Pistons vs Lakers Picks and Predictions: Settling the Score at Staples

The Pistons and Lakers met just last week when chaos broke out, leading to ejections and then suspensions for Isaiah Stewart and Lebron James. Get the NBA betting angle for L.A. and Detroit's rematch with our picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2021 7:19 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
LeBron James L.A. Lakers NBA
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Wilder-Fury. Poirier-McGregor. Usman-Covington. It’s been a year of long-awaited sequels but we don’t have to wait long for the next, as Isaiah Stewart and the Detroit Pistons face Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Both parties have served their suspensions but there will be no love lost as the two teams meet just a week after Big Trouble in Little Caesars.

Here are our NBA picks and predictions for Pistons vs. Lakers and the rematch we've all been waiting for.

Pistons vs Lakers odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Lakers opened as 10- or 10.5-point favorites, depending on the book, while the total hit the board at 216.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Pistons vs Lakers predictions

Predictions made on 11/27/2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Pistons vs Lakers game info

Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Date: Sunday, November 28, 2021
Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET

Pistons vs Lakers betting preview


Pistons: Killian Hayes PG (Questionable), Isaiah Livers PF (Out), Kelly Olynyk PF (Out).
Lakers: Austin Reaves PG (Questionable), Kendrick Nunn PG (Out), Trevor Ariza SF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in the Pistons' last five games following a loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Pistons vs. Lakers.

Pistons vs Lakers picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Last Sunday, the Pistons covered as 7-point underdogs at home, losing by five to the Lakers. This time around, Detroit's getting between 10 and 10.5 points at time of writing, with the grudge match set for Staples Center. 

Despite six games separarating the Lakers (10-11 SU, 7-14 ATS) and the Pistons (4-15 SU, 9-10 ATS), both have been mediocore a quarter of the way through the new season.

The Lakers are a lowly 24th in scoring margin, while Detroit is a to-be-expected 28th. With the supposed strength of L.A., its defense, not impressing, its sunk to 23rd in adjusted net rating, just ahead of 28th ranked Detroit. Both are bottom-10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive rating, with the Pistons actually edging the Lakers on the defensive end.

Obviously, L.A.'s advanced numbers are skewed by James's 11-game absence earlier this season. While there's no arguing the Lakers' roster is flawed and the damage Russell Westbrook's presence has done and will continue to do, there's also no arguing the way James can change the dynamic of an entire team. So far this season, however, it's just the offense that's radically different as far as James's on/off numbers, with the Lakers' defensive flaws much deeper.  

Ultimately, as L.A.'s lackluster scoring margin shows, it isn't much more than a mediocre team at this stage of the season. And, typical of a mediocre team, it doesn't beat teams big. Four of the Lakers' 10 wins this year have come in overtime, two more came by a single possession, and another came by five points — against these same Pistons. (It really doesn't get more damning than beating Houston back-to-back by a total of 12 points.)

There's a chance a veteran-laden Lakers team comes out still furious at their opponents from the events of last week but everything points toward more of the same from L.A., and that means scraping by. 

Prediction: Pistons +10.5 (-120)

Last week, the Lakers and Pistons easily went Over their 213 total in a 121-116 Los Angeles win. Fast forward a week and the total for the rematch sits at 216.5. Despite last week's result, we're looking at the Under, as last week's Over was skewed by a couple of factors.

The first was a 42-point second quarter from Detroit in which the Pistons hit 57 percent of their shots, including 53 percent on 15 3-point attempts, and got an 11-point outburst from Hamidou Diallo off the bench.

The second being that, after Stewart and James's ejections, a young Detroit team came undone as L.A. poured in 37 fourth quarter points to storm back, with Westbrook and Davis combining for 27 points as the team shot 67 percent from the field in the final 12 minutes.

It's unlikely for both teams to get red-hot for even a quarter each again, as neither offense in this one has been particularly effective this year.

Both rank in the bottom-10 in adjusted offensive rating, with the Lakers 22nd and Pistons 28th. L.A., while 13th in effective field goal percentage, is 24th in 3-point rate, which limits the impact of even a strong shooting night. Detroit, meanwhile, is 30th in effective field goal percentage despite having the 11th highest 3-point rate, mitigating the impact of a fairly analytically friendly approach on offense. 

All-in-all, it's two middling offenses, both with flaws, coming together. That has us going Under.

Prediction: Under 216.5 (-110)

Every now and then there's nothing that stands out as a real value or can't-miss bet, so we're passing on this game tonight.

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