NBA Picks: Take Knicks To Stop Losing Streak vs. Tired Pistons

Thursday, February 4, 2016 1:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 1:18 PM UTC

Close, but no cigar for the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. They'll try to beat those pesky NBA odds again on Thursday when they host the New York Knicks.

<p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883206, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]<br /> <strong>NBA Pick:</strong> Knicks +4.5<br /> <strong>Best Line Offered:</strong> <a href=";book=in-article-thegreek" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Play this game at TheGreek">at TheGreek</a></p> <p> </p> <p><em><strong>Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 3:</strong></em><em> 19-21-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total</em></p> <p> </p> <p>Give the Detroit Pistons credit for trying. They could have folded up their tents Wednesday night after falling 20 points behind the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter. Instead, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Celtics Have All The Tricks To Cover Against Pistons">Detroit rallied to lose 102-95</a>, almost earning the matador cover as 5-point home dogs. This is a good young program that's only going to get better under Stan Van Gundy.</p> <p>You could say the same for Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks. They haven't been winning much recently, but at 1-6 SU and 3-3 ATS, at least they're meeting market expectations during this slump. The Knicks visit Detroit Thursday night (7:00 p.m. ET) for the first game of TNT's doubleheader; as we go to press, the Pistons are 5.5-point favorites with a total of 204. That's down from –6.5 when the first <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Board">NBA odds</a> hit the board.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>KCP's in the Back </strong><br /> As usual, the guys at FiveThirtyEight have it right. They've projected Detroit (26-24 SU, 26-23-1 ATS) as a 5.5-point fave using their Elo-based system. However, Basketball-Reference prefers the Pistons by a shade over three points on a neutral court, so make it Detroit –7 for their kayfabe spread. Perhaps there's some value in Motown at the current price.</p> <p>One problem: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12.8 PER, +1.4 BPM) strained his right groin after slipping and falling during the Celtics game. He's due for an MRI on Thursday and very unlikely to suit up against New York. Caldwell-Pope is a quality defender who's slowly but surely improving at the offensive end; Jodie Meeks (14.1 PER, –0.9 BPM last year) has barely played because of a foot injury, so the Pistons don't have any shooting guards left for Thursday's game. They'll have to lean more on rookie swingman Stanley Johnson (9.9 PER, –2.2 BPM) instead.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Spanish Eyes</strong><br /> The Knicks (23-28 SU, 29-22 ATS), on the other hand, are about to welcome point guard Jose Calderon (13.3 PER, +0.6 BPM) back into the lineup. Calderon has missed the last four games with a groin injury of his own – let's hope it's not contagious – but he looks good to go for Thursday. This has been something of a bounce-back year for the 34-year-old veteran; his defense is still substandard at –0.7 DBPM, but that's the best defense he's played since coming to the NBA 10 years ago.</p> <p>New York is otherwise healthy, so we're going to go against the grain a bit and put the Knicks in our <a href="" target="_blank" title="Free NBA Picks Here">NBA picks</a>. Caldwell-Pope is an underrated part of what makes the Pistons run, and we can say the same for Calderon in the Big Apple. Detroit is 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS this year playing on zero days of rest, by the way. It's not all sunshine and roses in the NBA.</p>
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