Chance to Secure More

The Detroit Pistons clinched their fourth consecutive Central Division title with a win over the Miami Heat less than two weeks ago.

They now have a chance to secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference at the expense of the lowly Heat, who host Detroit on Sunday looking to avoid a sweep in the season series between the teams.

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

The Pistons (54-21) have won four straight, beginning with an 85-69 victory over Miami (13-63) on March 27 which gave them the division title. They haven't trailed by more than nine points in any of the last four wins, and three of the victories have been by double-digit margins, including a 106-87 win over New Jersey on Friday.

Detroit had six players score in double figures, led by Antonio McDyess' 19 points, and shot 52.5 percent from the field while outrebounding the Nets 48-31.

Arron Afflalo was the only starter to play more than 25 minutes, while leading scorer Richard Hamilton sat out for the fifth time in six games with a sore hip.

"This is what we want to do down the stretch," coach Flip Saunders said. "We want to be able to play the starters for only 22 to 24 minutes instead of shutting them down completely. That lets them stay in a rhythm, and our bench is making it possible for us to do it."

Saunders was pleased to see his team keep the pressure on the Nets the entire game, never trailing and leading by as many as 27 points.

"When you look at the circumstances, you know where you're at, you think you can just lay down and just kind of go through the motions, but we didn't do that," he said.

Miami, meanwhile, has lost six straight and 17 of 19, including a 109-95 defeat at Washington on Friday. Ricky Davis scored a season-high 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting and Chris Quinn matched a career high with 24 points.

Quinn, who is averaging 7.2 points this season, has seen his playing time increase over the last month. He's averaging 16.4 points in the last seven games.

The Heat, who have struggled with injuries this season, most notably to Dwyane Wade, suffered another one Friday when Alexander Johnson was struck in the temple in a collision with teammate Mark Blount. He was taken to the locker room where he was conscious but unresponsive. Johnson got a CT scan at the hospital and was cleared to fly home.

"This Godforsaken season has got to be over with," coach Pat Riley said.

With six games remaining, the Heat have the NBA's worst record. They need to win at least three to avoid finishing with the fewest wins in franchise history, set in 1988-89 - Miami's inaugural season - when they went 15-67.

Miami has lost four straight against the Pistons and is trying to avoid its second four-game season series sweep by Detroit since 2003-04. The Heat have just five wins in the last 24 meetings between these teams since 2001-02.

Here are some top trends for today's matchup:

-MIAMI is 12-4 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons

-DETROIT is 10-6 straight up against MIAMI over the last 3 seasons

-12 of 16 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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