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Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 11/8/13

Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) at Detroit Pistons (2-2)

NBA Basketball: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm (The Palace of Auburn Hills)

The Line: Detroit Pistons +2.5 -- Over/Under: 196 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Detroit Pistons welcome Kevin Durant the Oklahoma City Thunder to town on Friday night.

Head to head, the Thunder are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings while the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the underdog is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The Pistons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall, but just 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 vs. Western Conference. The Thunder on the other hand are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games, 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest and 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 11/8/13

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

While the signs are encouraging, the Detroit Pistons still have plenty to work on if they hope to be a playoff team this season. Having split their four games thus far, the Pistons have had some good moments and not so good moments, but overall they have been right in the middle of the pack on offense and on defense. The biggest challenge so far has been getting Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, who has only played two games, incorporated into the offense as both players have had their troubles, especially shooting the ball. Smith is leading Detroit in scoring at 17.3 points, but is shooting just over 40% from the field and 25% from long range while Jennings is at just 34% overall.

If there were any doubts surrounding Russell Westbrook and his surprise return, surely they have been squashed after his last performance. In his second-game back from two offseason knee surgeries, Westbrook looked his explosive self with 22 points and two monster dunks to lead his Oklahoma City Thunder squad past the visiting Dallas Mavericks 107-93 on Wednesday night. Kevin Durant also added a game-high 23 points to go along with 10 boards while Serge Ibaka chipped in 17 and 13 rebounds. The Thunder look like a completely different team with Westbrook on the floor and if they can keep getting contributions from the likes of Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams, they are going to be a key factor come playoff time.

Take out of this what you will, but the Pistons are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games and 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 overall, dating back to last season. The Thunder on the other hand are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games and 1-8 ATS overall. OKC have won the last two meeting in Detroit, but they were by a combined three points, which is coincidently tonight’s spread. This isn’t going to be a popular pick, but I’m going with Detroit as I think they have a massive advantage in the frontcourt...

Dan’s Pick: Detroit +2.5

Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP

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