Detroit Pistons vs. Charlotte Hornets – NBA, May 1, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| May 1, 2021 2:43 am PDT

The Hornets still have a slim chance of winning the Southeast Division, and while that remains a possibility, they will undoubtedly keep fighting. However, a more realistic goal for the remainder of the season would be maintaining their place in the playoff positions. The Pistons routed to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, where they have spent most of the season. There is only one target left for them this season, and that is to avoid finishing last in both the Conference and their Division.

Avoiding that that feat could be a challenge, especially coming up against a team they have been beaten by on the last five occasions they have met. However, four of those losses came by a margin of three points or fewer, so perhaps a win against the Hornets isn’t too far away. When they met last month, the matchup was no different. Looking at the stats, perhaps the Pistons will feel terrible as they won most battles on the court, except for the most important one.

The Hornets have also dominated proceedings in Charlotte, winning seven of the previous eight matchups with Detroit there. So, looking at the stats over the last ten encounters between them, it is no surprise to see that the Hornets are averaging eight more points per game than the Pistons. The key to their success appears to be fast starts, as they have averaged five more first-half points than Detroit.

Here is my Pistons vs. Hornets betting preview.

Pistons vs. Hornets Odds

Pistons +5.5-110
Hornets -5.5-110
Pistons To Win+200
Hornets To Win-220
Over 214.5 Points-110
Under 214.5 Points-110

The spread is perhaps a point or two bigger than I anticipated but isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The points total looks about right and appears hard to take on either way.

Pistons Analysis

The Pistons have only managed one win in their previous five matches, which came against the Hawks a few days back. Detroit put in a fantastic defensive display on their way to a comprehensive 100-86 victory. The Pistons can be proud of the performance as it was the lowest score the Hawks have posted all season.

Detroit are the worst travelers in the Eastern Conference, having only won seven of their 34 away fixtures this season. They have lost their previous six games on the road, and the nearest they got to claiming a victory was last time out against the Pacers when they lost by six.

Here are the latest betting trends for Detroit:

Against The Spread

  • They have lost six of their previous seven matches against Charlotte.
  • The Pistons have won four of their last six games against teams from the Southeast Division.

Points Total

  • Eight of their last 12 games have gone under the betting total.
  • All of their previous five matches played in Charlotte have gone under the points total.
  • Only two of their last six games against teams based in the Eastern Conference have failed to go under the betting total.

Other Pointers

  • They have only won two of their previous seven matches.

The Pistons have a dreadful offense this season that has only averaged 107-points per game. They have been known to pull it out of the bag in games and reduce leads by hitting many three-pointers as well but overall, their success rate of 35% isn’t great.

Their defense has been much better, despite them allowing their opponents to score at a rate of 47% from the field goal range.

However, their defense hasn’t held up as well on the road this season, and they are leaking an extra three points per game on average.

They have also played up to their reputation at times this season, with discipline being an issue for them.

I know the record might not suggest it, but this young Pistons team is growing. If they can stick together, they could have a good team in a couple of years. Their inexperience has shown throughout the season, but I don’t see a team rock bottom of the Conference when I look at them. I see a mid-table team that can build on a solid defense.

The Pistons will be without Smith Junior tonight, while both Joseph and McGruder face kate fitness tests.

Hornets Analyis

The Hornets have alternated back too back defeats with back-to-back wins over their previous six games. They will be hoping that continues tonight as it will put them back in the win column.

Their form at home has been solid enough this season after winning 16 and losing 13 of their 29 games played in Charlotte. They had a recent run of three straight wins ended by the Bucks last time out. Even though the Bucks are a great team, they will have been disappointed to have lost the match, given they had beaten them twice already this season.

Here are the latest betting trends for Charlotte:

Against The Spread

  • Charlotte is 3-8 in their previous 11 matches.
  • They have only won two of their last nine games against east coast teams.

Points Total

  • Eight of their last 11 games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous nine games against the Pistons has failed to go under the points total.
  • The total has gone under in seven of their last eight home games.

Other Pointers

  • They have lost eight of their previous 11 matches.
  • The Hornets have won six and lost three of their last nine games against teams based in the Central Division.
  • Charlotte is 4-2 in their previous six matches played on a Saturday.

Although Charlotte is averaging a couple of points more per game than the Pistons, you have to say their offense is still bad. However, much like their opponents today, they have shot well on occasions from deep. Although it must be said the Hornets have done this a lot more regularly than Detroit.

The Hornets are often sloppy with the ball, which is reflected in the high number of turnovers they make each game. There is no doubt they are missing the services of LaMelo Ball at present. He was seen working out before the Boston game, and rumors circulated that he could return this weekend. However, he is still listed as injured by the Hornets.

However, when it comes to their defense, they are well drilled and have excellent discipline.

Their defense has been average this season, which, combined with their attack, does make you wonder how they are as high up in the standings as they are right now.

The Hornets have also struggled to make defensive rebounds this season, leaving them vulnerable at the back.

They defend much better at home, though, and concede on average four fewer points per game. This makes them the third-best home defense in the NBA this season.

As well as LaMelo, Charlotte will also miss Hayward and Monk, while Darling is questionable to play.

Pistons vs. Hornets Betting Pick

This fixture is usually a close contest, and this game could be no different. They are both lacking in attack, and the obvious option here seems to be under the points total. However, these two young teams could spur each other on, which makes me doubt betting against this low total.

The Pistons may have the edge here as their inexperience has held them back this year but coming up against another young team won’t be a factor. I will take them with the handicap to win.

Pick
  • Pistons +5.5
    -110

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