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Indiana vs. Detroit,
01/03/2017 19:30 EDT,
Score: 121 - 116
Point Spread: -4/-105 Detroit
10* Detroit (7:35 ET): The Pistons started 2017 w/ a much needed win. It was not easy though. They trailed Miami - by eight - at halftime before storming back in the second half for a 107-98 win and cover. The fact that the Heat were short-handed on New Year's Day probably should temper any enthusiasm surrounding that victory, but considering how SVG's team ended 2016, they'll take it. With only two wins in the last nine games, the other coming against the LeBron-less Cavs the day after X-Mas, Detroit is actually in last place in the Central Division and outside the top eight in the East. But they're one of only seven teams in the Conference to have outscored opponents this season and the home court will be a big advantage tonight. Lay the points.
Indiana arrives in the Motor City having won B2B games. But the wins over Chicago and Orlando both took place at home. They'd lost four in a row previously and were 1-7 ATS over an eight-game stretch. The road has been unkind to the Pacers this season as they are just 4-13 SU and ATS outside of the Hoosier State. Getting points has been of little benefit to this team as well as they're just 5-11 SU/ATS in the underdog role. They're also 4-12 ATS when facing a team with a losing record. Coming off a double digit win this year, they're 3-6 ATS. Let me be clear here - Indiana may have a better record than Detroit, but they are not the better team!
I make that last statement knowing full well that the Pacers have won the last three head to head meetings, including one right here in Detroit a little over two weeks ago. As 4.5-point dogs (rare cover in that role!), Indiana came in and won 105-90 as the Pistons had an awful shooting night (38.1 FG%). Perhaps that had something to do w/ Detroit being in the second game of a back to back (lost at Washington the previous night). Whatever the reason was there, I expect better results here. The Pistons are a staunch defensive team, giving up only 95.2 points per game at home. I've still got faith in SVG and think he'll continue to turn this thing around. 10* Detroit