Free NBA Picks: Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 2/17/2014
It's a pretty important game on Tuesday night in Detroit as the NBA resumes after the all-star break when Charlotte visits the Pistons. The two clubs are in many ways alike, and the Bobcats hold down the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Pistons just a half game back and with one game in hand -- they are even in the loss department. The clubs play again Wednesday night in North Carolina, so a potentially crucial tiebreaker will be in one of the team's hands by then. That's their third and last meeting of the season.
Expect both Charlotte and Detroit to be actively working the phones this week as the trade deadline is Thursday afternoon. The Pistons it now appears will hang on to big man Greg Monroe even though his agent, David Falk, says Monroe will be expecting max dollars as a free agent this offseason. Hard to see how the Pistons can afford that with big-money deals already given to Brandon Jennings (oops) and Josh Smith (double oops!), and Andre Drummond due a big raise soon. The Pistons do want some wing help and have been dabbling the likes of Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey on the market.
The Bobcats have been targeting Philadelphia's Evan Turner, reportedly offering the 76ers Ben Gordon, whose contract is up after this season, and a first-round pick in the stacked 2014 draft. Charlotte is likely going to have to forfeit its own 2014 pick to Chicago but owns Detroit's and Portland's. The Pistons' is Top-8 protected. How did Charlotte get it? Dealing Corey Maggette in June 2012 for Gordon and the pick in a total heist. The Pistons did it for salary cap reasons. Gordon barely plays in Charlotte when he's healthy.
Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons Betting Story Lines
Detroit has played better, winning three of four. The first two of those were with former head coach Maurice Cheeks, who was strangely fired while on a winning streak. Detroit beat San Antonio under interim coach John Loyer and then lost 93-89 at home to Cleveland in its final game before the break. There are reports the Pistons want former Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins but that any move would have to wait until after the season so owner Tom Gores can decide whether GM Joe Dumars sticks around -- he frankly doesn't deserve to keep his job. There are also rumors that Gores will make a big run at Michigan State's Tom Izzo. You'd think that if there's one NBA job that could get the Michigan native out of East Lansing it might be this one, but Izzo also has had a chance at the job before and didn't take it.
Drummond's profile was raised over the weekend when he was named MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge with 30 points and 25 rebounds. The Bobcats clearly goofed by taking Michael Kidd-Gilchrist No. 2 in the 2012 draft as they could have taken Drummond, who went No. 9. Or Damian Lillard, who went No. 6, Or Bradley Beal (No. 3).
Charlotte has alternated wins and losses in its past six, entering the break with an ugly 105-89 defeat at Brooklyn. It was the second of a back-to-back for Charlotte, and it showed as the Bobcats shot only 41.4 percent from the floor a night after shooting a season-high 54.9 percent and scoring 114 points in a home blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks. Many people thought the Bobcats overpaid for free agent Al Jefferson this past offseason, but he's been very good, averaging 20.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He's averaging 26.4 ppg in the past 10 and shooting 53.2 percent from the field. Charlotte still isn't a very good offensive team because no one other than Jefferson or point guard Kemba Walker can get his own shot.
When Charlotte visited Detroit on Dec. 20, the Pistons were six-point favorites but lost 116-106. Jefferson had 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Walker finished with 34. Detroit led by 20 in the second quarter and 14 entering the fourth. It was just the third win in Bobcats history in which they won when trailing by at least 20. Stuckey and Kidd-Gilchrist both sat that one out. It was also the game in which Charlotte's Jeffery Taylor blew out his Achilles' tendon. Taylor, who is done for the year, was averaging 8.0 points in 24.2 minutes per game.
Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons NBA Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Detroit is a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 201. The Bobcats are 29-22-2 against the spread (16-9-2 on road) and 24-27-2 "over/under" (15-11-1 on road). The Pistons are 23-28-1 ATS (12-16 at home) and 36-16 O/U (20-8 at home). Charlotte is 6-1 ATS in its past seven after a loss as well as in its past seven on Tuesdays. The Pistons are 5-1 ATS in their past six at home. The over is 7-1 in Charlotte's past eight against teams with a winning record. The over is 6-1 in Detroit's past seven against teams with a losing record. The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings in Detroit. The road team has covered six of the past seven in this series.
Free NBA Picks: Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons Betting Predictions
Charlotte is tough to handicap because the Bobcats are good enough defensively to stay in most games but can struggle so bad offensively that there will be a few stinkers in there. However, with fresh legs Tuesday they should be good on the defensive end and that will be enough to keep it close. Take the Bobcats and the under.
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