NBA Picks: Pistons -6.5 Predicted To Run Over Struggling Bucks

Kevin Stott

Monday, March 21, 2016 12:01 PM GMT

Tonight the Bucks & Pistons will be locking horns in Detroit, so let’s take a look at the recent trends and see if there is an NBA pick or two here actually worth backing at the betting window.

Odds Overview
Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks [Tuesday 23:40] (FS-Wisconsin, FGS-Detroit, NBA League Pass 4, Directv 663, Directv 669 (US), 7:40 p.m. EST/4:40 p.m. PST): Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons (36-34 SU, 21-12 Home) welcome the fading Milwaukee Bucks (30-40 SU, 34-35-1 ATS) to Auburn Hills and the aptly name The Palace of Auburn Hills on Monday night and the first day of Spring for this fourth and final Regular Season meeting between these two Central Division teams.

Oddsmakers Offshore have opened up the host Pistons as healthy 6½-point favorites here on the NBA odds boards with the game’s Total (Points) now in a 205½- (Bookmaker) to 206½ range (The Greek). The Money Line (Winner) odds here see Detroit priced as -300 chalks with Milwaukee lined at -210 on the takeback (Coral). The Detroit Pistons Team Total Points has been set at 106 (BetVictor) with the Milwaukee Bucks Team Total Points at 99½ (BetVictor).

 

Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks (34-35-1 ATS, 17-18-0 ATS Road) are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, now 6 games off of the 8th and final Playoff spot in the conference with the season dwindling down, meaning, for all practical purposes, Milwaukee is out of it so better start pulling for the University of Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet Sixteen, Cheeseheads. In its last game, Milwaukee (99.2 PF-102.9 PA) lost at Home to the Utah Jazz, 94-85, on Sunday night as Jabari Parker had 19 points and Khris Middleton 13 points as the Bucks fell to 4-18 SU in their L22 games against Utah. Not good.

Milwaukee actually led 49-44 with 9:21 left in the 3rd Quarter but the Bucks went scoreless over the next 6:38 as Utah went on a 22-6 run to steal the game and probably any hopes Milwaukee (+250000 to win NBA Championship, Ladbrokes) might have had for making a miracle run at that 8th spot in the East. Oh well. There’s always next year.  On the Injury front, Milwaukee has three key players all Out for the Season in SG OJ Mayo (Leg), PG Michael Carter-Williams (Hip) and SF Steve Novak (Knee) while Greivis Vasquez (Ankle) is expected back in mid-April, although that will do the team little good then. Better start thinking about next season and building around what is a pretty nice nucleus.

 

Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons (35-33-2 ATS, 20-1-2 ATS Home) and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy sit precariously in 9th place in the Eastern Conference, but in a virtual tie with the 8th place Chicago Bulls (35-23), having played 2 less games than Chicago and separated by the smallest of winning percentages (.515 to .514), and with the 10th-place and suddenly warming up Washington Wizards (34-35, W4) just 1½ behind them. In the last game, the Pistons (W2) defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 113-103 at The Palace in Auburn Hills on Saturday night (DET -8, 211½, Over) as Aron Baynes had 21 points and Anthony Tolliver scored 17 points as the Reserves gallantly  came through in a big way for hosts Detroit (102.3 PF-101.6 PA) who trailed by 6 in the 3rd Quarter.

Starting G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (11 points, 8 assists) tied a career-high with 8 dimes while Andre Drummond (16 points, 9 rebounds), Reggie Jackson (14 points) and Rookie and Arizona-product Stanley Johnson had 10 points and 6 assists as this Pistons (200/1 to win NBA championship, William Hill) team continues to mature and learn to play together. On the Injury tip for Detroit (5-13-1 ATS L19 Mondays), PG Spencer Dinwiddie (Ankle) and SG Jodie Meeks (Foot) are both listed as Questionable for this game.

 

Recent Relevant Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Pick
In the L10 meetings in this series, the Bucks have been very impressive ATS (7-3 ATS), reeling off a 7-game Point Spread covering streak although Detroit has gotten the money the L2 and is 2-1-0 ATS vs. Milwaukee this 2014/16 Regular Season. The two teams are both 5-5 SU over the L10 and the Over is 6-4 in the 10 meetings between these Central Division teams. And, in 8 of the L10 meetings at least one team has scored 100+ points while both did so in back-to-back meetings in 2014.

Of significant handicapping note, Detroit has covered (and won) the L2 meetings (102-91 in Milwaukee and 102-95 here in Detroit), and with the Pistons (18-19-2 ATS on 1 Day Rest) fighting for that last spot and knowing they could give LeBron James and the 1st-place Cavaliers all they could handle in a Playoff series—remember the Pistons pummeled the Golden State Warriors earlier this season—have the big Confidence and Momentum edge here along with the Home site.

And, Milwaukee (11-6-0 ATS on 0 Days Rest) had to play and Travel last night, so they may be tired and the Under seems more logical than the Over—especially on a groggy, manic Monday. Detroit’s 20-11-1 ATS record at Home this Regular Season can’t be ignored nor can the Pistons 35-17-2 ATS mark in their L54 (67.3%) here at The Palace at Auburn Hills and with Milwaukee’s (9-26 SU Road) head probably out of it after slumping. So the hosts should win this by around 10 as it matters to them and that's what I'm backing as my NBA picks. The Over is 8-3 ATS in the Bucks L11 games vs. the Central Division as well as 8-3 ATS in the L11 Pistons games against their own division.

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Final Score Prediction:
Pistons 105 Bucks 94
NBA Pick: Pistons -6½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle