Boston will play its fifth game in a week, Detroit just its second over that same span, when the teams meet at the new Garden Monday night (8 pm ET, TNT). How does that play into our free NBA pick on this Eastern Conference contest?
Boston opened as a seven-point favorite on Monday’s NBA betting board, but books were holding off on posting a total on this game, probably because of a Celtics injury issue.
Detroit (21-26 SU, 20-27 ATS) owns a two-game losing streak, after falling to Miami Saturday night 116-103. The Pistons led the Heat by a point through three quarters, but scored just 12 points in the fourth.
Detroit, playing its first game in five days, shot 52 percent from the field Saturday night, but allowed Miami to shoot 53 percent.
Boston (29-18 SU, 26-19 ATS) owns a three-game winning streak, after beating the Bucks in Milwaukee in overtime Saturday night 112-108. The Celtics grabbed an early 16-point lead, allowed the Bucks to comeback and force OT, then scored the last four points of the game for the victory.
Boston only shot 42 percent from the floor Saturday, but made 24 of 30 free-throws. On the season the Celtics rank second in the league in FT shooting at 82 percent.
Friday night Boston put up 128 points in a win over Orlando, and last Wednesday the Celtics scored 120 in a win over Houston.
These teams have split two games so far this season; the Celtics won in Detroit back in mid-November 94-92 on an Al Horford basket with one second to go, while 11 days later the Pistons won in Boston 121-114. Detroit actually shot 49 percent from the floor in those two games combined, while the Celtics shot just 42 percent.
Last season these teams split four games.
On the injury front Boston is without guard Avery Bradley, and Horford, who’s missed the last couple of games with a sore groin, is iffy for Monday night.
Pistons-Celtics Betting Analysis
These teams look like they might be headed in different directions at the moment, but more importantly to us they’ve split six head-to-head meetings over the last two seasons. And playing on the road gives Detroit a couple of extra points on the spread.
Free NBA Pick: Detroit Pistons