Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Swinging Johnson - NBA Record (10-10, -5.6 units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
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I'm making a few rookie mistakes. There, I said it. When you're a gambler, or worse a professional handicapper, and you admit any weakness or confess any mistake other than the proverbial "bad beat", then you're looked upon as a weak link. Well call me what you will but I freely admit I have, on occasion, inadvertently succumbed to hyping opinions like I did on Friday night. After you research a game the best thing you can do is take some time to walk away from your notes and when your head is clear, return and reread everything. Then and only then should you affix a value to the play. I wrote up the Hawks/Celtics matchup and determined that the Celtics were the right side even laying 4 points. I was proven correct as the Green cashed our ticket by winning 107-102 but prior to my research I pegged this as too close to call yet I ultimately advised a 3 unit play. Fortunately we won but it should have been a one unit play or even a pass.
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But here's where the legitimate "bad beat" comes to fruition. We also had Under 189 in that contest for 3 units which was a total I liked from the get-go. Well if you watched that game you know they had 188 points scored at the end of regulation but of course overtime obliterated any chance we had of cashing. So you live and you learn. Everyone does...regardless of what they tell you.
Detroit Pistons (23-41 SU, 29-35 ATS)
The Pistons are the NBA's version of the Jacksonville Jaguars. They would be better off if they were completely terrible because at least then they'd be the best at something but otherwise, they just kind of take up space. Fortunately this franchise has had their share of glory days but over the past several years they have been just another team on the schedule.
The Pistons are tail spinning, dropping seven of their last eight and covering only twice during that span. On Friday night they lost to the Mavericks 102-99 but did eek out the cover as four point home dogs. Perhaps that's the only good news they will have in a while as they begin a four-game Western Conference road swing where they have lost a stunning 30 of 31 and 13 straight. It's hard to find anything good to say about this group.
LA Clippers (44-20 SU, 36-28 ATS)
If you're a glass half-full kind of guy then you will say that the Clips have won and covered five of their last seven but if you're the half-empty type then you will surely note that the Clippers have dropped two of their last three games and covered only once.
Well, one of the reasons they have sputtered lately may be that super sub Jamal Crawford has been sidelined with an ankle injury he sustained in a 117-101 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night. He missed their next game against Denver which resulted in a 107-92 defeat. Certainly the Clips could have used his spark off the bench not to mention his 17.2 PPG average. He is doubtful for tonight's game.
When last these teams met, the Clippers invaded Motown and came away with a 12 point victory on December 17th. As of this writing Jamal Crawford is doubtful and even though Matt Barnes led the bench brigade with 19 points in his absence, I'm not comfortable laying double digits when a team is missing a key ingredient. My daddy always said you should never bet good money on bad teams but when the NBA oddsmakers give you enough of a head start, sometimes you've gotta take it.