20 points in four the last five meetings between the two teams and should pose an immediate problem for Detroit. I'm not sure there's a whole lot of difference in talent between these two squads and considering LA's recent success against Detroit it seems to me like the oddsmakers have the wrong favorite in this one.

Play LA +2 at WilliamHill.com.