Detroit Pistons @ Milwaukee Bucks | NBA Playoffs Betting Tips and Predictions
The Milwaukee Bucks were expected to dominate the Detroit Pistons in Game One of their first-round series Sunday—and they did. They are expected to do so again in Game Two. The Pistons, who were already overmatched, had to play Sunday without Blake Griffin who may not be available in the first round at all.
Spread: Bucks by 15.5
Money Line: Pistons +1075; Bucks -1700
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Heading into Game One against the Bucks Sunday the Pistons knew there was a chance that Blake Griffin may not be available. By not playing him in Game One, the team likely hoped the extra days of rest would do the trick for his sore knees—but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The issue was one that nagged him down the stretch run of the regular season forcing him to miss several key games. Officially, he is going to be listed as ‘day-to-day,’ but media reports are saying he is not going to play. Of course, without him, any remote chance the Pistons had of recording an upset in a game let alone the series, is out the window. The Pistons do not have anyone on their roster that is capable of replacing him as a scoring threat. Thon Maker tried and failed in Game One (four points and four rebounds in 22 minutes). Andre Drummond may be their best bet to replace Griffin’s production, but the team will still need someone else to step up on offence.
If the Bucks were looking to make a statement with a big win in the first game of their playoff run, then mission accomplished. They led by 20 points after the first quarter and never looked back. Heading into the final quarter, they led by 36-points and began to take the proverbial foot off the gas. The Pistons were able to narrow the gap but only by a point. After the contest, Giannis Antetokounmpo appeared to question the amount of preparation the Pistons made heading into the game: “I don’t know if they were ready for us. But we just try to focus on ourselves. We just try to play with pace, run to our spots and try to make plays.” Seven players scored in double-figures for the Bucks led by Antetokounmpo with 24 (and 17 rebounds). Detroit had just three guys score in double-figures. The Bucks are going to essentially come out and do what they did in Game One again in Game Two. They are going to look to dominate in every aspect of the game. Barring several serious injuries to key players, there is no reason to think they will do otherwise.
Detroit Pistons @ Milwaukee Bucks Head-to-Head
The Bucks swept their regular season series with the Pistons, 4-0. With the exception of the second game in mid-December (which they won by three points), the Bucks won each by double digits. From a historical perspective, the all-time series between these two leans decisively in one direction. Of the 245 games they have played Milwaukee has won 133 to 112 for Detroit. They have also met 18 times in the playoffs; Detroit leads that series 14-4. They last met in the playoffs in the first round back in 2006. Detroit won the series, 4-1. Milwaukee leads the current series 1-0.
Odds and Predictions
If there is anyone that honestly thinks the Pistons have a legitimate of winning this game, they have some serious blinders on or hate money. The question for this game is not whether the Pistons can win, but whether there is a chance they cover the spread. While a +15.5-point spread may seem like a lot, you have to remember that the Bucks led by 43 at one point in Game One and were up by 36 after three quarters. Had they pressed in the fourth quarter that game could have gotten really ugly.
Expert Betting Tip
Take the Bucks to win (-1700), straight up and against the spread. As for the over/under (211), you can’t count on the Pistons to score any more than they did in Game One. While Milwaukee could easily cover the rest in order to cover the over, don’t count on it.