Pro Basketball Betting Preview: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons

Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons
Sunday, January 20, 2012, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: CSN-NE, FSN-DET, NBA-LP
The Palace of Auburn Hills – Auburn Hills, Michigan
Opening Line: Boston -2 1/2
Current Line: Boston -2
Opening Total: 185
Current Total: 
Opening Money Line: Celtics -130 / Pistons +110
Current Money Line: Celtics -125 / Pistons +105

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The Celtics are a 2 point favorite on the road at the Pistons Sunday. .

The 20-19 Boston Celtics currently hold a 3.5 game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are only 6/12 games behind the first place Miami Heat, in the conference standings so there is still plenty of time for them to move up. The Celtics travel to the 14-25 Detroit Pistons Sunday.

The Celtics, coached by Doc Rivers. have lost 2 straight games after a 6 game winning streak. The Celtics lost at home to the Chicago Bulls Friday night 100-99 in overtime.  The Pistons, coached by Lawrence Frank, have also lost two straight games. Detroit lost to the Knicks Thursday afternoon in London, England 102-87. Jet lag could certainly be an issue but they did return to Detroit on Friday, and had Saturday to recover.

The Pistons have beaten the Celtics three straight times overall and also three straight times in Auburn Hills. Detroit beat Boston 103-83 at the Palace in mid-November.

Boston is 14-22-3 ATS (6-11-1 away) and  the total is 18-20-1 (8-10 away) this season. Detroit is 17-22 ATS (8-13 home) and the total is 17-21-1 (8-13 home).

Boston is being outscored 95.8-95.2 this season. The Celtics are #7 in points allowed. Boston is shooting 46.2% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. The Celtics are #6 in field goal percentage. Boston is #8 in free throw shooting at 77.5% from the line. The Celtics are last in rebounding at 38.8 rebounds per game, and they give up 42.5 per game. Boston opponents are shooting 44.7% from the field and 36.1% from3 point range. The Celtics average 23.1 assists, 8.7 steals, 4.1 blocks, and 14.3 turnovers.

Forward Paul Pierce averages 19.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Kevin Garnett averages 14.6 points, 7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1 steal a game. Point Guard Rajon Rondo averages 13.5 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. Rondo leads the league in assists. Rondo and Garnett were both voted to start next month’s All-Star Game in Houston. Guard Jason Terry averages 10.3 points, 2.3 assists, and 2 rebounds per game. Forward Jeff Green averages 9.4 points per game and 3.1 rebounds. He sat out all of last season after undergoing open heart surgery. He could win the Comeback player of the year award. Guard Avery Bradley averages 8.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is doubtful with a rib injury after missing Friday’s loss to the Bulls. Forward Brandon Bass averages 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds. Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger, Leandro Barbosa, and Chris Wilcox make up the rest of the rotation. Wilcox is probable with a thumb injury.

Detroit is being outscored 96-95 this season. The Pistons are #23 in scoring and #10 in points allowed. Detroit is 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from 3 point range. The Pistons are #7 in three point shooting but #27 in free throw shooting at 70.9% from the line. Detroit averages 43.4 rebounds per game and give up 41.9 per game. The Pistons are 11th or better in both categories. Piston opponents are shooting 44% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. Detroit is 11th in the former and third in the latter. The Pistons average 20.3 assists, 6.2 steals, 5.7 blocks, and 15.2 turnovers a game.

Center Greg Monroe averages 15.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. Point guard Brandon Knight averages 13.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game. Forward Tayshaun Prince averages 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Guard Rodney Stuckey averages 11.8 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds. forward Kyle Singler averages 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Guard Will Bynum averages 8 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 rebounds per game. Forward Jason Maxiell averages 7.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Forward Charlie Villanueva averages 7.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Andre Drummond, Jonas Jerobko, Austin Daye, and Corey Maggette make up the rest of the rotation. Maggette is questionable with an illness.

Boston is 4-1-1 ATS against Eastern Conference teams, 28-11 in Sunday games, 3-7 against teams with losing home records, 2-5 against Central Division teams, 3-8 in road games, and on one day rest, 1-3-1 overall, 1-4 after a straight up loss, when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 1-7 after allowing 100 points or more, and 0-3-1 against teams with losing straight up records. Nine of the last twelve games in this series in Detroit have gone under the total.

Detroit is 8-2 ATS on two days rest, 14-6 after allowing 100 points or more,  4-10 against teams with winning records, 2-5 overall, 1-5 in Sunday games, at home, against Atlantic Division teams, and at home against teams with losing road records, and 1-4 after their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. The home team is 4-1 ATS in this series. The Pistons are 5-2 ATS against the Celtics and were underdogs in each of those games.

Both of these teams have been up and down all season. This is one of those games that Boston has to win in order to try and move up to catch the New york Knicks and Brooklyn Nets in the standings. However, Detroit has had their number recently. I like the Celtics to win a road game against a tired Pistons team.

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