Marquee NBA Picks: Pistons To Find Success At Home vs. Cavaliers

Kevin Stott

Friday, January 29, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers head to suburban Motown and The Palace at Auburn Hills on Friday night. Let's review the NBA odds now!

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Final Score Prediction: Pistons 105  Cavaliers 100
NBA Pick: Pistons +4½ 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-12 SU, 14-9 Road) head to the Motor City on Friday night to face Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons (25-21 SU, 15-7 Home) at The Palace of Auburn Hills for this second of four meetings between these two Central Division rivals this NBA Regular Season. NBA Odds makers here in Las Vegas have opened up the Cavaliers as 4½-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) for this one with the game’s Total (Points) set at 206½ (Pinnacle). The Money Line odds here sees Cleveland priced as -170 Road favorites with Detroit lined at+162 on the takeback (Pinnacle) while the Detroit Pistons Team Points Total has been set at 101 (BetVictor) while the Cleveland Cavaliers Team Points Total has been set at 105½ (BetVictor). The 1st Half line has been set at Cavaliers -2½ (-107, 888sport) while the 1st Quarter odds see Cleveland as predictable 1½-point chalks (-107, 888sport).


Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (98.7 AF-94.2 AA) and new Head Coach Tyronn Lue head into Detroit on Friday night with a modest 2-game Win Streak (7-3 SU L10) but King James and the Cavaliers will be leery of Central Division foe Detroit after losing here in the first meeting of the season, 104-99, as the Pistons out-rebounded Cleveland, 45-40. And the Cavaliers have been less than impressive intra-division (2-4 SU vs. Central Division), so this will be a test for the visitors and if they lose again here and maybe the 6th-place (Eastern Conference) Pistons are definitely a team the Cavaliers (and others in the East) won’t want to face in the Postseason. In their last game on Wednesday night, Cleveland was very sluggish in the 1st Half against a poor Phoenix Suns club, but exploded for a 60-43 2nd Half to eclipse the Suns (and cover the Point Spread, CLE -17½, 210) by a 115-93 final score. In the victory, superstar F James and PF Kevin Love (11 rebounds) both scored 21 points, SG JR Smith had 18 points and subs SF Richard Jefferson (14 points) and C Timofey Mozgov (10 points) had double-digits off the Bench. After playing the Warriors a couples times, the Spurs and traveling so much in the last month, Cleveland (+360 to win NBA Championship, Sportingbet) may be a little bit tired, but there’s no doubt James (24.9 ppg, 6.3 apg) and the Cavaliers will remember what happened to them the last time they played a basketball game here in suburban Detroit.


Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons (105.1 PF-97.9 PA) and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy showed how dangerous they can be, knocking off one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the Golden State Warriors, 113-95 here in Detroit, and with that win over these Cavaliers in the first meeting back in November, Detroit has already beaten both 2015 NBA Finals teams and with human rebounding-machine Drummond (15.2 rpg), are truly a force to be reckoned with. But can the Pistons (25-20-1 ATS) knock off a ready Cavaliers side a second straight time here at Home? Detroit has one of the best Home ATS marks (15-6-1 ATS) in the NBA and are very, very young, probably a good thing in this situation and along with the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics, it seems the Pistons are a team to watch (and maybe try to make some money on) in the next couple of seasons. In their last game, a 110-97 win over the lowly Philadelphia 76ers here in Auburn Hills, G Reggie Jackson (27) and F Drummond (25 points) led the hosts in scoring while the other three Detroit starters combined for 27 points in G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14 points), SF Marcus Morris (10 points) and PF Ersan Ilyasova (3 points, 8 rebounds). Exciting Rookie (University of Arizona) SF Stanley Johnson (18 points) and C Aron Baynes (12 points) combined for 30 off the Pistons bench and have been steady contributors for Van Gundy on a team which averages a surprising 105.9 ppg. Expect the Pistons (200/1 to win NBA championship, William Hill)—#2 in the NBA in Offensive rebounding (47.5 rpg)—to give the Cavaliers 48 minutes of Hell here in Motown on Friday night. And so let it be.


Recent Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Pick
Both teams head into this game extremely healthy with Pistons SG Jodie Meeks (Foot, expected to return early March) the only player on either team’s Injury Lists. So expect some banging early on and the way Cleveland looked against Phoenix in the 1st Half on Wednesday, mulling a 1st Half bet on the Pistons (+2½ -117, 888sport) may be a good idea as Detroit will be ready and the crowd should be up for this game. Even with Tristan Thompson or Mozgov at Center, UCLA product Love (10.8 rpg) at PF and a strong and tall (6-6) James able to pound the glass, Drummond—who was today named a Reserve to next Sunday’s NBA All-Star game—should still be the one to worry about underneath as he seems to have a little more heart, muscle and desire to simply possess the basketball—a wonderful trait and possibly at the root of this team’s recent success. And with the electric Jackson (19.3 ppg, 6.5 apg) in Detroit’s backcourt and talents like Morris, Caldwell-Pope and Johnson, this team has some nice components and again, that win over the Warriors had to be huge for the young Pistons head.
The Cavaliers are just 9-12 -1 ATS on the Road and with Detroit so powerful ATS at Home (15-6-1 ATS, 71.4%) healthy and confident after that first win in the Regular Season’s first meeting, backing the hosts Detroit seems logical here because of the spot on the schedule and the thought that the Pistons are a team that can hang with visitors Cleveland (19-23-2 ATS, 20-24 O/U) with their youth and physical style of play. Trend-wise in the L10 in this series—in which the Cavaliers have been Point Spread Favorites all 10 times—both teams are 5-5 ATS and the Total is also 5-5 while the host Pistons have held the Rebounding edge in 7 of the L9 meetings—always an important reality as rebounds equal possessions and possessions usually average around 1 point each trip upcourt. Not a strong opinion, but this seems like a matter of protecting the Homecourt pride and with all that confidence from the first win against King James and Prince Love as well as the Warriors and Cleveland just 2-4 against the Central and getting pounded by the Bulls in Ohio not too long ago, taking the hosts and the passel of points seems like the NBA pick in a game the Pistons can definitely win (+162 Money Line, Pinnacle).

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