For our plus money line NBA pick today we go to Detroit to see how the Pistons can pull off the win against the red hot Cavaliers. We feel the odds makers are giving the Cavs a little too much credit here.
Solid Underdog Play
For the month of February the Cavs are a solid 6-2 and starting to look like the title contender they were meant to be. Detroit has been playing top tier basketball since the trade of Josh Smith. Losing Jennings set them back but Van Gundy has rallied the troops and they are still a very formidable team to face. With Lebron and co. coming to town we can see how the NBA odds makers and sports books would have Cleveland favored, but looking closely at this matchup we like the Pistons to pull off the minor shocker. They are a very well coached team and we are happy to back them at this value.
It’s about Timing
If a team is going to beat the Cavs they have to catch them in a good spot. Cleveland gets a lot more credit than they deserve sometimes because when they win… they win. They are second to Golden State in winning margin by an average of just over 6 points a game, but this masks what happens when teams can punch back. On the third leg of road trips this year they are 1-2 (we are taking the break into consideration), and on the road overall they are 14-13. Since last month Detroit is 9-5 at home and against Cleveland they are 1-1. Detroit knows it can beat the Cavs and the schedule lines up for them to pull it off.
There is No Place Like Home
Quite a cliché but it really fits Cleveland. Despite their recent road victories at Washington (not playing well lately and without Beal) and New York (Do they still have a professional team?) the Cavs have been pretty normal, and beatable, on the road. At home they shoot 47%, on the road 44%; at home they shoot 38% beyond the arc, and on the road 33%. There is also a big drop in assist to turnover ratio when they are on the road. As with most professional teams they simply don’t play as well on the road.
The Motor City Fears No One!
Well at least they don’t fear the Cavs. In two games this year we have seen two completely different games. Detroit won at Cleveland with Irving out, and then Cleveland won at Detroit with Jennings out (Irving’s huge night). Still the Cavs statistically wise have played their worst basketball against… Detroit. Compared to the rest of the league they have shot their lowest field goal percentage (40%), and lowest 3pt. percentage (22%, way lowest) against the Pistons. One stat that really stands out when forming NBA picks is turnovers & in that last game, Cleveland had only 9 compared to Detroit’s 18 (one of their worst of the year). I believe that can be attributed to the fact it was only Detroit’s second game without Jennings and they were still getting used to some different rotations. I doubt they cough up the ball that much today which will give them extra possessions to run the offense.
Could the Cavs Win?
Sure they could. You can never count out a team led by Lebron. But with some good trends and angles I think we have found a good spot where the sports books have to make Cleveland the favorite but actually the Pistons will be right in this, and I think they will win. With good value from the odds makers, Stan Van Gundy and a non-intimidated Detroit team is the play to make on the money line.
NBA Pick: Detroit plus money line +255 at 5Dimes