Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Apr. 15:
25-29-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 34-21-1 Totals
Detroit (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) at Milwaukee (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV
Free NBA Pick: Pistons ML
Recommended Sportsbook: Bovada
Let’s face facts: The Detroit Pistons probably weren’t going to beat the Milwaukee Bucks anyway. But now that Blake Griffin (plus-4.6 BPM) is doubtful for the first round with a sore left knee, it’s almost academic at this point. The Bucks trampled Detroit 121-86 in Sunday’s series opener, easily cashing in as 15-point home faves. They’ll probably win Wednesday’s rematch, too.
We don’t see any value in taking the Bucks, though. They’ve already moved up to –15.5 on the NBA odds board after opening at –14.5. How about the total? Well, there may have been some value taking the ‘over’ when the total opened at 210.5, down from 216 in Game 1, but the sharps have already pumped that total up to 211 for Game 2. It could still be the right pick at this price – but we’ve got something else in mind.
My Dinner With Andre
Yes, we’re recommending Detroit on the moneyline for your NBA picks. What the what?! It’s not as crazy as it sounds; the Pistons are available as high as +1260 as we go to press, and that’s a bargain if the projections at FiveThirtyEight are any good. They have Detroit winning Wednesday’s game nine percent of the time, which translates to +1011 using the delightful SBR Odds Converter. See, there’s some profit margin there, even with all that chalk baked into the actual odds.
You’ll definitely want to keep this bet fun-sized, though. This is a high-variance situation to say the least; both the projections and the betting market are likely to be way off the mark in this extreme situation, with the Pistons way overmatched to begin with, and missing their best performer on top of that. But we’re saying there’s a chance. Dwane Casey is the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, after all. And he still has Andre Drummond (plus-2.9 BPM) to work with, plus some scoring punch and some defensive role players surrounding him.
On the flip side, this is one of those so-called “trap’ situations for Milwaukee. They have every reason to be confident after Game 1, and no doubt the Pistons were down in the mouth after Griffin was made a late scratch. Can the Bucks keep up their intensity level in Game 2? Can they continue running over Detroit without Malcolm Brogdon (plus-1.5 BPM) and Tony Snell (minus-1.0 BPM) in the lineup? Yeah, probably. But if they fail, getting paid at 12-to-1 or better will be very sweet indeed. And you never know, maybe Giannis Antetokounmpo (plus-10.8 BPM) will tear his quad and Detroit will rally from a 31-point deficit. These things happen.