NBA Playoff Betting Picks April 22 – Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/22/2019

The NBA’s best team during the regular season has looked the part in the first three games of this first round Eastern Conference matchup and the Milwaukee Bucks can secure its first playoff series win in nearly two decades by beating the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

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The return of Blake Griffin on Saturday couldn’t help the Pistons snag a victory and now they are facing elimination, and it doesn’t look good after dropping the first three games by an average of 24 points. You could say the Pistons are due after losing all seven games against their Central Division rival this season.

Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons

Date and Time: Monday, April 22, 2019, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI

Opening NBA Odds: Milwaukee -10.5, O/U 218.5

Bucks at Pistons TV Coverage: TNT

Odds Analysis

It doesn’t matter if Griffin plays, the Bucks are simply the better team. They won all four games during the regular season and extended their streak to seven in a row by taking the first three of this NBA playoff series. The Bucks cleared Detroit by 19 games in the regular season standings and claimed their seven wins by an average of 18.7 points per game. Six of the seven games were decided by at least 10 points with four by more than 20 points. And the Bucks are 6-0-1 against the spread in those games.

It seems like the only way the Pistons will get a victory is if the Bucks decide to take a game off. And with a chance to close out the series, I doubt that will happen. The return of Griffin allowed Detroit to show a little more promise offensively as they topped 100-points for the first time in the 119-103 Game 3 loss. That allowed the teams to cash the over for the second game in a row. A little added incentive for the Pistons is to avoid a record 14th straight playoff loss. They haven’t won a playoff game since 2008 matching the streak for postseason futility.

Bucks

It’s scary to think the Bucks can dominate a game when Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t a factor. The Greek Freak finished Game 3 with 14 points playing only 27 minutes due to foul trouble and the Bucks still led by double digits most of the night. They were up by 13 points in the third quarter when Antetokounmpo went to the bench with his fourth foul. When he returned later in the quarter, the Bucks were up 22 points.

Six other Bucks scored in double-figures on Saturday picking for Antetokounmpo’s off night. Khris Middleton hit three three-pointers and notched 20 points while Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe added 19 apiece, and the Bucks shot nearly 49 percent from the field. While the offense was clicking they continued to hound Detroit defensively, limiting the Pistons to less than 40 percent shooting for the third consecutive game.

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Pistons

Now that the Blake Griffin excuse is no longer applicable, the Pistons have nothing left to lean on. Griffin did his part by scoring 27 points with seven rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes of his series debut. The aching knees that forced him to miss the first two games were clearly bothering him, especially in transition. “I don’t know what percentage I’m at. If I can play, I’m going to play,” Griffin said.

He didn’t get much help from his teammates as the Pistons shot below 40 percent again. They hit 38.5 percent on Saturday, which was their highest percentage in the three games. They combined to shoot 37.9 percent in Milwaukee while scoring an average of 92.5 points per game. And the Pistons haven’t done enough defensively to make up for their shortcomings.

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There is a new attitude in Milwaukee and it’s one that says let’s have a few extra days of rest before the next round. Putting a 16-point hurt on the Pistons when Griffin made his series debut and Antetokounmpo struggled with foul trouble and scored only 14 points tells me the Bucks are dialed in to put nearly two decades of playoff failures behind them. And despite having the best record in the Association, the Bucks know they haven’t accomplished anything until they get that series win out of the way. Detroit needs to shoot the basketball better to be competitive, and even that won’t get them a victory. But it should allow the Pistons to cover the spread, which ballooned to 12-points.

NBA Playoff Score Prediction: Bucks 116, Pistons 106

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