Detroit Pistons vs. Dallas Mavericks – NBA, April 21, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 21, 2021 6:06 am PDT

Bottom of the Central Division, tackles top of the Southwest Division, as the Pistons meet the Mavericks tonight. The Pistons are joint bottom of the Eastern Conference, but with the Magic losing comprehensively against the Hawks last night, Detroit has an opportunity to open up some daylight.

Although the Mavericks are sitting pretty at the top of the Southwest Division, they remain outside the automatic playoff spots in the west. It’s getting very crowded for that remaining spot with no less than five teams chasing it down.

Things have been close between these two over the years, and they have split the last eight meetings, with four wins apiece. However, the Mavericks have won the previous two matches in Dallas, and given the Piston’s poor form this season; they have every right to be confident of making it three in a row tonight.

Although things have been right between these two, the Pistons always seem to dominate the boards if they can repeat that tonight it could be their key to picking up a shock win.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my Pistons vs. Mavericks betting prediction.

Pistons vs. Mavericks Odds

Pistons +12.5 -110
Mavericks -12.5 -110
Pistons To Win +625
Mavericks To Win -835
Over 222.5 Points -110
Under 222.5 Points -110

With things being so close between these two over the years, I did expect the handicap to be slightly smaller than it is tonight. The thing that stands out to me most is the total points, as it looks enormous.

These two teams have only combined for an average of 199-points in their last ten meetings, which is why my eyes lit up when I saw the total on offer tonight.

Also, only two of the Maverick’s ten home games against Eastern Conference teams have gone over the betting total. In addition to that, two-thirds of the Pistons matches against teams from the west coast have also gone under the points total.

Pistons Preview

The Pistons come into this one in somewhat decent form, having won two of their previous three matches. Their defeat came against the Wizards when their defense failed and shipped 121-points. Therefore, they will want to keep things right tonight as the two games they did win were low-scoring affairs. Coincidentally both games they won finished with a combined score of 214-points.

Their form on the road has been shocking and is the worst in the Eastern Conference this season. They have won only seven of their 31 Road trips to date. This includes losing the last three in a row, and yes, you guessed it, their defense had a bad night on each occasion. They conceded scores of 118, 131, and 121 points. The last game they won on the road was against the Kings, and they held them to a score of 101-points.

Here are the latest betting trends for Detroit:

  • Five of their last seven matches have gone under the betting total.
  • Detroit is 2-4 in their previous six games.
  • The Pistons have won seven and lost 13 of their last 20 matches against Dallas.
  • They have only won one of their previous five games on the road.
  • Detroit has lost on eight of their last 11 visits to Dallas.
  • Only one of their previous five matches against Western Conference opponents has failed to go under the points total.
  • Five of their last seven games against teams based in the Southwest Division have gone under the betting total.
  • Detroit is 4-1-1 against the spread in their previous six matches played on a Wednesday.

The above data highlights the struggles the Pistons have faced this season, and they also point towards a low-scoring game.

The Pistons have a subpar offense that is only averaging 107-points per game this season.

In contrast, their defense has been good, despite the fact they are allowing their opponents to score at 47% from the field goal range.

However, they haven’t defended as well on the road this season and are shipping a couple of extra points per game on average.

Their rebounding has been lacking this season, particularly in defense which will be a worry for them as this is previously an area they have dominated against the Mavericks.

The Piston’s discipline has also been a concern this season, particularly when teams start to get away from them. They will need to try and keep this in check tonight if they are to stand any chance of winning.

Although they have struggled for most of the season, there is a lot to like about this young Detroit team, not least their fantastic work ethic, which has recently drawn lavish praise from their coach.

The Pistons have arguably the most extended list of absentees currently, which isn’t helping their cause. A lot of these problems have stemmed from having such a small roster and players needing a rest. That is why Hayes will miss out tonight, and there remain question marks over the fitness of Ellington, Plumlee, McGruder, and Doumbouya. Smith Junior is also listed as doubtful, but they hope to have Joseph and Grant back in the roster.

Mavericks Preview

The Mavericks are in the midst of a slump, having lost four of their previous five matches. Their only win during those five games came by way of a narrow one-point victory over the Grizzlies. They rallied back from six points down, heading into the last quarter to claim the win. However, that doesn’t perhaps tell the story of the game as they scrambled over the line thanks to a three-pointer made at the buzzer by none other than star player Luka Doncic. Luka can do it all as he seems to play well whether the team wins or losses like he did, scoring 37-points in their defeat to the Kings last time out.

Their form at home has been below par this season as they have a negative record of 13-14 from their 27 games played in Dallas. Concerning for their fans, they have lost the last four in a row, and the previous three have all come by wide margins.

Here are the latest betting trends for Dallas:

  • The Mavericks have lost their previous five matches against the spread.
  • Eight of their last 11 games have gone under the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in 11 of their last 13 matches at home.
  • Only one of their previous seven games against teams in the Eastern Conference has failed to go under the betting total.
  • Dallas is 3-6 in their last nine matches against teams based in the Central Division.

This confirms that the Mavericks are finding life difficult as of late. It also points towards a low-scoring game.

Dallas has a sub-standard attack this season, despite having a respectable field goal percentage of 46%.

They, too, have been poor at rebounding this season, especially offensively. Therefore, both teams will see this as an opportunity to win this section of the game, when they usually lose out.

The Mavericks tend to drive to the basket more often than not, which is why they have a low assist count and make few turnovers per game. This will mean that the Pistons will need to be more disciplined than they usually are most nights.

Their biggest asset has been their defense this season. However, they can improve upon areas, like making more steals, as they currently have the lowest average in the league this season.

The Mavericks only have two players listed as questionable to feature tonight, and they are Hardaway Junior and Terry.

Pistons vs. Mavericks Pick

Pick
  • Under 222.5 Points
    -110

Sometimes through the season, you get games where the betting opportunity looks too good to be true, and this is one of those matches. Let’s get straight to the point; this seems a clear under-pick. Neither team has the best offense this season, the Mavericks have an excellent defense, and a low-scoring game seems to suit the Pistons.

Not only has their head-to-head combined total gone under the points total set here, but when you combine their average scores this season, the total also goes under the betting total.

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