Pistons Look to Roll Heat

When the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat met to open the season in November, both teams felt they had a chance of representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals. Only one of them is still harboring those hopes.

After an impressive victory over one of the Western Conference's best teams, the Central Division-leading Pistons try to push their win streak to six Wednesday when they host the stumbling Heat.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Detroit -16 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 184 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -16 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Detroit (34-13) beat the Heat 91-80 at Miami on Nov. 1 in its season opener, and has been playing at a high level ever since. The Pistons have the second-best record in the East and hold a comfortable lead over second-place Cleveland in the Central.

Detroit defeated Dallas 90-67 on Sunday, holding the high-powered Mavericks to a season low in points and shooting (30.3 percent).

"When we are playing our best, that's how we play," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "We play physical, we get after it, we make teams react to what we do and we don't stay back. We become more proactive."

Rasheed Wallace had 21 points and nine rebounds after scoring just six points on 3-of-13 shooting in Thursday's 90-89 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tayshaun Prince, averaging 18.3 points in his last three games, scored a career-high 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting Sunday. He matched a career high with 12 rebounds in the Nov. 1 victory over the Heat.

Detroit has been winning with solid defense, as the Pistons rank second in the league in points allowed per game (89.9) and field-goal percentage defense (43.8). They've held opponents to 86.2 points and 41.3 percent shooting during their five-game winning streak.

While Detroit is battling for the top spot in the East, the Heat (9-26) own the league's worst record and are trying to avoid losing 10 straight road games for the first time in 17 years.

Miami captured the NBA title in 2005-06 and hoped it would have a chance to come out of wide-open East again this season. However, injuries to stars Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal and a lack of depth behind that duo quickly dashed those hopes.

The Heat have dropped 19 of 20 and are coming off a 114-82 loss to Toronto, their most lopsided of the season. Miami committed 21 turnovers and fell behind by as many as 23 points in the first quarter.

"Terrible basketball,'' said Wade, who had 12 points. "Maybe it's getting away."

Wade, who missed last Wednesday's game with the flu, is averaging 11.3 points on 37.1 percent shooting in his last three contests after averaging 32.6 points in his previous five.

Wade missed the season opener against the Pistons while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He's averaging 26.6 points in his last five games against them.

Detroit has won 16 of its last 20 against Miami, and eight of nine over the Heat at The Palace.

Miami, which has the league's second-worst road offense (92.1 ppg), has lost nine straight away from home by an average of 13.0 points since a 117-113 win at Phoenix on Dec. 10. It's the Heat's longest road skid since a nine-game slide during the 1994-95 season, and they have not lost 10 straight away from Miami since dropping the final 14 road games of the 1990-91 season.

The Heat have the league's fourth-worst road record at 4-18, while the Pistons have the NBA's fourth-best home mark at 17-4.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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