Pistons vs. Pacers NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, Feb. 22 (Trust the Indiana offense)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Pistons-Pacers
Feb 14, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;   Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots the ball against the Raptors.
Feb 14, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots the ball against the Raptors. / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star break can do a handful of things for teams deserving of a much-needed rest. It’s less beneficial for a team like Detroit, which dubiously owns the NBA’s worst record (8-46) and can only see what they have for the future as they look forward to the NBA Draft Lottery coming up on May 12. 

For the Pacers, a team looking to secure a playoff spot and avoid the Play-In tournament (Indiana is No. 6 in the Eastern Conference right now with only a half-game lead on Miami), it’s a nice reset to refuel for the playoff push. The Pacers begin the back stretch of the regular season with a four-game homestand, starting on Thursday when the lowly Pistons come to town.

Will the refreshed Pacers cruise after winning four of their last six games heading into the All-Star break? Here’s the betting breakdown of Thursday’s matchup with a best bet. 

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Pistons vs. Pacers odds, spread and total

Pistons vs. Pacers how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 22
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Pistons record: 8-46
  • Pacers record: 31-25

Pistons vs. Pacers injury report

Detroit Pistons

  • Isaiah Stewart (arrested): questionable

Indiana Pacers

  • Aaron Nesmith (ankle): questionable

Pistons vs. Pacers key players to watch


Simone Fontecchio: Acquired by the Pistons in a deadline deal with the Utah Jazz, Fontecchio has played in three games (making two starts) over the last three games. He scored 46 points in that stretch, including an 18-point outing in a 116-100 loss to Phoenix and was one rebound shy of a double-double (20 points) in his Pistons debut against the Clippers Feb. 10. The rookie is 7-of-22 from 3-point range with Detroit and is averaging 9.3 points per game on the year. 


Tyrese Haliburton: Much will be made about the former first-round pick’s scoring ability at 21.8 points per game (he’s coming off a 32-pint performance in the All-Star game, as well), but Haliburton is the key facilitator on the best passing team in the NBA. The Iowa State product leads the league in assists (11.7) and dished out 11 or more dimes in four consecutive games leading up to the All-Star break while his scoring dipped to 15.6 points per game in February. 

Pistons vs. Pacers prediction and pick

Indiana’s motivation will be high going into this matchup, which is something to look for in a big favorite. The Pacers made a big splash in acquiring Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors to go all-in this season.

The highest total on the board for Thursday is no surprise in this matchup as it features two high-scoring offenses. Indiana still leads the NBA in scoring (123.5 points per game), home scoring (126.5), assists (30.8), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.306) while playing at the No. 2 pace in the league. Indiana, which is No. 2 overall in offensive rating (trailing only Boston), faces a Detroit club that is 28th in defensive rating and 27th in defensive scoring, giving up 122 points per game. 

Detroit can score, too, given its young talent like Cade Cunningham (21.9 points per game) and Jaden Ivey, but the Pistons did get rid of 20-point scorer Bojan Bogdanovic (New York Knicks) and have averaged just 105.6 points per game since making the move. Indiana is 26th in the league in defensive rating and allows the most points in the paint. 

Instead of relying on Indiana’s sub-par defense to get the job done, focus on the dream matchup for the Pacers’ top-tier offense. Indiana put up 130-plus points in each of its first two battles against Detroit this season. Take the Pacers to go over their posted team total. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.