The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers seem like clearly the two best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. An argument could be made that the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks are two clubs on that next tier — maybe good enough to make a lucky run to the East Finals and maybe a possible NBA betting pick for that time, but probably no further. They face off in Beer Town on Wednesday. Check back for the latest NBA odds on gameday.
Pistons at Bucks NBA Betting Pick & Game Info
“Our guys fought hard and we’ll move on.” – SVG
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) December 5, 2017
When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center
TV: NBA League Pass, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Wisconsin
Stream: NBA League Pass
Radio: 97.1 FM (Detroit) / 620AM WTMJ (Milwaukee)
NBA Betting Odds: TBA
Why Bet on Detroit?
The best center in the NBA has to be Philly’s Joel Embiid. When he stays out of foul trouble, you might have to call Detroit’s Andre Drummond the second-best. The former UConn star, just 24 still, is averaging 14.3 points and a league-best 15 rebounds per game along with 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks. Drummond already has more assists this season than he did all of last year.
He’s shooting 54.5 percent from the field and even making his free throws. Drummond is sinking 64.8 percent; he entered this season as a career 39.6 percent shoot, which is just silly. Since entering the league in 2012-13, Drummond has the most 20-plus point, 20-plus rebound games in the NBA with 14.
Tobias Harris has also stepped up his game and scored 10-plus points in each one, the first Pistons player to start a season with 10-plus points in every game to start a year since Richard Hamilton (55 consecutive games) in 2006-07. The team record is 80 in a row to starts a season by Jerry Stackhouse. The Pistons have improved in points per game and every shooting category this season over last year. The Pistons have recorded the most comeback wins of 10-plus points this season with seven.
Detroit is 1-1 vs. the Bucks this year. Drummond is averaging 18.5 points and 16.0 rebounds. They last played on Nov. 15 in Milwaukee and the Bucks won 99-95. The game was tied at 93, but Eric Bledsoe scored to give the Bucks a 95-93 lead and Giannis Antetokounmpo stripped Avery Bradley on the Pistons’ next possession, forcing Detroit to foul Bledsoe, who hit both free throws and extended the Bucks lead to four (97-93) with 16.0 seconds remaining. Detroit cut it to two (97-95) with 13.2 seconds left, but Tony Snell put the game away with two free throws. Bradley finished with a season-high 28 points.
Detroit has lost six of the last seven games against the Bucks on the road. Detroit holds a 111-128 all-time record against Milwaukee and a 39-78 road record.
- Average Score For: 104.48
- Field Goals: 46.05%
- Three Points: 37.82%
- Free Throws: 75%
- Rebounds: 41.91
- Average Score Against: 102.65
- Field Goals: 46.59%
- Three Points: 37.48%
- Free Throws: 78.27%
- Rebounds: 42.61
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
Harris played for the Bucks from 2011-13. He averaged 4.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 11.5 minutes. Bucks forward Khris Middleton was drafted by Detroit in the 2012 NBA Draft with the 39th pick. He averaged 6.1 points and 17.6 minutes in 27 games for the Pistons.
Antetokounmpo has nine 30-point games this season entering the week, the second-most in the NBA. He has 10 double-doubles and five 30-point/10-rebound game (2nd most in the NBA) of the season. He is also tied for first in the NBA (LeBron James) with six games scoring at least 25 points with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Either Antetokounmpo or Middleton has led the Bucks in scoring in all 21 games this season, while both have two 40-point games so far. Combined, Antetokounmpo and Middleton’s 49.0 points per game is tops in the Eastern Conference, and when paired with Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe’s 16.6 points per game makes the Antetokounmpo-Bledsoe duo the third-highest scoring pair in the conference.
In 10 of their last 11 games, Bucks opponents have turned the ball over 15 times or more. Over their last 11 games, Milwaukee has forced its opponents into an NBA-high 18.5 turnovers per game, which it is turning into 20.9 points per game (2nd-highest in the NBA).
Milwaukee likely will again be without backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova for this one. He’s dealing with left knee tendinitis and hasn’t played since Nov. 13. He won’t play much even with healthy since the Bucks trade for Eric Bledsoe. He has hit at least one 3-pointer in each of his past six outings while averaging 21.2 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals per contest.
The Pistons won the first game of the 2017-18 season series over the Bucks, 105-96, on 11/3/17. Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 29 points with four rebounds and four blocks, while Drummond led the Pistons with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
- Average Score For: 103.05
- Field Goals: 47.89%
- Three Points: 36.57%
- Free Throws: 75.10%
- Rebounds: 37.82
- Average Score Against: 104.23
- Field Goals: 46.41%
- Three Points: 40.24%
- Free Throws: 77.92%
- Rebounds: 43
Expert Prediction & NBA Betting Pick
The Bucks will win a low-scoring game at home. The Pistons just don’t play well in Milwaukee.