#Betting101: Is It Time to Sell High on the Detroit Pistons?

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

The Detroit Pistons have been pounding the basketball odds thus far. This is definitely a better team than last year, but have they already used up their betting value?

We figured Stan Van Gundy knew what he was doing. The Detroit Pistons have taken a while to jell since Van Gundy took over as PBO and head coach in 2014, but here they are at 13-6 SU and 13-5-1 ATS as we go to press – the most profitable team on the NBA odds board. Good health has a lot to do with it. So do lowered expectations.

Now that expectations have been raised, is it time to jump off the Pistons bandwagon? Or are they still too hot to fade? We’ll try to answer that question in our latest NBA weekend looky-loo. Detroit has road games coming up Friday (7:00 p.m. ET) against the Washington Wizards and Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET) against the Philadelphia 76ers. Let’s riggidy-roll.


Naturally, our first inclination here at the ranch is to sell high. The Pistons have played well this year, but not as well as their record would suggest; Basketball Reference has Detroit at plus-2.66 SRS on their Simple Rating System, below the 76ers (plus-3.22 SRS) and the Wizards (plus-2.93 SRS) in the Eastern Conference. Yet it’s the Pistons holding down second place in the East at press time, with the Sixers (11-8 SU, 14-5 ATS) in fifth and the Wiz (11-9 SU, 10-10 ATS) in seventh.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

List of teams that have scored 60 points in a half vs. Boston this season:

1. Pistons

That's it. That's the list.

— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) November 28, 2017

Then again, SRS is based purely on margin of victory and strength of schedule. A look at the efficiency-based stats should give us a clearer picture of what’s going on. If you take the number of points each team scores per 100 possessions, and subtract the number of points they give up per 100 possessions, here’s what you get:

Washington: plus-2.8
Detroit: plus-2.1
Philadelphia: plus-0.9

That certainly changes things. However, we still need to consider strength of schedule, and to do that we’ll look at the Expected Win-Loss records for all three teams, using the old “Pythagorean 16.5” Method:

Washington: 13-7 (.641)
Detroit: 11-8 (.591)
Philadelphia: 10-9 (.534)

There you have it. The Pistons and Sixers look ripe for the fading, while Washington just might belong in our NBA picks for Saturday’s matchup with Detroit. All-Star point guard John Wall (+3.1 BPM) is out the next two weeks or so with inflammation in his left knee, but the Wiz are 2-2 SU and ATS in the four games he’s missed this year, and bettors tend to overreact when star players are out of the lineup. Keep this game in mind when you’re making your picks, and may the sphere be with you.

comment here