You could look at the above subtitle and think this is about how bad these two teams are on defense. You would be right, but only half right. The Celtics not only haven’t been playing an ounce of defense recently, but they might be without both members of their starting back court, after only one of them was absent last night.
The NBA Odds have the Pistons as -6 favorites tonight, with a total of 205 ½, and a big reason why is because Rajon Rondo will not play tonight on the second end of a back to back, and Avery Bradley will also be out again tonight after missing Friday.
With the Celtics being cautious on no rest with their star point guard, it has made them a completely different team when they play on no rest. They have been very undervalued in the NBA Odds on no rest this season, as they have gone 12-7 ATS this season on the second game in two nights. However this is likely because of how undervalued they are when Rondo is reported out. But with how the Celtics and Pistons have been playing recently, can you trust either to cover here?
The answer is a resounding “no,” and instead, the total looks like a nice pivot on this late season crap-fest. At 205 ½, I think a play on the over could be one of the better values of this Saturday night.
The Sharp Pick
Detroit is the best team in the NBA at cashing the over, and with their horrific defense, that has become easier for them this late in the season. Someone deserved to lose their job over this team, and since they already fired Mo Cheeks, it’s finally time for Joe Dumars to go in Detroit. For every good move he has made in his tenure, dating back to bringing in Rasheed Wallace, all the way to drafting Andre Drummond, he has made two bad moves for every one good one.
Just watch 30 minutes of a Pistons game and watch Josh Smith, and ask yourself, “what was Dumars thinking?” Even with three huge frontcourt players, this team has zero defense. Drummond is still young and learning to play solid individual defense, and after him, no one on this team cares much about that end of the floor.
So tonight, against a team like the Celtics, I think the over has to be the play. Even though their offense takes a big step back without Rondo, the Celtics should still be able to score on Detroit. The over has cashed in their last two matchups against one another, as well as four of their last five respective games.
In their last ten games, the Pistons are giving up 108 points per game. While this has been the norm for most of the season in Detroit, the good news for the over tonight is the Celtics haven’t been much better recently. In their ten most recent games, the Celtics have given up 106 points per game. Take the over tonight.
My Pick: OVER 205 ½