NBA Picks: Pistons Defense Will Keep It Close In Boston

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 2:39 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 2:39 PM UTC

The Pistons' defense will keep them competitive against the Celtics on Wednesday night in Beantown. Detroit is getting 8 points on NBA odds for the contest, its most in the series since 2012. Get your free pick with analysis here.

Detroit Pistons (9-10 SU, 9-10 ATS)

The Pistons play their second back-to-back road series of the season after picking up only their second away win of 2016-17 at Charlotte on Tuesday, 112-98. The Hornets were playing their fourth game in five nights. Detroit is just 2-8 SU and ATS on NBA odds away from the Palace of Auburn Hills this season, losing half the contests by double digits.

With last season’s leading scorer, point guard Reggie Jackson, yet to play this season due to offseason thumb and knee injuries, head coach Stan Van Gundy is getting point production from many personnel. Six players average double figures, with small forward Tobias Harris’ 16.8 points leading the way.

All-Star center Andre Drummond, who was ejected in the second quarter of Tuesday's game with a questionable flagrant-2 elbow on Roy Hibbert, tops the team with 12.9 rebounds and 1.06 blocks per game. Drummond is second in the NBA to Miami’s Hassan Whiteside (15.1) in ripping down boards on a nightly basis.

The Pistons win with defense. They allow just 96.6 points per game, second-fewest in the league behind Utah (93.8). Scoring points regularly is the challenge. Gundy’s men post a less-than-stellar 48.3 effective field goal percentage. They also shoot the fewest amount of 3-pointers in the league with 19.8 per contest.


Boston Celtics (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS)

The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games, covering the spread on NBA picks in six of them. Defense has been the key to topping the number for bettors. Boston is 7-1-1 when holding opponents below its projected team total this season. The Pistons have scored more than expected three times away from home this year.

Offensively, the Celtics are one of the NBA’s best at finding open shots. Their 0.631 assist-to-field goals made rate ranks third in the league. The high success rate is a product of shuffling the ball around the perimeter. Coach Brad Stevens’ men tally 30.6 3-point attempts per game, sinking 11.1 of them; each rank fifth most in the NBA.

Boston excels at getting back on defense. It allows only 10.6 fast-break points per game. In fact, over half (4) of the Celtics’ 7 losses in 2016 have come in five games where the unit allowed 15 points or more via the break.

Al Horford makes his return to the lineup after sitting out Monday night’s game in Miami on paternity leave. It’s the second time he has comeback to the starting five this season against the Pistons, returning from a 9-game absence because of a concussion in a 94-92 win at Detroit on Nov. 19.


Final Analysis

Despite their road woes, and minus Jackson, Detroit should stick within the number (+8) tonight. The franchise has not lost to Boston by more than 8 points in its last 18 meetings.

The game total may offer the best value, though. The'under' is 12-1 this season when the Celtics score fewer than 50 points in the paint during a game. With Drummond protecting the rim, the Pistons have given up 50 points or more down low twice all season. The number is catching up to Boston, but it’s not there yet. Reaching the century mark may be a challenge for both teams.

NBA Free Picks: Pistons +8 & 'Under' 197.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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