Heat vs. Pistons NBA expert prediction and odds for Sunday, March 17 (Can Detroit cover?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Miami Heat-Detroit Pistons matchup in the NBA on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are in desperate need of a win to keep pace in the Eastern Conference, and they have a favorable matchup against one of the league’s worst teams – the Detroit Pistons – on Sunday. 

Detroit has won four of its last 10 games, but the Heat beat them by 13 in Detroit on Friday night. 

Still, the Heat have a recent loss to the Washington Wizards, so this matchup is far from a sure thing for Miami. 

In three matchups this season, the Heat have won three games, meaning they can sweep the season series on Sunday afternoon. 

With Miami sitting 2.5 games back of the No. 5 seed in the East, the team is hoping to take control as a sizable road favorite. 

Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this matchup: 

Heat vs. Pistons odds, spread and total

Heat vs. Pistons how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, March 17
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Little Caesars Arena
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Sun
  • Heat record: 36-30
  • Pistons record: 12-54

Heat vs. Pistons injury reports

Heat injury report

  • Bam Adebayo – available
  • Jimmy Butler – questionable
  • Tyler Herro – out
  • Nikola Jovic – out
  • Kevin Love – out
  • Caleb Martin – available
  • Josh Richardson – out
  • Cole Swider – out
  • Alondes Williams – out

Pistons injury report

  • Buddy Boeheim – out 
  • Cade Cunningham – probable
  • Quentin Grimes – out
  • Jared Rhoden – out
  • Ausar Thompson – out

Heat vs. Pistons key players to watch

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler: Butler is questionable with a foot injury, and he scored just 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the win over Detroit on Friday. With several key players out for Miami – including starters in Jovic and Herro – the team certainly needs Butler to suit up to make this an easier matchup. Jimmy is averaging 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this season. 

Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham: Cunningham shot poorly in the loss to Miami on Friday (5-for-15 from the field), but he’s still played well as of late, averaging 23.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game in 12 contests since the All-Star break. 

Heat vs. Pistons prediction and pick

This line has gone down from what it was on Friday, likely due to Butler’s questionable status. 

The Heat were able to cover as road favorites (6-5-1 against the spread in that spot this season) on Friday, but these teams have played some close games with Miami winning by one, eight and 13 points this season. 

I’m expecting Cunningham to play better in this meeting, and the Heat are now down Jovic, shortening their already banged up rotation. 

Since Butler’s status is up in the air, I don’t mind taking a shot on the Pistons (13-13-1 ATS as home dogs) to cover the number here. Detroit has been much better since the break, playing nearly .500 ball in its last 10. 

Pick: Pistons +6.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.