Nuggets vs. Pistons prediction and odds for Thursday, March 16

Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s the first day of March Madness, but college isn’t the only basketball to bet on today. We have a full NBA slate as well and in this matchup we have the best in the West against the least in the East.

The Denver Nuggets are 46-23, the best record in the Western Conference. They’re 4.5 games clear of the Sacramento Kings. In the East, the Detroit Pistons are 5.5 games clear of the Hornets for last place, their obvious goal for this season.

Denver is the favorite, but the Nuggets are headed in the wrong direction right now. Here are the odds for Nuggets and Pistons in Detroit.

Nuggets vs. Pistons odds, spread and total

Nuggets vs. Pistons prediction and pick

Denver isn’t in any trouble yet, but they might want to stop messing around. The Nuggets have lost their last four games all to teams that are not contenders. Most recently, they fell, 125-110 to Toronto despite a 28, 8, and 7 performance for Nikola Jokic. As they continue to lose, the possibility of three straight MVPs for Jokic continues to slip away more and more.

Over these last four games, Denver’s net rating is -12.0 which is second worst in the league, only better than Portland. Detroit is has a NRtg of -3.2 for that stretch, which still isn’t good, but for one of the worst teams in the league you’ll take it.

The Nuggets are a legit title contender and the Pistons are currently running out lineups that might not win a G-League championship. Buddy Boehheim is playing significant minutes for this team right now and James Wiseman is their starting center. I love Wiseman’s potential, but there’s no chance he can do anything against Jokic. That is if, Jokic and the Nuggets have any interest in playing hard.

This isn’t who the Nuggets are, this is a blip on the radar, but if the Bulls, Spurs, Raptors and Nets didn’t get Denver’s juices flowing then why would the Pistons make them play hard.

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change