Bet On Game 5 Pistons vs. Celtics May 28th, 2008
CappersPicks.com NBA Handicapping Staff
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NBA: Pressure shifts to Boston
The Boston Celtics are only 2-4 against the spread at home since the second round of the playoffs began, but they’re desperate for a win with their series tied 2-2.
Bet on Game 5 between the Celtics and Detroit Pistons that begins at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN. Boston is a 5 ½-point favorite at Sportbook.com and 82% of the early bettors are backing them knowing they can’t afford to go to Detroit for an elimination game.
If there’s a common theme about this series, it’s that the more desperate team has won. That trend started in Game 2 when Detroit needed a win in Boston to avoid trailing 2-0. Detroit won 103-97, ruining the Celtics’ perfect 7-0 home record in the postseason.
Boston used the sting of that defeat to convincingly win Game 3 in Detroit, 94-80. That ended Boston’s awful 0-6 straight-up and ATS record in the playoffs. Detroit then rebounded on Monday night at home 94-75, in a game that was closer than the score indicates.
That brings us to Wednesday night in Boston in what is essentially a best-of-three series.
The Celtics earned the right to have home court advantage due to a stellar regular season and we’ll see if it pays off with a trip to the NBA finals.
To get by this veteran Pistons’ squad though, they’ll need more than just screaming fans. Boston has had an anemic offense in the postseason, failing to score 100 points in their last 12 games. That means their defense has to play top-notch once again and hold Detroit to under 90 points or so.
The Pistons have not exactly been an offensive juggernaut themselves. Chauncey Billups is battling a sore hamstring and is a shell of his former self at 11 PPG. Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace have also been struggling, and only Richard Hamilton and Antonio McDyess have been consistent starters.
If the Celtics can get a solid scoring game from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, then they should be able to ride the home crowd to a comfortable victory. However, those three are not lighting it up like in the regular season, and they’ve had to rely on secondary scorers like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins to pull out wins, always a dangerous proposition.
One thing for sure, Boston doesn’t want this game to be close in the 4th quarter when Detroit’s playoff experience and savvy can help them pull out a victory – even on the road.
A final betting note is that the Over/Under is 173 points. The Under was the winning pick in three of the four games in this series, and it could be a solid pick again.
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