The Detroit Pistons (6-41) host the surging L.A. Clippers (31-15) on Friday (2/2/24) at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Clippers are heavy favorites in the betting odds at -11.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 238.5.
This article provides in-depth analysis of this Clippers vs. Pistons matchup, including odds, starting lineups, key matchups, and a prediction that the Clippers will cover the -11.5 spread.
Clippers vs. Pistons Prediction
The Clippers are on a roll and now they get to face the worst team in the league who is missing at least one starter and one rotational player.
Los Angeles has won six of its last seven games and all six of those wins have come by double digits, including three on the road. The most impressive victory during that stretch was a 19-point win over the Celtics on the road as 7-point underdogs.
The Clippers are 10-6 ATS as a road favorite this season which is the most games covered of any team and the third-best cover percentage (minimum 10 games). They have also covered more games overall as a favorite (24) than any other team this season.
Simply put, they are taking care of their business and playing consistently excellent basketball right now.
The Pistons have also been playing better lately. They are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games and have won three of those games outright – as many games as they won in their first 38 games of the season. That isn’t hard when you endure an NBA-record losing streak, but it’s still a clear step in the right direction.
Even if the Pistons are showing progress, they are still not prepared for the buzzsaw that is the L.A. Clippers right now. L.A. has the 5th best net rating in the league this season and had the third-best net rating in January.
It’s also worth noting that Clippers star Paul George should return to the lineup tonight after missing the last game against Washington. George has not been 100% even when he’s played recently, but his return will still give the Clippers a boost. On the other side, Pistons star Cade Cunningham has missed 9 of the last 11 games but is expected to play tonight.
The Clippers are better prepared to play with a hobbled George than the Pistons are to overcome a less effective Cunningham. The health of those two stars is just another reason to like the Clippers to cover the -11.5 tonight.
Clippers vs. Pistons Prediction: Clippers -11.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
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Clippers vs. Pistons Best Odds
The Clippers are big favorites in this game at -11.5 against the spread and -650 on the moneyline. The Pistons’ moneyline odds are at +475, while the over/under is set at 238.5.
Clippers Starting Lineup
Pistons Starting Lineup
Clippers vs. Pistons Injuries
The Clippers could be missing two starters with Paul George being day-to-day with a groin injury and Ivica Zubac remaining out with a calf strain. George was removed from the injury report on Friday morning and is expected to play.
The Pistons also have a couple of starters on the injury report. Star guard Cade Cunningham is questionable, while forward Isaiah Stewart and reserve big Mike Muscala (who started the last game) are both out. Cunningham is expected to play but his status bears monitoring.
Clippers vs. Pistons Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Clippers vs. Pistons below.
Clippers’ penetration vs. Pistons’ interior defense
The Pistons have very little in terms of interior defense, and that will be an even bigger problem tonight with both Isaiah Stewart and Mike Muscala out for this game. That is a big reason why opponents attack the Pistons in the paint more than just about any other team. Opponents attempt 38.5% of their field goals against the Pistons at the rim, which is the third-highest rate in the league.
While the Clippers are not a dominant team off the dribble, they do have three superstars in George, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard who can all attack the rim and either finish or draw doubles and kick it out to shooters. Those opportunities should be available all game against Detroit, and if the Pistons cannot prevent that penetration, they are going to have a hard time slowing down the Clippers’ high-powered offense that is 4th in the league in offensive rating.
The Clippers’ mismatches offensively are the main reason picked them to cover the -11.5 spread in our Clippers vs. Pistons prediction. It would also be a good reason to bet on the over in this game at a line of 238.5.
While the Clippers’ ability to attack the Pistons’ weak interior defense may be the bigger mismatch in this game, it’s not their preferred style of offense. They are arguably the best three-point shooting team in the league with a league-leading 39.3% rate from three. They were even better in January with a clip of 42.3%.
The Pistons have also been shooting it much better of late. They shot 39.4% from three in January, well above their season average of 35.7% (24th). Bojan Bogdanovic is their boost shooter; he is shooting 41.4% from three on over 7.0 attempts per game, which translates to 3.0 made threes per game.
If one of these teams gets hot from three, that could be a big factor in how close the game ends up being and whether the Clippers can cover the spread.