Portland Trail Blazers at Detroit Pistons – NBA March 31

Trail Blazers (28-18, 14-9) at Pistons (13-33, 8-13)

  • Time: 4PM PST – 6PM CST – 7PM EST
  • Place: Little Caesar’s Arena, Detroit, MI
  • TV: NBC Sports Northwest | Bally Sports Detroit | NBA League Pass

Opening Tip

This is the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and Pistons this season as the return trip for the Pistons will be at Moda Center on April 10.

The Blazers have won three in a row and six out of their last eight while the Pistons ended a four-game losing streak with a win over Toronto on Monday evening. Portland is 10-4 in March and has moved into sixth place in the Western Conference as the usual log jam has ensued with four games separating five teams from the 2-seed through the 6-seed.

Detroit is going to be a heavy favorite to get into the top three of the NBA Draft Lottery as they are currently tied with Houston for the second-worst record in the league behind the 11-36 Timberwolves.

CJ McCollum led Portland with 41 points as the Blazers defeated the Pistons 107-104 in the only meeting last season.

Key Injuries

  • Portland Trail BlazersZach Collins (ankle) OUT | Nassir Little (thumb) OUT
  • Detroit PistonsWayne Ellington (calf) OUT | Killian Hayes (hip) OUT | Rodney McGruder (elbow) OUT | Jahlil Okafor (knee) OUT | Dennis Smith – (spine) OUT

Trail Blazers:

  • Portland is 4-8 ATS in the last 12 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of the Trail Blazers’ last 12 games
  • The Blazers are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games

Pistons:

  • Detroit is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 4 of the last 5 between the Pistons and Blazers
  • The Pistons are 7-1 ATS in the last 8 games when hosting the Blazers

Last Time Out

Portland outlasted Toronto, 122-117, on Sunday evening as CJ McCollum popped in 23 points and Damian Lilliard added 22 points and 11 assists. Toronto led 74-68 at halftime before the Trail Blazers held the Raptors to 10 third-quarter points.

Then, the Raptors were once again the sacrifice for the Pistons on Monday evening as they bolted to a 66-50 halftime lead and were never threatened. Hamidou Diallo, Saben Lee, and Saddiq Bey scored 19 each as Diallo pulled down 10 boards.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Trail Blazers -8 (-107) -325 O 221 (-107)
Pistons +8 (-113) +270 U 221 (-113)

Advantage, Portland

Portland Trail Blazers LogoWith CJ McCollum healthy and in his customary position in the back court with Dame-Dollah, the Blazers are starting to gell back into a contender for a Top 4 seed in the Western Conference. McCollum is averaging 30 points and 6.7 rebounds over his last three games while Lillard has had a trio of 22-points games in his last three as he was inactive in the win over Orlando.

The Blazers’ three-point game is seventh in the NBA at 38 percent from the floor while the Blazers make the second most shots and shot attempts in the league (16-of-43 per game). Detroit’s opponents make 37.2 percent of their triples (20th/NBA).

Key Blazers Stat

The Blazers are ecstatic to have big man Jusuf Nurkić returning as he has played around 19 minutes in each of the last two games. Meanwhile Enes Kanter has been a solid occupant in the paint with 12.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.

X-Factor

Adding Norman Powell diversifies this team even more with his three-point acumen and the ability to go to the deep baselines and score consistently. This will extend opposing defenses even more and ball movement will add to the three-point game as well as allow plenty of isolations for Nurkič and Kanter on the post-up.

Advantage, Detroit

Detroit Pistons LogoThis is a descending franchise that has little connectivity or chemistry as well as no consistent veteran presences to use as cornerstones. Saddiq Bey is a good story this season as a rookie as he currently has 102 three-point shots which has already broken the rookie record. Jerami Grant (22.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg) took the money and ran out of Denver where he was a solid role player on a team that made it to the Western Conference finals.

Now, he is the No. 1 option with the Pistons where he is playing by far the most minutes of his career as he is the most solid veteran on the team. His scoring is by far the best of his career, but his averages are way below what he accrued in Denver and Oklahoma City.

Key Pistons Stat:

Josh Jackson is giving coach Dwayne Casey plenty of consistent minutes off the bench. His 12.9 points per game is a four-year career best so far as is his effective field goal percentage which stands at 46.9 percent.

X-Factor:

Rookie guard Saben Lee (6.2 ppg, 2.9 apg) out of Vanderbilt is a player to watch on this team with his savvy with the basketball and ability to create for his teammates as well as find his own shots. He has played in the last 16 games and has two games of 20-plus points and has averaged 3.5 assists over his last six outings.

Winner: Trail Blazers 116, Pistons 108

The Bets
Portland Trail Blazers
-325
OVER 221
-107
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.