Celtics vs Pistons – NBA Pick for December 10th

by Kevin Roberts
on December 10, 2017

The Boston Celtics couldn’t get the job done the other night against the San Antonio Spurs, as they lost a tough road contest 105-102. Vegas was calling that game rather tightly, but I felt the Celtics offered nice value despite the tough road environment.

That pick did not pan out and the loss dropped my NBA picks record to 27-12-1 on the year.

I’m prepared to go right back to the well on Sunday, as the Celtics are back after getting Saturday off and could again offer solid value in Detroit when they face the Pistons.

This contest is shaping up to be a virtual pick’em, while the Celtics are tentatively regarded as the favorites at -1 at Bovada. The opening line was at -1.5 however, so it will be interesting to see if it changes at all.

If anything, I think this game is trending to a true pick’em situation though, so I’m not sure waiting will alter the betting value much.

Regardless, this game looks like a toss-up due to Detroit’s solid defense and elite home prowess (8-3 at home this year). I still can’t shake the value bettors can get with the Celtics, as a -1 spread basically translates into a -110 Money Line.

Boston Celtics (-1)
Detroit Pistons (+1)
Total: 203

The Celtics came very close to upsetting the Spurs in San Antonio and thanks to a ridiculous 22-5 start to their season (10-3 on the road), bettors are more than aware of their ability to get tough wins no matter the location.

I certainly note Detroit’s stout home record, but the Pistons have otherwise turned into a poor bet lately. Detroit has dropped five games in a row and are just 4-6 over their last 10 contests.

It’s possible they could lean on their defense and the home crowd to snap their skid, but it’s tough to buy them doing so against arguably the best team in the NBA this year.

Boston still brings the league’s stingiest defense to the table, while their offense (10th in efficiency) is among the NBA’s most dynamic, as well.

I find it strange that Vegas is giving the Pistons so much respect here. I get that they are at home and had a fantastic start to the season, but they’re slumping hard right now.

Boston will be looking for a nice bounce-back win and considering they haven’t had consecutive losses since they started off at 0-2, it appears bettors could be taking on more risk than they might be aware of.

Hypothetically, these teams actually match up very well. Andre Drummond gives the Celtics something to worry about down low, while former Celtic Avery Bradley gives Kyrie Irving a tough defender and also brings in the revenge narrative.

On the other side Irving can take over any game, Al Horford can pull Drummond out with his perimeter game and the Celtics have a plethora of wing players that can shoot and defend.

Unfortunately, bettors have already seen this thing play out. Bradley had his shot at payback on November 27th and the Pistons actually won by 10. There was a lot of emotion packed into that game and what was supposed to be a defensive battle turned into more of a shootout.

The big problem, of course, was Drummond. Boston couldn’t contain him in any regard (26 points and 22 rebounds) and he will absolutely be their main issue again in this matchup. That being said, the Pistons got to the line a ton in that game and Boston played sloppy basketball (17 turnovers!).

Detroit might again be aggressive, but I expect the Celtics to be much more focused this time around. These teams are heading in different directions, too. With the Pistons reeling and Boston looking to quickly forget their loss to the Spurs, I tend to favor the superior Celtics.

The ATS data favors anyone who likes the Celtics, too, as Boston is a staggering 19-7-1 overall against the spread this year. The Celtics obviously have an amazing straight up record, but they’re also a blistering 13-6-1 against the spread when favored and an impressive 6-2 ATS when favored on the road.

The Pistons have also been great against the spread (16-7-2), but are just 1-1 so far when Vegas goes against them at home. I think many bettors will look at the first meeting and see the Pistons get game number two at home and the knee-jerk reaction could be to favor Detroit as mild home underdogs.

For me, I’m still looking at the more talented team that isn’t currently stuck in a rut.

If for no other reason, I just don’t feel comfortable with backing the Pistons with such a tight line. There clearly isn’t any value with Detroit and if I’m betting against the Celtics these days, Vegas needs to pay me to do it.

I’ll take Boston to beat this spread, as they’re the better team and probably won’t mind dishing out some revenge after losing to Detroit earlier this year.

Pick: Boston Celtics (-1)
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