76ers at Pistons Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 4/15/2013
This game means nothing. Nothing at all. The 76ers will finish ninth or 10th in the Eastern Conference. No trophy for that. The Pistons could finish 11th but are probably destined for 12th. Who cares? There is nothing on the line and nothing to play for. These teams are just playing out the string — killing time until they can go on vacation with their families and forget the miserable season they have just endured.
While all is basically lost for these teams this year, neither squad is playing like it. In fact, both teams are on a minor roll. The Sixers have won six of their last 10 and come in on a two-game winning streak. The Pistons can do one better — they haven’t lost in their last three. It’s hardly the kind of streak that is going to make headlines, but when a lot of teams with similar records have just packed it in — the Blazers have lost 11 straight, and the Wizards, Cavs and Hornets have dropped four in a row, for example — these teams both get some credit for showing more than the expected amount of pride. That’s what makes this matchup considerably more interesting than it probably deserves to be.
76ers at Pistons Betting Storylines
Philadelphia played Sunday afternoon — they spoiled the home finale for the Cavaliers by getting out to a very fast start in the first quarter and holding on despite losing the second half. Having to play two days in a row is not a good thing for these Sixers. In fact, it’s a disaster — they are just 4-17 in the second half of these games. In other words, the absence of a postseason berth can almost entirely be blamed on their inability to bounce back on short rest. It’s a bad situation for any team and almost inexplicable for a team as young as this one — it’s not like their bodies can’t recover in time.
The coaching situation is an inevitable distraction for a lot of teams at this time of year, and that is certainly the case here. Lawrence Frank is on shaky ground for the Pistons -- though his players are speaking out for him -- and there is at least a decent chance that he will get another year — though unsubstantiated reports on Sunday night suggest he and GM Joe Dumars could both be fired after the season. That’s nothing compared to the drama surrounding Doug Collins and the Sixers. First, reports indicated that he was going to be forced out by ownership. Then the rumors were that he was stable and would return. On Sunday night, though, the latest development is reports that he will resign after the season. If that is indeed true — and there are enough reports to make it seem like it is — then it’s hard to imagine that the team will be fully focused on the tail of that recent development. With a team that is dead last in scoring, it’s hard to feel too bad for Collins.
The Pistons are rested coming into this one — they haven’t played since Friday — but they are banged up nonetheless. Jose Calderon has been out the last three games with a sore tricep, and he’s out for this one as well. On the heels of one of his best games of the season — 29 points and 11 rebounds at Cleveland — rookie center Andre Drummond hurt his ankle on Friday and is uncertain here. Brandon Knight will play in the game, but he is wearing a walking boot between games because of multiple foot woes. This is a team that is banged up and more than ready for the end of the season. They have an advantage here because of the mindset of the Sixers and the back-to-back games, but the question is whether Detroit is healthy enough to do anything about it.
76ers at Pistons NBA Odds and Betting Trends
BookMaker has opened the Pistons as three-point favorites with the total at 193.5.
The Sixers have gone “under” the total in seven of their last nine games. Detroit is 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games but just 1-7 ATS in their last eight Monday games. Five of the last seven meetings between these teams have gone under the total.
76ers at Pistons Picks and Betting Predictions
Despite the injury issues for Detroit, they are the pick here. They are 17-23 at home — much better than they are overall — and are confident after two straight home wins. Philadelphia is in a tough spot, and I don’t expect them to come out at near full intensity. There is value on the Pistons.
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