Cavaliers at Pistons Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 2/1/2013
Years from now, chances are very good that this won’t be a game that people will look back on fondly. People will not tell their grandchildren where they were on the day the Cavs traveled to Detroit. Heck, by next week most of the people at the game will likely have forgotten they were ever there. This is a dud of a game — the ultimate in midseason doldrums.
So, why am I interested in this game more than some of the more obviously interesting ones on the board — like the Lakers and T-Wolves, Heat and Pacers, or Bucks and Knicks? A couple of reasons. First, the public is going to have absolutely no interest in this game. That means low betting volume, and more certain impact of the sharp money on the lines. Games like that aren’t particularly common in the NBA, so it’s attractive when one shows up. More significantly, I think the Cavs are a little better than their record right now, and that makes them interesting. I’m definitely not saying that they are good, just better than they appear.
Cavaliers at Pistons Betting Storylines
Cleveland has won four of their last six, and two of their last three on the road. In both the road wins — at Portland and Toronto — they were underdogs of at least six points. It’s solid play for a team that hasn’t been solid since a player-who-can’t-be-named took his talents to South Beach. They lost to their two legitimate opponents over that stretch — Golden State and Utah — but they have been good enough to win against teams that are about as hopeless as they are. That’s something, at least.
Another reason to like the Cavs right now is the boost they have received from their steal of a deal with the Grizzlies on Jan. 22. Memphis needed to get under the salary cap, and they paid handsomely to do so. Cleveland only had to give up Jon Leuer — a young center who had only played 90 minutes in nine games this year. In exchange they got a first-round pick and Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby. Selby hasn’t played for them, but Ellington was solid in the win over the Raptors, and Speights has been pretty good. Sometimes a change is a good thing for a team — even if the change isn’t a massive boost in talent. The new blood has now had a couple of days off to practice with the team — they haven’t played since Tuesday — so they could be ready to contribute at a strong level again here. That certainly can’t hurt the chances of the Cavs.
Kyrie Irving is playing like what he is — a top pick and elite stud of a point guard. He is averaging over 30 points per game in his last four games — and that includes just 14 last time out. Comparing this year to last year, or even now to earlier this year, you can see that the game is really slowing down for him and he is really learning how to be dangerous. He’s at the point now where he is often the best player on the court, and there is certainly no one on Detroit who should be any better on him on this day. Betting on the best player when they are confident and performing well is only rarely a bad idea.
Detroit is 12-12 at home, but just 10-14 ATS. That means that their home barn (and a barn is a good description for it) is much friendlier for them than the road is, but it isn’t as much of a boost as it should be or as the public thinks it is. In this game the home-court advantage is likely to be minimized by the changes the team has gone through as well. In this game they will welcome Jose Calderon and say goodbye to Tayshaun Prince. That won’t be an easy change, and the team’s focus and intensity should suffer in the short term.
Cavaliers at Pistons NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Cavs bounce back well from defensively suspect games — they are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games following games in which they allowed more than 100 points. Cleveland is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings between these squads. Five of the last seven meetings in Detroit have gone over the total.
Cavaliers at Pistons Picks and Betting Predictions
The Cavaliers are well positioned to pull off an upset here. They are confident and rested. There will be confusion on the Detroit side. The price is right. Cleveland is the play.
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