Free NBA Picks: Pistons to Resist An Urged-to-Win Heat

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 1:24 PM GMT

There's still a lot to play for when the playoff-bound Heat and Pistons clash in Detroit tonight. We have your NBA pick and betting analysis right here.

Miami Heat Preview
Miami needs to win tonight, and in their regular-season finale against the Celtics in Boston to secure home-court advantage through the first-round. The Heat have been pretty good at American Airlines Arena recently, winning 10 of their last 11 on home hardwood. They've had difficulty translating that success to the road, losing four of their last five SU and six of their last seven ATS.

This is the fourth meeting between the two organizations this season. Detroit is up 2-1 SU and ATS, while the 'Under' has struck in all three contests. Miami has dropped its last three SU and ATS at Auburn Hills, failing to score 100 points in each.

The Heat, a defense-first outfit, have shown some holes of late. In the last five games, efficiency-wise, their 106.5 points allowed per 100 possessions is slightly more than their season average (104.3). In their last 10 road games, the team has allowed eight opponents to go 'Over' their team total by 4.7 points per night—though, two contests ventured into overtime.

Offensively, Miami is on a tear since the All Star break. It's averaging 108.4 points per game on 48.9 percent shooting, opposed to 96.0 on 46.0 percent from the floor prior to the showcase weekend. Before February 8, they ranked 26th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, climbing to 13th in a little more than two months, which may not be enough to get backup from the NBA odds 

 

Detroit Pistons Overview
It only took two seasons, but coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy has Detroit back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season, after the Pistons topped the Wizards 112-99 on Friday.

Stationed as the Eastern Conference's seventh seed, the Motor City franchise needs to pick up one win in its final two games to secure the spot. The team will face either the Cavaliers or Raptors to kick off its first postseason appearance in six years.

Since the All Star break, the Pistons are 10-4 SU and 9-5 ATS at the Palace, scoring above their projected team total in all but four games with a 107.4 points per game average. The 'Over' is 10-4 in this span.

The Pistons home form is a bit one-sided, guilty of beating up on lesser-teams in the Motor City. Against foes with a losing record, they are 14-4 SU and 12-5-1 ATS. Against teams with a .500 record or better, they are 11-10 SU and ATS.

The only Pistons player with playoff experience, Reggie Jackson's production is instrumental for Pistons backers this season. Leading the team with 18.8 points per game, when he nets more than 20 on a night, Detroit is 23-4 SU and ATS.

Can we expect a lot of buckets tonight? Tough to call. The Heat are the one of the NBA's best at guarding the point. Their 40.2 percent shooting allowed by the position is tops in the league. Jackson, however, is 40 for 80 from the floor against the Heat's current roster.

Final Analysis
The Heat have won just eight of 14 games SU (9-13 ATS) on the road versus opponents with a winning record—three of those victories coming as chalk. As an away dog, they've allowed 12 of 19 foes score more than the betting market projects, and we're not so sure they slow the young, upbeat Pistons down tonight. Detroit is the NBA pick for the game.

Overall YTD: 49-36-1 (-107)
NBA YTD:24-18 (-109)
 

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Free NBA Pick: Detroit Pistons -2 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage