NBA Picks: Back Cavaliers -10.5 When Facing The Pistons For EC First Round Playoffs

Sunday, April 17, 2016 2:50 PM GMT

LeBron and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers lock horns with the #8-seeded Detroit Pistons at the Quicken Loans Arena. Let’s examine NBA pick from the findings in this big game.

 


Odds Overview
Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers [Sunday 20:05] (ABC, WatchESPN, Directv (US), BT Sport 1 (UK), 3:05 p.m. EDT/12:05 p.m. PDT): LeBron James and the No. 1-seed and defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25 SU, 33-8 Home) welcome the No.8 seed Detroit Pistons (44-38 SU, 18-23 Away) to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on sunday for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Playoffs First Round series.

Sportsbooks currently have the host Cavaliers as 10½- (Pinnacle) to 11-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) in this game with the Total (Points) now in a 200 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) to 201 (SIA) range.

The Money Line (winner) odds currently see host Cleveland priced at -675 (at Pinnacle) with the visiting Pistons lined at +552 the takeback as the logical Game 1 Road underdogs. The Cleveland Cavaliers Team Total Points has been set at 105½ (Stan James) while the Detroit Pistons Team Total Points is at 95 (Stan James).

 

Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons (42-38-2 ATS, 18-23-0 ATS Away) and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy squeezed into the Postseason somewhat by virtue of the 9th-place Chicago Bulls constant Injury woes this past Regular Season, but unlike some teams from the East in last year’s NBA Playoffs, at least Detroit comes in with a Record over .500.

The Pistons (275/1 to win NBA championship, Paddy Power) are a very young team, with a usual Starting 5 of beast C Andre Drummond (16.2 ppg, 14.8 rpg), PF Marcus Morris (14.1 ppg), SF Tobias Harris (16.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg), SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and PG Reggie Jackson (18.2 ppg, 6.2 apg).

So although the names might not be familiar to some, this team definitely deserves to be here and if there is a group of players and a place in Time where a #8 seed can knock The King off his Throne and make a miracle run at the Eastern Conference crown, this is it and this athletic Pistons bunch (100/1 to win Eastern Conference, at BetVictor) fit the bill.

And they ain’t scared of no Cavaliers either, bruh. And Detroit’s (40-42 O/U) Reserves aren’t too shabby either, with second-string C Aron Baynes (6.4 ppg), PF Anthony Tolliver (5.3 ppg), Rookie SF and Arizona-product Stanley Johnson (8.1 ppg), SF Reggie Bullock, SG Darrun Hilliard (4.0), SG Jodie Meeks, Spencer Dinwiddie and veteran PG Steve Blake (4.4 ppg), the perfect player for Playoff times.

But to think this Detroit’s Roster can match up with the Cavaliers is a bit of a stretch and guys like Morris, Harris, Baynes, Rookie Johnson and, of course, Drummond will all have to all play out of their minds to pull off the (Series) upset and Cleveland (-250 to win Eastern Conference, Paddy Power) will have to really be off of its computer-like game.

Reggie Jackson (Abdominal) is listed as Probable for Game 1 for Detroit (102.0 PF-101.4 PA), but with Jackson being the key that actually start the engine of the Pistons’ car, count him in and consider that “Probable” a “Definite.”

 

Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (37-42-3 ATS, 20-21-1 ATS Home) and Head Coach Tyronn Lue seem ripe for the pickin’ if your listen to the Radio and read the Internet, but toppling a team with a Roster like Cleveland has in a lengthy series is easier in one’s Head and although almost all other seven teams in the Eastern Conference Playoffs could probably find a way to take 2 games from LeBron James (25.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 6.8 apg) – a guy with Magic Johnson-like numbers who deserves some Magic Johnson-like credit for a change – and the Cavaliers (104.3 AF-98.3 AA).

But to win 4 is another story. Certainly, whomever pulls this off will have to win a Game 1 or a Game 2 in Cleveland. In his usual starting 5, new Head Coach Lue – David Blatt was sent packing by The Power(s) That Be – has installed Tristan Thompson at C over Timofey Mozgov, Kevin Love at PF, LeBron james at SF, gunner JR Smith at SG and Duke product Kyrie Irving at the Point. Cleveland (4/1 to win NBA Championship, at Bet365) has a very nice Bench with Mozgov capable of starting for many NBA teams at Center, SF Richard Jefferson, PFs Channing Frye and James Jones, SGs Iman Shumpert and Jordan McRae and reserve PG’s Matthew Dellavedova and Mo Williams.

