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Boston vs. Detroit NBA Free Pick (Mar. 2)

TUESDAY MARCH 2, 2010 – Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons

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NBA odds: Pierce should return to lead Celtics against Pistons on Tuesday night

Team records:
Boston: 36-21 SU, 21-35-1 ATS
Detroit: 21-38 SU, 25-31-3 ATS

Coming off a terrible loss to the Nets, the Boston Celtics are looking to take their anger out on someone. They’ll get a chance against the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night, although Detroit picked up a win last time these teams met on NBA odds.

Matchup: Celtics at Pistons
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Spread: Boston -5
Over/Under: 188

The Celtics (36-21, 21-35-1 ATS) are mired in a brutal slump. Boston has lost three of its last four games, but at least two of those losses—at home to Cleveland and at Denver—are understandable. Their last outing, a 104-96 loss to the six-win New Jersey Nets, was positively inexcusable. The loss extended Boston’s nightmarish run against NBA odds; the Celtics have covered just twice in their past 10 games against the spread, including four consecutive losses. Boston is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 road games.

Boston has been led by its top-rated defense all year, but there are signs of collapse. The Celtics yield an average of 94.2 points per game on “D” but, in their past four games, that number has skyrocketed to 108 points per night. Boston can ill-afford a defensive breakdown, as their offense is 19th in the NBA at 98.5 points per game. Leading scorer Paul Pierce should return from injury Tuesday after missing three games. Pierce struggled in his last two games before shutting it down, and he’s already sat out 10 games this year. Boston needs him to bounce back and stay healthy.

Detroit (21-38, 25-31-3 ATS) hasn’t won in three straight games, the latest a 95-88 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Pistons have played .500 ball against the spread, splitting their last 10 games on NBA odds. Tuesday’s contest will be Detroit’s first home game since a Feb. 21 win over San Antonio, but that’s not necessarily a good thing; the Pistons are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games at the Palace of Auburn Hills.Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

If Boston has scoring problems, what do you classify Detroit’s situation as? The Pistons are second-last in NBA scoring at 92.4 points per game. Rip Hamilton leads the team with 19.2 points per game and he’s enjoyed a pretty nice scoring stretch lately. Although he mustered just 16 points in the loss to Golden State, Hamilton is averaging 25.5 points per game in his last seven starts. Ben Gordon—a former 20-point scorer in Chicago—has seen his minutes increasingly reduced, and he’s averaged fewer than 10 points per game in the New Year. At the other end of the floor, Detroit is 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed at 96.8 per game.

Boston and Detroit have met once this season, with the Pistons winning 92-86 thanks to 27 points and 11 rebounds from third-year guard Rodney Stucky. Detroit has covered two straight games against the Celtics, although Boston won the previous four on NBA odds.

Celtics vs. Pistons Free PICK

Neither team inspires much confidence right now but, for whatever reason, Detroit struggles against NBA lines at home. The Celtics also get a shot in the arm with the return of Paul Pierce. Throw in the anger of losing to lowly New Jersey, and Boston is a good bet to bounce back. Bet on the Celtics.



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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...