NBA Playoff Betting Preview
Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics (Game One)
Tuesday, 8:35 pm Eastern – ESPN
SBG Global Opening Line: Celtics – 4 , Total 174
The two best teams in the Eastern Conference will meet for the right to play in the NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics took the long way to get here as they defeated the Atlanta Hawks in seven games and the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games. The Detroit Pistons were more efficient, dispatching the 76ers in six games and the Magic in five. While the Western Conference gets all the publicity, the Eastern Conference actually had the two best teams in the NBA as the Celtics finished with 66 wins and the Pistons finished with 59 wins. SBG Global reports that early NBA betting has the public taking Celtics at Home.
The Pistons are in the Conference Finals for the sixth straight season while it is been quite a while for Boston. The teams are very evenly matched and it promises to be a very good series. The Celtics are led by the big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen although lately it has only been the big two as Allen has been invisible in the playoffs. The Pistons have Chauncey Billiups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace. “We’re mirror images,” Detroit head coach Flip Saunders said, “Defensive-oriented teams; both teams are good offensively when they move the ball; both teams have inside guys who like to play outside at times; two guards (Allen and Hamilton), both (from) Connecticut … you can go right on down the list. Right now Pierce is their best player in the playoffs; Tay might be our best player, both at the three spot. And when their point guard plays well, they win; when our point guard plays well, we win.”
The difference might be the play of Ray Allen. He has been awful in the playoffs and actually sat on the bench in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against Cleveland. “Ray’s a great shooter,” said Hamilton, “You can’t sleep on him at any point in time of the game.” The question for Boston is whether or not Allen will turn around his poor shooting. Another key in the series will be how well Rasheed Wallace handles Kevin Garnett. “Both have great respect for each other,” Saunders said. “The difference is that Rasheed has more of a perimeter, 3-point type of game where KG is more mid-range. Both have the ability to get down on the block and score, but they’re both reluctant to get down there. Both are great defensive players. Both can run the floor. They’re kind of clones of each other. Most of the time when we played Portland, when Sheed got the best of KG, they’d win. When KG got the best of Sheed, Minnesota would win. That’s a key matchup. If one of them can get on the other one, you have an opportunity for success for your team.” One matchup edge the Pistons hold is at the point where Chauncey Billups is a three-time All-Star and Rajon Rondo is a second-year player. It could also be that Sam Cassell gets a lot of playing time for Boston in this series.
SBG Global Current Line: Celtics – 4.5, Total 174
The home team has dominated in the playoffs but the Pistons know they can win in Boston. They won in December 87-85 at Boston. “That’s a big plus for us, that we have won there … in a season that they pretty much won most of their home games, probably 30-something of them, but (Dec. 19) was one of their losses and we draw confidence from that,” Billups said. “Not only that, but we know we’re a great road team.” The Pistons rarely go into a series without the home court edge. “This will be a great, great challenge for us,” Billups said. “Starting out the series on the road, it’s been a long time since we’ve done that. So it will be a lot of great matchups out there. It’s going to be some great basketball. I’m excited for that.”
Here are the NBA betting stats for Tuesday’s game. The Pistons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Atlantic. The Pistons are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Pistons are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog. The Pistons are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Tuesday games. The Pistons are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog. The Pistons are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 Conference Finals games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between the two teams and the road team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
The Celtics are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games as a home favorite. The Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Conference Finals games. The Celtics are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Central.
The Under is 10-2 in the Pistons last 12 road games. The Under is 17-5-1 in the Pistons last 23 playoff games as an underdog. The Over is 12-4 in the Pistons last 16 Tuesday games. The Under is 5-2 in the Pistons last 7 vs. the Atlantic. The Under is 20-8-1 in the Pistons last 29 Conference Finals games. The Under is 42-18-1 in the Pistons last 61 games as a road underdog.
The Under is 4-1 in the Celtics last 5 Conference Finals games. The Under is 16-7 in the Celtics last 23 vs. the Central. The Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between the two teams and the Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Boston.
Pick: Still have to back the home team here: Celtics 4units