Detroit Pistons vs. Sacramento Kings – NBA, April 8, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 8, 2021 6:08 am PDT

The bottom of the Central Division takes on the bottom of the Pacific Division in this cross-conference matchup at the Golden One Center. Although both teams find themselves bottom of their respected Divisions, the Kings still have something to fight for, unlike the Pistons.

Sacramento is still battling it out with the Pelicans, Warriors, and the Spurs for the two final pre-playoff spots in the west. Detroit has very little to play for other than pride and trying to avoid finishing last in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons need to start putting wins together if they are to avoid this fate. It won’t be easy against a team they have only beaten once in their previous five attempts. They last met around five weeks ago, and only three points separated the teams that day as the Kings came away with the win.

That win for Sacramento ended a nine-game winless streak and began their plight for a playoff berth. However, looking back at the shooting stats that day, the Pistons will be wondering how they lost the game as the Kings finished the game with dreadful figures.

Detroit has also only won on one of their last five visits to Sacramento, so they will undoubtedly be up against it tonight.

Although the Kings have a better head-to-head record (6-4) in their last ten meetings with the Pistons, Detroit has averaged more points in those games. This suggests that when Detroit does win, it’s by a wide margin, and when they have lost, it has been close, as it was when they last met.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Pistons vs. Kings Match

Pistons +5-110
Kings -5-110
Pistons To Win+220
Kings To Win-185
Over 227.5 Points-110
Under 227.5 Points-110

The spread looks about right for this game and, therefore, may be hard to take on either way. However, the total points look huge, and I had to double-check it was right when I first saw it.

These two teams have only averaged 210-points between them in their last ten encounters, and they have combined for an average total of 221-points this season. None of their previous four meetings in Sacramento have got close to this total either.

Pistons Assessment

The Pistons have alternated defeats with wins in their previous seven matches, and if that continues tonight, they will leave the Golden One Center with the win. For most teams, this represents inconsistency, but it’s about as good as it has gotten recently for the Pistons.

What’s been even more contrasting is that their wins have been by wide margins, and so have their defeats. They have lost by margins of 14, 23, 44, and 15, while they have won by 14, 29, and 24, making them a real Jekyll and Hyde team as of late.

Their form on the road has been poor, and they have only picked up six wins from their 27 away fixtures. This makes them the worst traveled team in the Eastern Conference. However, two of those wins came in their previous five road trips, and they both came against Western Conference teams.

Here are the latest betting trends for Detroit:

Bet Type Trend
Total Five of their last six games have gone over the betting total.
SU Detroit is 6-14 in their previous 20 matches.
SU They have only won five of their last 20 games on the road.
Total All of their last seven visits to Sacramento have seen the points total go under.
SU The Pistons have lost ten of their previous 13 matches against Western Conference opponents.
ATS Detroit is 12-5 in their last 17 games against teams based in the Pacific Division.

It’s hard to take much from this other than that the Pistons have been appalling this season which we already know.

The Pistons have an abysmal offense that has only averaged 107-points per game this season.

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

Their defensive rebounding has been a concern this season and will need to improve if they are to win tonight, as this was an area the Kings dominated when they last met.

When I look at the Pistons stats, I don’t believe they are as bad as their win/loss record suggests. They are going through a transitional period, and that takes time, but if they can fine-tune what they do well, and that is defend and improve slightly in attack, then I’m sure they will start picking up some more wins. Especially if they can add some extra talent in the offseason, given they have money to spend.

Detroit will miss Grant and McGruder tonight, while Okafor has a slim chance of featuring.

Kings Assessment

The Kings are on a four-game winless run, which has severely damaged their playoff hopes. They had previously gone on a five-game win streak, but their performances have been lacking over the past week. Apart from their one-point loss to the Bucks, they have been comprehensively beaten in the other three matches.

Sacramento has been below par at home this season, having won 12 and lost 14 of their 26 home fixtures. They seem to have real highs and lows at home this season, and they haven’t alternated a win and a loss at home since the turn of the year. This is terrible news for the Kings as they have lost their last two games at home, and it took them seven attempts to snap their latest winless streak.

Here are the latest betting trends for Sacramento:

Bet Type Trend
ATS Sacramento is 2-4 in their previous six matches.
Total Ten of their last 15 games have gone under the betting total.
Total Only one of their previous six matches against the Pistons has failed to go under the points total.
ATS They have won five of their last seven games against teams from the east coast.
ATS Sacramento is 5-10 in their previous 15 matches against teams based in the Central Division.
SU The Kings have lost their last six games played in April.

This points towards a low-scoring game which is what I initially thought.

The Kings have an excellent offense that gobbles up any chances in and around the key as they have a great field goal percentage of 48%, which could be where the game is won and lost tonight.

Their defense has been dreadful and is non-existent most nights. They either have the worst set up in the league or a total disregard for defending. Either way, they are arguably the worst defending team in the NBA this season.

Much like their opponents tonight, they too have struggled to make defensive rebounds, and therefore this could be a key battle tonight. However, with neither team being brilliant at making offensive rebounds, it could be a chance for their defenses to set out a marker.

The Kings aren’t making many steals either, which, combined with their poor marking, means you have to start to question their work ethic.

Buddy Hield has been the standout performer for the Kings this season, and therefore it is no wonder he is being linked with NBA heavyweights such as the LA Lakers.

The Kings only have one player out tonight, and that is Bagley, who is suffering from a hand injury at present.

Pistons vs. Kings Betting Pick 

Pick
  • Under 227.5 Points
    -110

In terms of who wins this game, I believe the Kings are better equipped, and their dominance around the paint should see them across the line. However, I think the safer option given the Pistons highs and lows recently is to take under the points total tonight.

I know the Kings have a dreadful defense that is hard to back, but I don’t believe the Pistons have the firepower to take advantage of that. For me, this is a clear under pick and well worth some high stakes.

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