Palace of Auburn Hills: Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons Betting Preview

Miami Heat AT Detroit Pistons
Mar 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  Miami -8.5
Current Line:  Miami -8.5
Opening Total:  197
Current Total:  198
Opening Moneyline:  Mia -425 / Det +355
Current Moneyline:  Mia -425 / Det +350

Hamilton and Stuckey are both valuable players, but the Pistons are going nowhere

Injuries have a strange way of affecting player rotations and starters’ minutes, and now that Mario Chalmers is expected to be out two weeks, Bibby will be the man at point guard.  One would have to think that if Bibby plays well enough over these next two weeks, and the Heat win, that Bibby would steal the starting job from Chalmers.  It’s an unfortunate reality for the injured player.  Bibby already performed well in game 1 without Chalmers, going 4 of 8 from distance en route to 14 points.  While he’s certainly long past his prime and is a complete defensive liability, Bibby’s dead eye shooting does make up for it.  A solid spot up shooter that can shoot well in excess of 40% from three is a valuable chip in any team.

Miami has won 9 of the last 10 against the Pistons, but the Pistons are a decent home team (18-17).  Greg Monroe has been impressive for a rookie and looks to be a part of the Pistons’ long term plans.  Point guard Rodney Stuckey never really developed into the super star that Joe Dumars was touting him to be, but remains a solid option as a starting point guard moving forward.  Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva were free agent busts.  It seems even a good GM, like Dumars, is capable of making a few grave errors.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 games and they are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.  Miami is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games and the total has gone OVER in 12 of Miami’s last 16 road games.  Miami is 18-7 SU in their last 25 on the road and they are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 on the road.  Miami is 8-1 SU in their last 9 against the Pistons and the total has gone UNDER in 17 of Miami’s last 25 games against the Pistons.  Miami is 7-15 SU in their last 22 on the road against Detroit and Miami is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games on the road in Detroit.

The total has gone OVER in 13 of Detroit’s past 19 games and they are 5-12 SU in their last 17.  Detroit is 4-1 SU in their last 5 at home and the total has gone OVER in 8 of their last 11 at home.  The total has gone UNDER in 17 of their last 25 against the Heat and the Pistons are 1-8 SU in their last 9 against Miami.  Detroit is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games against the Heat and they are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games at home against the Heat.  Detroit is 15-7 SU in their last 22 at home against Miami and they are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Miami Heat.

Key Matchups:

Tracy McGrady / Rip Hamilton / Rodney Stuckey / Ben Gordon vs. Mike Bibby / Dwyane Wade / Mike Miller

While both teams have decent frontcourts, it seems tonight’s game will mostly be determined by the play of the backcourts.  McGrady has become an aged point guard on a bad team, but he is playing fair.  He had a string of impressive games but has leveled off recently, and while he still shows a flash of the old T-Mac from time to time, the results are pretty banal at best.  Hamilton fits the same category to a large degree.  Sometimes he looks like an all star, other times he doesn’t look like he is even mentally there.  Stuckey never panned out to be the superstar Dumars expected he would be but he has the talent to always have a big game and Ben Gordon is one of the better shooters in the last 10 years, but unfortunately he is too one dimensional to be much more than a role player in this league.

Bibby, as mentioned earlier, is a huge defensive liability but a dead eye shooter.  He’s more or less just a spot up shooter at this point in his career, but when he, Mike Miller, James Jones, or Mike Miller (or any combination) are on the court together, it becomes very difficult to double and triple team LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.  Wade and James are always going to get theirs, but if they can be held under 30 and not doubled teamed in excess, the Heat are a very beatable team.  Miller is finally playing significant minutes, but he is not playing well at all.  He’s been very reluctant to shoot the ball, which is hard to understand given the fact he shoots 40.5% from three over his career.  Miller must become more involved and take more responsibility on his shoulders if the Heat are going to make it past the second round this year.  Getting Haslem back will also be huge, if it happens, but Mike Miller is basically the X-factor for the Heat at this point.

Tonight’s game isn’t predicted to be especially close by NBA oddsmakers, and the Heat do have a propensity towards punishing bad teams.  Detroit is essentially playing for nothing but stats now, so expect a lot of selfish basketball, as is common on bad teams that really have no purpose

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