Improved Defense Makes Bucks -3 the Pick Over Pistons

Darin Zank

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:20 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 3:20 PM UTC

This NBA handicapper notes that while Detroit has taken seven of the last nine meetings with division-rival Milwaukee, the Bucks are 5-4 ATS over that span. Coach Kidd and upstart Milwaukee host Piston Coach Van Gundy and the disappointing Pistons Tuesday night.

Pistons-Bucks Betting Odds
The NBA odds at most online sportsbooks opened this game with Milwaukee favored by 3.5 points, the total at 191. Many of those books later dropped the Bucks to -3.


Pistons-Bucks: The Match-Up
After going 29-53 last year Detroit went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 36. At 3-10 SU (4-9 ATS) so far the Pistons are off to a very slow start.

Detroit began this season 0-3, then won two in a row, including a 98-95 decision over Milwaukee. The Pistons then lost three in a row, won at Oklahoma City in overtime but have now lost four in a row, after falling at Atlanta last Friday 99-89. The Pistons shot just 37 percent from the floor, while allowing the Hawks to shoot 48 percent. Detroit came up short on the spread as a six-point dog, and that game played UNDER its total, as the two teams combined to go just 9-for-45 from 3-point range.

After going a league-worst 15-67 last season Milwaukee went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 25. At 7-7 SU (9-5 ATS) the Bucks are already more than a quarter of the way to their wins total. Milwaukee started this season 4-5, then won three games in a row over Miami, New York and Brooklyn. But the Bucks have now lost their last two, and in rather ugly fashion. Last Friday they fell at home to Toronto 124-82, and Saturday they lost at home to Washington 111-100. Milwaukee shot just 43 percent from the field against the Wizards, and got outrebounded 61-45.


Pistons-Bucks Recent History
Detroit took the season series from Milwaukee last year three games to one, and took the first game of this season's series back on Nov. 7 at the Palace 98-95. But the Bucks covered as five-point dogs, and the game sneaked UNDER its total of 195.

The Pistons shot 49 percent from the floor that night, Milwaukee 47 percent, but while Detroit made 11 of 23 shots from beyond the arc, the Bucks went just 5-for-20 from long range. All four of last season's meetings played OVER on the totals.


Pistons-Bucks, Statistically Speaking
Detroit ranks dead last in the league in FG shooting at 41 percent, 20th in 3-point shooting at 34 percent and just 29th in FT shooting at 70 percent. The Pistons also rank 14th in FG defense, allowing foes to shooting 45 percent, 10th in rebounding at +1 per game and own an 18/13 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is kind of lousy.

Milwaukee ranks 22nd in shooting at 44 percent, 27th in 3-point shooting at 31 percent and 14th from the line at 76 percent. The Bucks also rank 10th in FG defense at 44 percent, 23rd in rebounding at -2 per game and own a 22/16 A/TO ratio.


Pistons-Bucks Betting Trends
Detroit is 5-8 on the totals this season, as Pistons games have averaged 189 points.

Milwaukee is 6-8 on the totals, as Bucks games have averaged 195 points.


Injury Update
Detroit G Brandon Jennings, the former Buck who's averaging 16 PPG this season, hurt a thumb last time out, and his status for Tuesday night is uncertain.

On the other side of the scorers' table Milwaukee G Brandon Knight, the former Piston who's averaging 18 PPG, pulled a quad recently and is also uncertain for Tuesday.


Pistons-Bucks Free Pick
Both these teams are in their first seasons under new head coaches, but so far Milwaukee has taken to Coach Kidd a bit quicker than Detroit has taken to Coach Van Gundy. The Bucks are also shooting the ball a little better than the Pistons, and playing a little better defense. So we'd like to add the home team to our NBA picks at the short spread.

Free NBA Pick: Milwaukee -3 at BetOnline

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