The New Orleans Pelicans and Detroit Pistons will lock horns for the first time this season on Sunday, February 14, 2021, so I bring you the best betting pick for this interconference showdown at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
According to BetMGM Sportsbook, the Pelicans opened as 4-point road favorites with a total of 222.5 points. They have a couple of questionable players, and the Pels could be shorthanded on the wings if both Josh Hart (back) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) sits out.
On the other side, the Pistons miss Killian Hayes (hip) and Sekou Doumbouya (concussion), while Mason Plumlee (elbow) is listed as questionable.
New Orleans dropped two straight games following a four-game win streak
The New Orleans Pelicans (11-14; 11-14 ATS) put an end to a four-game win streak with a 129-116 loss at Chicago last Wednesday and are coming off a 143-130 defeat at Dallas this past Friday. They put on a horrible defensive performance against the Mavs, allowing their opponents to make 58.0% of their field goals and 55.6% of their 3-pointers.
Furthermore, the Pels forced the Mavs into just six turnovers. Zion Williamson racked up 36 points and only a couple of rebounds, while Brandon Ingram finished with 30 points and five assists.
The Pelicans are No. 12 seed in the West at the moment, two and a half games behind the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors. They score 114.2 points per 100 possessions (7th in the NBA), but the Pels have been terrible defensively thus far.
New Orleans surrenders 114.8 points per 100 possessions, tallying the fifth-worst defensive rating in the league. Also, the Pelicans rank 25th in opponent 3-point percentage (38.7%).
Detroit surprisingly won two of its last three contests
The Detroit Pistons (7-19; 13-11-2 ATS) are having a terrible season, but over the last few days, they’ve pulled off a couple of huge upsets. After a 122-111 home win over the Brooklyn Nets last Tuesday, the Pistons stunned the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Friday night, 108-102.
Rookie Saddiq Bey went off for a career-high 30 points, 12 rebounds, and seven 3-pointers, making all of his seven shots from deep. The Pistons played solid offense and went 25-for-30 at the line while limiting the Celtics on 43.9% shooting from the field.
Jerami Grant continues to lead the way for Detroit, averaging 23.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He has a couple of 32-point displays in February, but Grant struggled mightily over his last two outings, scoring just nine points in a 111-95 defeat to Indiana and 15 on 5-for-16 shooting in that narrow win over Boston.
- 11-5 ATS in the last 16 games against Detroit
- 4-2 ATS in the last six games overall
- 1-7 ATS in the last eight home games against New Orleans
- 3-6-1 ATS in the last ten games against the Western Conference
The Pistons have been struggling on both sides of the floor since an opening day. They own the eighth-worst offensive rating (108.1) and the 11th-worst defensive rating (112.7) while ranking 29th in field goal percentage (43.4%) and 30th in opponent field goal percentage (48.5%).
I’m expecting the Pelicans to torture the Pistons offensively. New Orleans will attack the rim all night, and despite all their defensive flaws, the Pels have enough offensive firepower to outscore Detroit.
Pick: Take New Orleans -4.0 at -110
The Pelicans play at a slightly faster pace than the Pistons, recording 98.7 possessions per 48 minutes, but that’s still enough for the 21st in the league. The Pistons are 25th with 97.9 possessions per 48 minutes, and over their last ten outings, the Pistons have averaged only 96.6 possessions per 48 minutes.
Therefore, I’m backing the under on the totals. The Pelicans have to improve defensively against one of the worst shooting teams in the league. The over is 16-4 in New Orleans’ last 20 showings, but the under has hit in four of the last five matchups between the Pelicans and Pistons.
Pick: Go under 222.5 points at -110