For the third time this year I bounced back after a loss, as the Milwaukee Bucks went into the Oracle Arena and stomped the Golden State Warriors. I liked them as an underdog on the night, but absolutely loved their chances of beating their +6 spread. They did just that and pushed my NBA picks season record to 12-4.
Things have been going well to start the year and I can only hope you’ve been along for the ride. Let’s try to keep it going as a fun seven-game NBA betting slate rolls into Friday night.
There are a few games I like on the docket tonight, but the one that stands out the most goes down in Atlanta where the Hawks host the Detroit Pistons. I’m also tentatively looking at the Wiz (-2.5, -116) as road favorites in Orlando and the Celtics (+170) as road dogs in Utah. The Wizards have just been horrendous, though, while Boston is coming off of an overtime game last night.
Horrible play and fatigue probably keep me off of those bets, but Boston at +170 is very tempting. If you want an “aim high” play for today, that’d be it.
I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to just chase value for the sake of chasing value, though. If you want to toss in an upset pick with a slew of “good” picks, that’s perfectly fine. The Pistons covering their -4.5 point spread at GTbets classifies as a “good” bet to me, though.
You really do need to consider home underdogs every single time out, but Atlanta are just 2-3 on their home floor and don’t defend very well. The Pistons look like a great bet with this tiny spread and GTbets offers a little more value than most of the other NBA betting sites, which hang a -5 spread on the Pistons. That extra 0.5 is pretty key here, as five-point victory by the Pistons would result in a win instead of a push.
Detroit Pistons (-4.5, -109) @ Atlanta Hawks (+4.5, -109) Total: 224 (-109)
I will be the first to admit the Pistons are not always easy to trust. They are incredibly volatile, as they started the year 4-0 and then lost five games in a row. That was ugly, but they snapped that losing streak with a win in their last game and will be looking to get win number two in a row tonight.
Against a bad Hawks team, that’s pretty likely. Detroit winning isn’t a big reach, but you need to feel comfortable with them winning by five. It doesn’t take much to get me there, but let’s consider a few things that prop up that argument.
When you look at the data, things favor Detroit quite a bit. The Hawks are just 2-3 against the spread at home this year, 4-7 against the spread as a whole and 4-6 ATS as an underdog. The sample size is small, but as you may have guessed, the Hawks aren’t stacked with talent and simply aren’t a reliable bet these days.
The Pistons don’t get any help from the ATS data, but I’m not reading too much into that with such a favorable matchup in front of them. The Hawks only have one guy who can hope to slow down Andre Drummond and even if Dewayne Dedmon accomplishes that, he’ll have to also worry about Blake Griffin. Detroit’s big men can be dominant as scorers and on the glass. The latter is a problem for a Hawks team that ranks 21st in the NBA in total rebounding (Detroit ranks 4th).
Detroit should crush down low in this one and if that weren’t enough, the Pistons also have the edge defensively (10th compared to 22nd). Neither of these teams are particularly efficient on offense and the Hawks could make things interesting due to their fast pace, but I think a faster setting against an over-matched opponent actually suits the Pistons well tonight.
Atlanta may play fast, but they still only rank 21st in three-point percentage and 18th in points per game. Against a respectable defense, the Hawks are going to need to come out on fire from outside if they have a chance to win this – let alone keep it remotely close. Against Detroit’s 5th-ranked perimeter defense, I find that unlikely.
The Pistons have the edge in talent, rebounding, offense and defense. They’ve also won five of the last seven meetings, so there’s that.
The only issues are that this game is in ATL and the Hawks love to play fast. Ultimately, I doubt either are a problem. You can take the Pistons straight up, but this is a pretty palatable spread and their -4.5 line comes with a nice -109 price tag.