Detroit Pistons (59-23) +4, 172 at Boston Celtics (66-16), 8:30 pm Thursday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com
The Boston Celtics look to grab a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals when they host the Detroit Pistons in game 2 of this best-of-7 series Thursday night in Beantown.
Basketball Bookies are listing Boston as four-point home favorites for Thursday’s game, with a total of 172, two points lower that game 1’s totals. The Celtics are also posted at around -180 on various Vegas moneylines, with Detroit getting +160 as road underdogs.
The Celtics took game 1 of this series Tuesday 88-79 in Boston, outshooting Detroit from the floor 52% to 42%, and outrebounding the Pistons 45-41.
Game 1 followed in the footsteps of the recent history between these two teams. Boston took two of three games from Detroit during this regular season, outshooting the Pistons 46% to 39% and outrebounding them by a 46-36 per-game margin. And all three games stayed under their totals, by averaging just 172 total points.
Boston is 9-0 straight up and 6-3 against the spread at home this playoff season, while Detroit is 3-3 both straight up and ATS on the road during these playoffs. Also, the totals are now 4-8 in Pistons playoff games, 7-8 in Celtics games.
Detroit went 25-16 on the road this season, while Boston went 35-6 at home.
During this regular season, Detroit ranked 2nd in the league in point differential at +7.4 per game, 3rd in FG defense at 44%, 7th in rebounding at +2.3 per game, and averaged a 22/11 per-game assist-to-turnover ratio. As a team, the Pistons shot 46% from the field, 37% from 3-point range and 77% from the free-throw line.
Boston led the league in point differential this season at +10.3 per game and FG defense at 42%. The Celtics shot 48% from the field, 38% from 3-point range and 77% from the free-throw line. Boston also ranked 4th in the league in rebounding at +3.1 per game and posted a 22/14 per-game assist-to-turnover ratio.
Game 3 of this series will be played Saturday night in Detroit. The Pistons went 34-7 at home during the regular season, 3rd-best in the league, while Boston went a league-best 31-10 on the road. But during these playoffs, while Detroit is 5-1 straight up and 4-2 against the spread at home, the Celtics are 0-6 both SU and ATS on the road.
On the injury front, Detroit guard Chauncey Billups has been bothered by a sore hamstring, and definitely had an off-night Tuesday. But he’s likely just to tough it out and play, unless absolutely unable to do so.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks Boston #1 in the league at 98.85, Detroit #3 at 97.11. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 4.01.
The totals went 37-44 in Pistons games this regular season, which averaged 188 total points. The o/u went 36-45 in Celtics games during the regular season, which averaged 191 total points.
Zman’s Pick: We hate to side with the public opinion but we expect more of the same here, homecourt dominance shown by the Celtics. We’re laying the points.