The Detroit Pistons host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night in a battle of teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Detroit is coming off a loss to the Chicago Bulls and they have lost their last two games by double digits. The Pistons are just 2-8 in their last 10 games played. Meanwhile, Minnesota heads to Detroit after beating Orlando in their last outing. The Wolves have won six out of their last eight games played. Minnesota also defeated Detroit on opening night 111-101 in their only other meeting of the season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have endured a frustrating season. However, the Wolves have played much better in their last 10 games, winning six of them including a span of four consecutive wins. The T-Wolves are 21-47 on the season and are headed to the lottery once again with the fifth-worst record in the league.
Karl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell each scored 27 points while rookie Anthony Edwards added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolves cruised to a 128-96 win over the Magic on Sunday night. Ricky Rubio also contributed 18 points for the Wolves which made 16 three-pointers in the game.
Minnesota is ranked 18th in scoring at 111.9 points per game this season. They are tied for 20th in rebounding at 43.5 boards grabbed per contest and are 12th in passing at 25.6 assists per game. The Wolves have the third-worst scoring defense in the NBA at 117.3 points per game allowed.
The Detroit Pistons are 20-49 on the season and they have the second-worst record in the entire NBA. Detroit has dropped back-to-back games and has lost nine out of their last 11 assignments. The Pistons have never won more than two consecutive games this season and have seen six losing streaks of four or more games this campaign.
In their last game, the Pistons only scored 18 points in the first quarter. Detroit’s three rookies had a big night with Killian Hayes leading the Pistons with 21 points while Saddiq Bey added 20 and Isaiah Stewart 19. Detroit played without leading scorer Jerami Grant and point guard Cory Joseph.
Detroit is scoring only 106.9 points per game this season, 27th in the league. They are 24th in rebounding at 42.8 boards grabbed per contest and are 18th in passing at 24.3 assists per game. The Pistons rank 11th in scoring defense at 110.9 points per game allowed.
Minnesota is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. The Wolves are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games played on the road, and 4-14 SU in their last 18 games played against the Eastern Conference. Detroit is 1-6 SU in their last seven games played. The Pistons are 1-4 SU in their last five games played on the road. Head to head, the Pistons are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games played.
The Wolves hit a snag after winning four straight games. But they’ve ended their losing streak by blowing out Orlando in their last outing.
Minnesota’s trio of Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell are playing well together as of late. Minnesota beat Detroit in their first meeting of the season by 10 points.
Detroit has won just twice in their last 10 games played. The Pistons have lost two in a row and by an average losing margin of 13 points. Detroit is also dealing with injuries with five out of their top six scorers either out or questionable for the team.
The Pistons have the second-worst record in the league and may be better off losing this game than winning it. I expect another big game from Minnesota’s young trio. The Pistons should hang around early but the lack of firepower is going to doom them here.
Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games played. They are 4-1-1 ATS in their six games played on the road, 3-0-1 ATS in their last four road games against an opponent with a losing home record, 4-1-2 ATS in their last seven games played against an opponent with a losing SU record, and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games after a straight up victory.
The Pistons are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games played. Detroit is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games played on May, 3-6 ATS in their last nine games when playing as underdogs, 1-5 ATS in their last six games against an opponent with a losing straight up record, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game.
Head to head, the Pistons are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games played. Detroit is also 4-1 in their last five home games against Minnesota.
The Timberwolves are playing their best basketball of the season. Minnesota has won five out of their last eight games, including four wins in a row plus a win over the team with the best record in the league in Utah during this stretch. The Pistons have lost six out of their last seven games straight up and have failed to cover in five out of their last seven games. With the way their season has gone, the Pistons are better off losing this game than winning it. I’m not saying they will purposely lose this game. But I won’t be surprised if they will sit out players who are playing through minor injuries. This is the first time all season I’ll be picking Minnesota.
Prediction: Timberwolves -7.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Timberwolves. The over is 5-0 in their last five games against an opponent with a losing straight up record, 8-0 in their last eight games when scoring at least 125 points in their previous game, and 7-3 in their last 10 road games against an opponent with a losing home record.
The under is 10-4-1 in the Pistons’ last 15 games. The total has gone under in six out of their last eight games against an opponent with a winning percentage below .400. The under is 5-1-1 in their last seven games after an ATS loss, 21-8-1 in their last 30 games after a straight up defeat and 6-2-1 in their last nine home games.
Head to head, the total has gone over in seven out of the last nine meetings between these two teams. The over is also 7-0 in their last seven meetings in Detroit.
The Wolves have the third-worst scoring defense in the NBA but the Pistons are just 27th overall in scoring and may not have five out of their top six leading scorers. Detroit also has the 11th best defense in the league while the Wolves are below the upper half in scoring points. These teams combined for 212 points in their first meeting of the season. The Pistons have averaged only 102 points per game in their last 10 games played. I don’t think these teams can top the current 226.5 total.
Prediction: Under 226.5
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