Dallas Mavericks vs Detroit Pistons Preview (12/1/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Pistons will look to end their three-game skid when they host the Dallas Mavericks in Detroit on Thursday night for what will be the only NBA game on the slate! Check out my analysis and picks for this game, the starting lineups, current injury reports, and updated odds.

Dallas Mavericks Vs. Detroit Pistons Betting Odds

The Dallas Mavericks are seven-point road favorites against the Detroit Pistons. Detroit will be missing its entire starting backcourt, Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham, to leg injuries. Meanwhile, Dallas is nearly in full health and fresh off a huge win against the Golden State Warriors when it travels to Detroit.

Dallas Mavericks Vs. Detroit Pistons Prediction

Detroit has struggled this season; it is objectively the worst team in the NBA, with a 5-18 record and one of the most effortless (not in a good way) defenses. Now, the Pistons are without star Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey. It’s difficult to qualitatively express how much of a hit this is for a team that already struggled scoring (27th in points per game.) The Pistons are 2-9 without Cunningham, but both of those wins came with Jaden Ivey on the floor. Once Ivey sustained the injury, Detroit went on to drop its next three games by an average of nearly 15 points.

Luka Doncic has put together a phenomenal start to the 2022-23 season, averaging a near-triple-double so far. However, the Mavericks as a whole have had a roller-coaster first quarter of the year, going just 10-10 after making the Western Conference Finals last season. An area of the Mavs’ game that propelled them in the playoffs last season was their three-point shooting, which was 38% So far, Dallas has ranked in the bottom ten in the league in 3P%, which is a huge part of its game plan (5th in 3PA per game.)

When Doncic gets doubled on ball screens, post-ups, or drives, it opens up one of the Mavs’ wings on the perimeter. However, if those shots aren’t going in, it can cause offensive problems. Additionally, the Mavs don’t have the same impact on the defensive end that they did last season, ranking just outside the top ten in defensive rating. Until those two things improve, we will see a ton of volatility in their performance from one night to the next.

Still, I’m astonished by this line. The Pistons are the worst team in the NBA and missing two of their three best players, Cunningham and Ivey. While seven points is a big number for a road team, this Detroit squad, including its heavily relied-upon forward Bojan Bogdanovic, is going to struggle to score against such a wing-heavy, rangy team. I will take the Mavs against the spread and not think twice. The idea that this might be a trap game doesn’t scare me at all.

Betting Trends

  • Dallas is 2-6 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Detroit is 5-4-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 25-17-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

There’s a clear advantage in this key matchup between MVP-favorite Luka Doncic and Detroit’s lackluster defense. Regardless of the advantage being known already, see my analysis below to check out just how wide the gap is in this matchup!

Luka Doncic vs. Detroit’s Defense

Luka Doncic has the advantage, yes. However, let’s dig deeper into how wide this advantage is as this can tell us a lot about whether or not Dallas will cover the spread. First, Doncic has started the 2022-23 season as well as he has any season in his young career, posting roughly 34 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists per game.

On the other hand, Detroit has the second-worst defense in the NBA, with a defensive rating of 117.8. Additionally, the Pistons have allowed the second-most points to opposing points guards, and with a weakened backcourt, Doncic should pummel the Pistons. Advantage: Doncic.

Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup

PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr
SF: Spencer Dinwiddie
PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
C: Dwight Powell

Detroit Pistons Starting Lineups

PG: Killian Hayes
SG: Saddiq Bey
SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
PF: Marvin Bagley III
C: Isaiah Stewart

Key Injuries

Dallas Mavericks Injuries: Kemba Walker (Out)

Detroit Pistons Injuries: Jaden Ivey (Out), Cade Cunningham (Out), Nerlens Noel (Q)

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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