DETROIT PISTONS (7-15)
at PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (11-9)
Tip-off: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Philadelphia -6.5, Total: 186
Detroit seeks a second consecutive road win when it visits slumping Philadelphia on Monday night.
The Pistons haven't fared too well on the road this year (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS), but they did win big in Philly the last time these teams met, prevailing 94-76 on Nov. 14. In the calendar year 2012, these clubs have met five times, with all five meetings ending in blowouts. The Sixers won two January home games by 23 and 21 points, and then pasted Detroit 97-68 at The Palace. The Pistons returned the favor with a 108-86 home win in April and then the 18-point victory last month. In addition to the ongoing knee problems of C Andrew Bynum who has yet to make his Philly debut, two other injury concerns for the 76ers include swingman Nick Young (toe) and SG Royal Ivey (groin).
Can the Sixers win comfortably on Monday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are a collective 8-3 ATS (73%) in Best Bets over the past two days, and are now at 54% ATS (122-106-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 11-3-1 ATS (79%) since Nov. 26 and 67% ATS (22-11-3) Best Bets for the year. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 34-18 (65%) for the season, while Gary is 13-5 (72%) in Totals since Nov. 24, and 54% (20-17-1) on totals this season. Scott is at 58% ATS (30-22) Best Bets for the season.
The Pistons are scoring just 89.3 PPG (41.6% FG) away from home this season, but they are coming off a solid road win at Cleveland on Saturday, winning 104-97 behind a career-high 30 points from PG Brandon Knight (14.1 PPG, 5.0 APG), who had 23 of those after halftime. This was a huge bounce-back effort after wasting a 17-point lead in a 108-104 loss at home to Chicago on Friday. Knight also had a tremendous effort in the last meeting with Philly, pumping in 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in that big victory. C Greg Monroe (15.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG) was the big star in that game though, dominating Philly down low with 19 points and 18 rebounds. But Monroe has been off the mark in December with just 10.0 PPG on a dismal 35% FG. SF Tayshaun Prince (12.9 PPG) has probably been the most consistent player for Detroit, scoring in double-figures in 17 of his past 18 games with excellent shooting percentages during this time frame: 48% FG, 46% threes, 85% FT.
The Sixers rank in the bottom five in the league in both points (92.3 PPG) and FG Pct. (43%), and are currently mired in an offensive funk since the start of December, scoring just 87.5 PPG on a mere 41% FG clip, including 23% from three-point range in these four games. They were able to outlast the Celtics in overtime, 95-94, on Friday, but were crushed 92-79 in Boston one day later. Dorrell Wright (+2) was the only Philly player with a positive rating in that loss, while the starting backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Jason Richardson were a combined minus-21, making just 6-of-20 shots from the floor. Holiday has had a great season (17.7 PPG, 9.0 APG), but has only 13.0 PPG on 36% FG in the past three games. And in the five meetings with Detroit during the 2012 calendar year, Holiday has averaged a mere 10.0 PPG on 38% FG (15-of-40). PF Thaddeus Young (15.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG) has also struggled versus Detroit lately with 10.7 PPG on 39% FG in the past three meetings, including a 2-for-11 shooting night in November. But since that Nov. 14 meeting, Young is averaging 16.5 PPG and 7.4 RPG, pumping in 39 points and 15 rebounds in the home-and-home with Boston.