Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics Preview and Pick – Game 5 – 2008 Eastern Conference Finals

Detroit Pistons (59-23) +6, 173 at Boston Celtics (66-16), 8:30 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of

The Eastern Conference finals continue in Beantown, as the the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons meet for game 5 of a series tied at two games apiece.

Basketball bookies are listing Boston as six-point home chalk for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 173. The Celtics are also posted at around -260 on various Vegas moneylines, with Detroit getting +215 as road dogs.

These two teams split the first two games of this series in Boston, then split two more in Detroit, after the Pistons came away with a 94-75 victory Monday.

Detroit shot 51% from the field in game 4, and held the Celts to just 32%. Through the first four games of this series, both teams are shooting 45% from the floor. But Boston holds a 39.5-32.5 per-game advantage on the boards.

The totals are 1-3 in this series, with the games averaging 177.5 points.

Detroit went 25-16 straight up on the road during this regular season, while Boston went 35-6 at home.

The Celtics are 9-1 straight up and 6-4 against the spread at home this playoff season, while the Pistons are 4-3 both SU and ATS on the road. Also, the totals are now 5-10 in Pistons playoff games, 8-10 in Celtics games.

Boston took two of three games from Detroit during this regular season, out-shooting the Pistons 46% to 39% and out-rebounding them by a 46-36 per-game margin. And all three games stayed under their totals, by averaging just 172 total points.

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.

Pistons G Chauncey Billups has been dealing with a bad hammy, which has slowed his production in this series. But he’s listed as probable for Wednesday’s game, and will likely continue to play through it.

Boston #1 on the Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at at 98.53, while Detroit is ranked 3rd at 97.33. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 4.03.

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 like the Pistons plus the six points!