Cavaliers vs. Pistons Prediction: How We’re Betting This Eastern Conference Matchup

Detroit Pistons' Derrick Rose

The Detroit Pistons are 7.0-point favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Cleveland (10-27) has lost five straight games after a 115-113 loss to these same Pistons at home on Tuesday night. Now head coach John Beilein is in hot water after allegedly calling his players “thugs” during a film session. Center Tristan Thompson is a hot name on the trading block. Thompson grabbed 15 boards but scored just eight points on 3-of-7 shooting in the loss against Detroit. Thompson has made just 6 of his last 21 field goal attempts. The Cavs have struggled to score this season and rank 27th in the NBA in points per game (104.6) and 24th in 3-point shooting (34.4%). Cleveland is also 29th in field goal defense (48.4%) and 28th in 3-point defense (37.7%).

Detroit (15-23) returns home from a five-game road trip where they went 2-3 SU and ATS. Center Andre Drummond is coming off another big performance with 23 points and 20 rebounds in the win over the Cavs. Drummond is also rumored to be on the trading block. Rookie Sekou Doumboya is averaging 13 points over the last four games after totaling just nine points in his first seven appearances. The Pistons are ranked 27th in 3-point defense (37.7%) but 3rd in 3-point shooting (37.4%). Detroit is one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA averaging 42.3 per game.

ESPN’s FPI gives Detroit a 77.5% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Thursday’s matchup between the Cavaliers and Pistons. 

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Cavaliers vs. Pistons Game Details

Date: Thursday, January 9
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena (Detroit, Michigan)
TV: FS Ohio, FS Detroit
Pistons -7
Total: 220.5

*All lines, odds & trends courtesy of FanDuel, Covers, & The Action Network

Key Injuries


  • PG Dante Exum (illness) out
  • SG Kevin Porter Jr. (knee) out
  • PF Larry Nance Jr. (knee) out
  • SG Dylan Windler (lower leg) out


  • PF Markieff Morris (foot) out
  • SG Luke Kennard (knee) out
  • SG Khyri Thomas (foot) out
  • PG Reggie Jackson (back) out
  • PF Blake Griffin (out) knee

Betting Trends

  • Cavaliers are 10-27 SU and 15-21-1 ATS this season
  • Pistons are 15-23 SU and 14-23-1 ATS this season
  • Over 19-18 in Cavaliers games this season
  • Over is 22-16 in Pistons games this season

Analysis & Pick

This is the battle of the trading blocks. Both centers could be on their way out of town as we move closer to the deadline. I think Andre Drummond has more upside, but Tristan Thompson could also provide some value in the middle for a contender down the stretch. Both will likely be matched up against each other again in this game, and I expect Drummond to continue to show why he is the better player at this stage.

While the Cavs have been dreadful for most of the season, I think this is a good spot for them to at least keep things close. The John Beilein controversy also could provide a spark of motivation. Detroit has won the first two matchups of this season series, with both victories coming on the road, but something tells me Cleveland keeps this game close and maybe pulls off an upset in the Motor City.

PICK: Cavaliers +7

READ NEXTCeltics vs. 76ers Prediction: How We’re Betting This Eastern Conference Showdown

Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith

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