Detroit Pistons @ Indiana Pacers -8
Isn’t it only fitting that one day after the Ron Artest savage elbow to the face of James Harden sparks endless ESPN video montages of the “best” of Ron Ron that his old sparring partners in Detroit square off against the Pacers in a little “Malice in the Palice” throwback animosity? It’s almost too perfect right? Let the videos of player on fan violence roll!
Tonight’s game lacks a little (ok, ALL) of the sizzle of those great Pistons v Pacers matchups of the mid-2000’s, and tonight’s game will be played at about 1/100th of the intensity level, especially given the relative meaninglessness of tonight’s game for both squads. However, there is a pretty decent opportunity for a sleeper wager here; and when I say “sleeper” I mean it literally. Like one team will be flat out “asleep.”
I think the team catching some ZZZ’s and some Coaches Decision DNPs tonight will be the Indiana Pacers. With the Hawks loss yesterday and the Magic UPS’ing in the remainder of the season, Indiana has secured the third spot in the East. They can’t move up. They can’t move down. It is what it is. And as long as the Knicks don’t run the table while the Magic do the same in reverse, they are awaiting a cushy first-round matchup with the Dwight Howard-less Magic. That’s about as good as a bye, only you get some on-court scrimmage time.
So what would be the incentive to play the main rotation hard tonight? I can’t imagine Frank Vogel letting Hibbert and Granger log more than 30 minutes or so tonight in an absolutely meaningless game. I wouldn’t be surprised if they still won tonight, but I would be surprised if they blew the Pistons out.
Quietly, Detroit has been a pretty competitive ballclub since the All Star break, hovering around .500. Their last ten have included some duds as they got rolled up by some teams fighting fiercely for playoff berths and positions, but for the most part, Greg Monroe and company have been respectable. Getting eight points against a team with nothing to play for, being “respectable” is about all you need to accomplish to cover the spread.
I have no interest in watching this game tonight – I can’t imagine it will be full of drama and intense effort. But I do think there is a decent opportunity to steal an easy cover hiding here. Give me the Pistons with the eight points to cover.
Free Pick: Detroit Pistons +8 <– click to bet it and get $100 free bet