Tuesday’s Nuggets-Pistons game will be the second in a home-and-home series between the two teams and will take place in Detroit. Last time out, Nikola Jokic put up 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists en route to a 117-111 victory in Denver. Previously, he had put up 12, 10, 14 and 13 assists, respectively, in four consecutive triple-doubles.
In my view, Jokic is the clear-cut MVP frontrunner right now; this Denver team would be absolute trash without him, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. available. He’s put his team on his back and after going 12-19 shooting and 9-10 from the free throw line last game, I expect Pistons head coach Dwane Casey to throw two defenders on him more often in the rematch, which would boost his assist potential.
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This month, Jokic leads the NBA (not just centers… every single player) in passes made per game (72.8) and over his last five games, he ranks third in assists per contest (11.4) and 8th in potential assists per game (17.4).
The Pistons have allowed 25.2 assists per game (5th-worst in the NBA) and have allowed their opponents to shoot 47.4% from the field (2nd-worst) this season. Over the last five games, Detroit has the worst Defensive Rating in the NBA (122.1) by a wide margin, per NBA.com.
Despite Detroit's terrible defensive play, it's worth noting that the Nuggets have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games while the Pistons have covered in three consecutive contests, so I also think this game will stay close. That would be another positive as far as this assist prop is concerned. I’m going to bet over 8.5 assists and also on Jokic’s triple-double props in this matchup.