Orlando Magic (52-30 regular season) +6, o/u 185 at Detroit Pistons (59-23), 7 pm Eastern Tuesday, TNT
by Zman of Predictem.com
The Detroit Pistons go looking for their sixth straight berth in the Eastern Conference finals when they host the Orlando Magic for game five of their conference semi-finals series Tuesday night in Michigan. The Pistons lead the best-of-7 series three games to one, after taking the first two games at home and game four in Orlando Sunday.
Online Bookies are listing Detroit as 6 1/2-point home favorites for Tuesday’s game, with a total of 185 . The Pistons are also posted at right around -300 on the moneyline, with the Magic getting +240 as road underdogs.
Detroit won the first two games of this series at home by scores of 91-72 and 100-93. Orlando took game three at home 111-86, but the Pistons, playing without guard Chauncey Billups due to a hamstring injury, battled back from a 15-point 3rd-quarter deficit to squeak out a 90-89 win Sunday, becoming the first and only road team so far to win a second-round game this NBA playoff season.
And Billups is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game with that bad hammy. But interestingly, Detroit is now 3-1 in games Billups has missed this season.
Last season, the Pistons swept the Magic out of the playoffs in a first-round series. This regular season, these two teams split four games. So through eight games between these two teams this season, Detroit is 5-3 both straight up and against the spread.
In this series, the o/u is 2-2, as the games have averaged 183 total points. The Magic have actually outshot the Pistons from the field in the four games together so far 46% to 44%. And the rebounding totals are exactly even. But in a series that’s seen two games go down to the last 10 seconds, both of which Orlando led in the fourth quarter but lost, Detroit has outshot the Magic from the free-throw line 76-of-89 (85%) to 55-of-83 (66%).
Detroit went 44-36 against the spread during the regular season, and 34-7 straight up at home.
Orlando went a profitable 50-30 against the spread this season, and 27-14 SU on the road, which was the second-best away record in the league.
In these playoffs, the Magic are 5-4 straight up, 4-5 against the spread. The o/u is 4-5 in Orlando’s nine playoff games, which have averaged 194 total points per.
The Pistons are 7-3 both SU and ATS in these playoffs, while the o/u has gone 4-6, as Detroit playoff games have averaged 180 total points.
Statistically speaking, Orlando ranked 5th in the league this season in point differential at +5.5 per game. The Magic shot 47% from the field, 39% from 3-point range but only 72% from the free-throw line. Orlando ranked 17th in rebounding at +.3 per game, 7th in FG defense at 45%, and posted a 21/14 per-game assist-to-turnover ratio.
Detroit ranked 2nd in the league in point differential at +7.4 per game, shot 46% from the floor, 37% from long range and 77% from the line. The Pistons ranked 7th in rebounding at +2.3 per game, 3rd in FG defense at 44%, and put up a 22/11 per-game A/TO ratio.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Pistons 3rd in the league at 97.35, the Magic 7th at 95.05. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.96.
If Orlando can come up with a win Tuesday night, game six of this series would be played in Florida.
The o/u went 37-44 in Pistons games this season, which averaged 188 total points per, while the totals went 36-44 in Magic games, which averaged 204 points.
Zman’s Pick: I like the OVER 185.5!