Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2545 Detroit Pistons vs.
#2546 Dallas Mavericks
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:35pm EDT
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Detroit Pistons will head to American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night for a late-season matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas is trying to finish the season strong after dropping five of its last seven games. The Mavericks come into Wednesday’s matchup in seventh place in the Western Conference standings with a 30-26 overall record. Meanwhile, Detroit has won two of its last three games to put its spot atop the NBA Draft Lottery in jeopardy. The Pistons enter the final stretch of the regular season tied with the Orlando Magic for the third-worst record in the NBA.

Can the Mavericks bounce back at home against the pesky Pistons on Wednesday night?

Stewart continues to impress for Detroit

Detroit won for the second time in three games on Monday night, taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-105 behind 20 points from guard Frank Jackson, who broke a late tie with a baseline drive in the final minute. Saddiq Bey also had 20 points for the Pistons, who had six players finish in double-figures on the night. Fellow rookie Isaiah Stewart also had a big game, finishing with 18 points and 16 rebounds while sporting a team-best +20 net rating in the win.

The Pistons’ front office took plenty of criticism for drafting Stewart with the No. 19 pick in the NBA Draft but the move appears to have paid immediate dividends. Thought to be more of a traditional big man coming out of the University of Washington, Stewart is already ahead of schedule as a shooter. He’s flashed his range by knocking down 58.3 percent of his shots from the field and 42.9 percent of his attempts from 3-point range for the season. Over his last three games, the 19-year-old is averaging 17.3 points, 16.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per contest.

According to dunksandthress.com, Detroit enters Wednesday’s matchup ranked 24th in the NBA with an adjusted net rating of -3.5. The Pistons have held their own defensively, sporting an adjusted 112.5 rating on that end of the floor, good for 18th in the NBA. However, they’ve struggled to score the ball efficiently and rank 25th in the league with an adjusted 108.9 offensive rating.

Mavs start slow again, fall short vs. Kings

Dallas continued its slide on Sunday, falling short 121-107 at home versus the Sacramento Kings. Luka Doncic finished with 37 points while Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range for the Mavericks, who lost for the fourth time in the last five games. Dallas hit just one of its first 11 3-point shots and was just 6-for-24 from deep by halftime.

The Mavericks have struggled at home in American Airlines Arena this season. Sunday’s loss versus Sacramento dropped Dallas below the .500-mark at home with a 13-14 overall record. The Mavericks currently sit in seventh place in the West standings but are just 1.5-games back of the Portland Trail Blazers for the coveted No. 6 spot. Dallas also has one of the league’s most favorable schedules to close out the regular season. Ten of the Mavericks’ final 16 games will be against below-.500 teams.

According to dunksandthress.com, the Mavericks rank 12th in the NBA with an adjusted +1.7 net rating. Dallas owns an adjusted 114.1 offensive rating, 10th in the NBA, and an adjusted 112.4 defensive rating, which ranks 16th in the NBA.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This simply feels like too much juice to lay here. The Mavericks come in playing some of their worst basketball of the season and they’ve struggled at home, sporting a losing record at American Airlines Arena through 27 games. Meanwhile, Detroit has proven that it isn’t going to lay down during the final stretch of the regular season. The Pistons seem intent on developing their younger players, who are playing hard on a nightly basis for head coach Dwane Casey. While I expect Dallas to come out strong and win this game, look for the Pistons to battle for 48 minutes and cover the spread in this matchup on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Detroit Pistons +12.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under has traditionally been the play when these two teams tip-off against one another. These two teams have stayed under the projected total in seven of their last 10 meetings and four of their last five at American Airlines Arena. Detroit likes to slow the pace down, ranking 23rd in the NBA in pace and 24th in average possession length on offense. Dallas plays at an even slower tempo, ranking 27th and 29th, respectively, in both categories. The Pistons have also held their own defensively, which bodes well for a low-scoring game here. Take this matchup to stay under the projected total on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Under 220.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.