NBA Picks: Celtics Have All The Tricks To Cover Against Pistons

Jason Lake

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 2:11 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics got the job done again on Tuesday. The C's will try to beat the NBA odds one more time this Wednesday evening when they host the Detroit Pistons.

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NBA Pick: Celtics -3.5
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 1: 17-20-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

 

Another day, another win for the Boston Celtics. They beat the New York Knicks 97-89 Tuesday night, covering as 5-point road faves to improve to 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over their last seven games. It wasn't Boston's best performance of the year, especially from long range (3-fo-19), but the C's used superior ball movement and protection to fend off the cold-shooting Knicks.

Just like that, it's back to Beantown, where the Celtics will host the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night (7:30 p.m. ET). The Pistons were idle on Tuesday; they've had a fairly nondescript month at 8-7 SU and ATS, and they're 4-point road dogs on the NBA odds board as we go to press, with a total of 210. Can Boston keep this hot streak going?

 

Last in the Draft, First in Your Hearts
It's a promising enough situation. FiveThirtyEight also has a kayfabe spread of four points using its Elo-based system, but Basketball-Reference values the Celtics (28-22 SU, 27-22-1 ATS) over two points higher than Detroit (26-23 SU, 26-22-1 ATS) on the Simple Rating System, which roughly translates to Boston –6 at home. The C's are healthy, and aside from All-Star PG Isaiah Thomas, nobody had to play more than 30 minutes against New York.

Thomas (21.5 PER, +2.9 BPM) is the gift that keeps on giving. His defensive game has never been anything to write home about, but Thomas is a quality scorer (24.0 points per 36 minutes), and he's been a solid playmaker (7.4 assists vs. 3.2 turnovers/36) ever since coming to Boston nearly one year ago. Besides, Thomas is surrounded by plus defenders, and head coach Brad Stevens appears to have everyone playing on the same page.

 

0 Gregs
Let's not overlook the Pistons, though. They just got PG Brandon Jennings (19.7 PER, +1.8 BPM last year) back in the lineup on December 29 after he missed over a year with a ruptured left Achilles. Jennings has been up-and-down as he tries to play his way back into shape, but Detroit has the luxury of bringing him off the bench in support of Reggie Jackson (20.7 PER, +3.1 BPM), yet another offensive-minded guard who's thrived with his new employers.

Detroit doesn't have the same overall bench strength as Boston, though. Rookie SF Stanley Johnson (9.9 PER, –2.2 BPM) has yet to find his offensive game, and PF Anthony Tolliver (10.5 PER, +0.5 BPM) has been asked to play a lot of minutes in the wake of Greg Monroe's defection to the Milwaukee Bucks. We'll see if the Pistons have any tricks up their sleeve at the trade deadline, but for the moment, their renaissance is just a step behind Boston's. Put the Celtics in our NBA picks, thank you kindly, and may the sphere be with you.