No team in the NBA has three PG’s as do the Cavaliers but there are problems under the names with Irving seemingly always unhappy and Williams (Knee) injured. In a very wise move two days ago, the Cavaliers (41-41 O/U) signed veteran 6-6 winger Dahntay Jones, so the 35-year-old can help fill in in the Cleveland backcourt should the Injuries to Williams and Shumpert lag. SG Shumpert (Knee) is listed as Questionable here while the aforementioned Williams (Knee) is listed as Out and his services may be missed.

 

Thoughts, A Million Trends, Streaks, Recent Relevant Series Information and Chalky MLB Pick
The play of Kevin Love seems like it will be a big key in this series, but this guy has had so many doubters since arriving in Cleveland it sort of seems unfair. The UCLA product is averaging 16.7 ppg and 9.0 rpg on a team that has LeBron James gobbling up the stats, so for the Cavaliers – 22 games above .500 – to be defending East champs and favorites to defend their conference crown this year says something about Love...and LeBron.

They may be the best 1-2 combination of players on a team in the NBA along with Stephen Curry-Draymond Green (Warriors) and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (Thunder). Quite simply, Love never gets enough love and is always hammered for not playing (strong enough) Defense. This parroting gets old. Just watch Kevin Love.

And if Thompson can rise to his perceived role of a Rebounding machine and Mozgov can provide some quality minutes and grab his share of Rebounds and Smith and Dellavedova are hot from outside, well, then whatever team leader LeBron is doing may become secondary because we know what he’s going to be doing on a nightly basis—everything.

 

Some pro-Cavaliers Trends for this game: Cleveland is 4-1 ATS the L5 Playing on 3+ Days Rest, 4-1 ATS L5 when an Opponent allows 100+ Points in their Previous Game and 4-1 ATS the L5 when an Opponent has Scored 100+ Points in their Previous Game. An anti-Cavs Trends: Cleveland is 26-53-1 ATS its L80 vs NBA Central.

 

And some pro-Pistons Trends: Detroit is 7-1-1 ATS its L9 after an Opponent has allowed 100+ in Previous Game, 5-1 ATS L6 vs Team with a Winning Percentage above .600, 4-1 ATS L5 After Allowing 100+ More in their Previous Game and 4-1 L5 ATS the L5 vs NBA Central. But the Pistons are 1-4 ATS their L5 following a SU Win and also 1-4 ATS L5 following an ATS win.

 

Some Totals Trends: The 'Under' is 4-0 L4 Pistons game playing on 3+ Days Rest, the 'Under' is 4-1 the L5 Pistons meetings against the Central Division, and the 'Under' is 4-1 following a Pistons ATS Win. Also, the 'Over' 73-30-3 the L106 Cavaliers Sunday games and 39-19-2 the L60 Sundays and the 'Over' is 6-2 ATS the L8 Overall in this series (4-1 ATS the L5) and the over is 5-2 ATS L7 Cavaliers dribbles vs Eastern Conference.

The 'Under' is 54-26 L80 Cavaliers when a Cleveland opponent has allowed 100+ Previous Game while the 'Under' is 27-8 in the L35 Cavaliers games versus Teams with Winning Records. In short, the Pistons apparently like to play 'Over's on Sundays (39-19-2 ATS) while the Cavaliers definitely trend toward 'Under's on Sunday.

The recent numbers—the L10 in the series—show the teams splitting ATS 5-5 with the Pistons W3 ATS and W2 SU and 3 of the L4 SU, so this Detroit team has given Cleveland fits of late and the Cavaliers have to absolutely hate this draw and would have definitely preferred to be facing the 7th-seeded Pacers or the 6th-seeded Hornets in this opening Round.

Maybe the two biggest applicable Trends we find are that Detroit is 0-4 ATS in its L4 Conference Quarterfinal (First Round) contests while the Playoff-savvy (and always waiting just for the Playoffs) Cavaliers are 15-6 in their L21 Conference Quarterfinal Games (71.4%).

The cavaliers have been waiting for this game for quite some time and won’t want to lose Home-court Advantage because they didn’t come to show up and this team can get scoring from too many places and should make quick work of Detroit, despite all the strides the Pistons have made Roster-wise and Confidence-wise.

With Playoff gunners like Smith and Dellavedova, Detroit may have trouble answering baskets with the host Cavs over a 48-minute span according to NBA odds boards.

Final Score Prediction: Cavaliers 102 Pistons 87

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Free NBA Pick: Cavaliers -10½ (-110)
Best Line Offered: at William Hill

NBA Assignments Picks Record This Week: 2-2