NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Celtics are a team in transition this season and they are 0-2, but they played well enough on Friday to suggest they can easily stay within single-digits of Detroit Sunday.

The winless team in transition with a new roster and a new head coach straight out of college still appears to offer good value catching nearly double-digits Sunday evening as those Boston Celtics (0-2, 0-1 away) pay a visit to the Detroit Pistons (1-1, 1-0 home) at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, MI at 6:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Boston as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -105.

It was certainly an eventful off-season for the Celtics as the injured Rajon Rondo is the only holdover from the starting lineup that took the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago, as first they lost Ray Allen to free agency last year and then this off-season they traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets and even traded Coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a number one draft pick.

The Pistons also made a big acquisition by acquiring Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks, but he has yet to play as a Piston due to both an impacted wisdom tooth and hairline fracture at the base of the tooth, and will almost certainly not start this game either.

The Celtics blew a 22-point lead in their home opener on Friday while losing 102-95, but they really did not play badly as they spread the wealth nicely on offense with seven players in double-digits, which should please Coach Brad Stevens in his first year as an NBA coach after an extremely successful career in college with Butler, and despite blowing the big lead their defense did hold Milwaukee to 41.7 percent shooting.

The Celts shot 44.7 percent themselves, but in the end, their undoing was shooting just 26-of-38, 68.4 percent from the foul line, and improvement in that area could be expected today. Boston can also improve on its 4-for-16 shooting from beyond the three-point arc vs. a Detroit team ranks 19th in three-point defense at 37.2 percent.

In fact, the Pistons are allowing a horrendous 106.5 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting thus far, and while yes it is just two games, defense was believed to be an issue entering this season so the improvement over those horrible figures may be minimal the rest of the way. The biggest surprise has been the performance of the offense without Jennings as Detroit is fourth in the league at 110.5 points per game.

That is where more regression is expected though, especially with Jennings still not expected to start here, and besides the Pistons simply has not done enough yet to merit being almost a double-digit favorite over anyone, especially with the defensive issues.

Thus we will grab the big points with Boston here as we look for the Celtics to hang within single-digits.

[gameodds]5/246781/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Celtics +9 (-105)