A series between the team with the best regular season record against the worst team among the 16 to qualify for the playoffs was always going to be one-sided. But an injury to Blake Griffin makes the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons a four-game beatdown.
Will Milwaukee’s regular season dominance carry over to the playoffs or will the Pistons rally with their lone All Star nursing a knee injury?
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Detroit was the last team to qualify for the playoffs and did so on the final day of the regular season. The Pistons beat the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks in their final two games of the campaign but they were a disappointment to spread bettors for much of the last month. The club is just 1-5 against the number in its last six contests.
The Pistons were swept by the Bucks in their season series and went 0-3-1 ATS in the four games. Detroit is 13-17-1 as an away underdog and 1-2 as a double-digit dog on the campaign. If the spread (13 points) holds, this will be the most points Detroit has been given by oddsmakers this season.
Milwaukee didn’t have much to play for over the final few weeks of the regular season and it showed. The Bucks went 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS over their last six games.
Sports Interaction lists the Deer as -10,000 series faves and are paying out +200 for the series to finish in a four-game Milwaukee sweep.
Despite the large spread, about 68 percent of SIA bettors are backing the Bucks to cover as 13-point chalk and 62 percent expect the game to go Over the 219-point total.
Blake Griffin is the big story in Motown. The six-time All Star played just 18 minutes against the Grizzlies and sat out the season finale – a game the Pistons needed to win to make the playoffs – because of a knee injury.
He’s listed as questionable to play in Game 1 – which is a big deal. Griffin isn’t just the Pistons best go-to scorer, he’s also their best shot creator for his teammates. He averaged a team-high 5.4 assists this season and starting point guard Reggie Jackson isn’t exactly a pass-first player.
The Bucks have their own injury concerns entering the playoffs. Starting guard Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since the middle of last month because of a heel injury and he’s not expected to play in this series.
Meanwhile, trade deadline pickup Nikola Mirotic has missed the last month of action with a thumb injury but is expected to make his return to the lineup for Game 1.