San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/01/2022

by James Q

Friday, Dec 31, 2021

San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/01/2022

Game Time: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 1st, 2022 
Venue:  Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Where to Watch:  NBA League Pass

Opening NBA Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: NL 
BetMGM:  Spread:  NL
VegasInsider:  Spread:  NL

Season Record

Spurs: 14-19, 10th place Western Conference.
Pistons: 5-28, 15th place Eastern Conference, last place in the league.

The San Antonio Spurs are having an off year… they have been having that off year for 3-4 seasons now.  The grand franchise of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker… the solid dynasty of the early 2000’s… the five NBA championships over twenty seasons… the Hall of Fame coach… The steady glare of David Robinson… the incubator of Kawhi Leonard.  All of it is in the past.  The Spurs are now barely a competitive team.  They play an old-fashioned style of basketball that was boring then and barely fits in the league now.  Dribble, pass, pass, pass, jump shot, block out for the rebound.  A style reliant on what today’s players don’t focus on… fundamentals.  The style resists the 3-point shot unless it is the only shot the defense allows… hence unless it is the best shot of the possession.  Every other team in the league has figured out that the 3-pointer should be launched recklessly and carelessly because the reward for hitting it is 50% greater than the reward for hitting any other shot.  Plus the reward for missing it is a LONG REBOUND.  The Long Rebound almost by itself has neutralized the importance of having an old school back to the basket big man… Your center is as likely to get the rebound as any of your more athletic, scrambling guards… so why not just have five athletic scrambling guards on the floor?  The Spurs are an echo of basketball’s past, they live in everyone's memories… they are where finger rolls and baseline jumpers are still encouraged… the silver and black have melted into a gray… a wispy gray.  When Hall of Fame coach Greg Poppovich finally retires, the next person to have that job will push the pace and expand the definition of a good shot… Unless Coach Poppovich has somehow infiltrated her mind permanently.

The Spurs are 6-4 over their last ten games.  They have managed to avoid a cluster of covid positives all at once and have benefited greatly from that.  They also have a handful of good, young players like PG Dejounte Murray (out with covid), SF Keldon Johnson, and C Jakob Poeltl.  These guys are good… just not elite.  The Spurs have no players in the top five at their position in the league.   

The Detroit Pistons are the league’s worst team.  They are a league-worst 5-28, they are on a four-game losing streak right now.  They are the owners of this NBA season’s longest losing streak at 14 in a row… that streak is only separated from the current 4-game streak because they beat the Miami Heat on December 19th when almost every Miami player had been put on the Covid list and the court was packed with G-league call-ups and guys off the street.  Don’t let the record scare you off on betting the Pistons every now and then though.  The Pistons may be 5-28 in record, but ATS they are 15-18.  Last place teams get more action on the point spread… In fact they are 8-3 ATS when the point spread is larger than 9 points… so if you see a 10 point spread (this rule applies to every NBA team)... make the bet and take the points!

Al McMordie was 3-3 yesterday, as he cashed his NHL Game of the Week on Washington, as well as hoops plays on William and Mary and Alabama. Big Al's now 41-26 his last 67, and is featuring this NBA Elite Info Winner out of a 115-70 ATS situation. Don't miss out!! Go get it! Get Big Al's picks right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers. NCAAF, NFL, MLB… get positive value from all your bets! Expert picks!  Fun fact… winning a wager is much better than making a wager!

San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

The Spurs are 14-19 on the season, but 20-13 ATS.  They have logged 17 Overs, 14 Unders, and 2 Push.  They are 7-9 in road games.

The Pistons are 5-28 on the season, but 15-18 ATS.  They have notched 17 Overs, 15 Unders, and 1 Push. They are a miserable 3-13 in home games.. Which is sadly better then they perform on the road.

Offensive Analysis

The Spurs are 5th in the NBA in scoring with 111.5 points per game, 9th in rebounds with 45.9 per game, and 1st in AST/TO ratio with 2.2… they are shooting 5th in FG% and 10th in 3PT% (though they take less than anybody), and 28th in FT%... except for free throws those are all good numbers… The problem is they are 22nd in defense and allow 109.8 ppg.

The Pistons are 30th in scoring with 100.2 points per game, 29th in rebounds with 42.5 per game, and 29th in AST/TO 1.4.  They are having trouble finding shooters on the roster, they shoot 30th FG%, 29th 3PT%, and 10th in FT%.  Defensively they are 23rd and allow 110.0 ppg.  If you want to find the worst team in the league it’s always a safe bet to start at the one that gives up 10 more points than they score per game.


San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons Prediction 

Our prediction for Saturday, January 1st is….  Spurs 118 - Pistons 101

The Spurs won’t earn a huge point spread and that is why they are a safe bet.  Every team will take turns beating the Pistons this season and the Spurs are no exception.

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NBA Betting Trends

The Spurs are 4-1 ATS versus Detroit the last 3 seasons.
3 of 5 of those games have gone Over the last 3 seasons.

Injury list

Spurs: SG Lonnie Walker IV Probable ** PG Dejounte Murray (covid) Out ** PF Zach Collins (ankle) Out

Pistons: SF Jerami Grant (thumb) Out ** PF Kelly Olynyk (knee) Out ** PF Trey Lyles (covid) Out ** PG Cade Cunningham (covid) Out ** PG Cory Joseph (covid) Out 

Starting Lineups

Spurs: SF Keldon Johnson, PF Doug McDermott, C Jacob Poeltl, PG Derrick White, SG Keita Bates-Diop

Pistons: PF Hamidou Diallo, SF Saddiq Bey, C Luka Garza, SG Frank Jackson, PG Derrick Walton Jr

Statistical Leaders

Points: Dejounte Murray 17.8
Assists: Dejounte Murray 8.8
Rebounds: Jakob Poeltl 8.5
Steals: Dejounte Murray 2.0
Blocks: Jacob Poeltl 1.4

Points: Jerami Grant 20.1
Assists: Derrick Walton Jr 7.5
Rebounds: Isaiah Stewart 8.4
Steals: Derrick Walton Jr 1.5
Blocks: Derrick Walton Jr 2.0


Spurs: Gregg Poppovich
Pistons: Dwayne Casey

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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