2004 Season NBA Basketball Past Picks
May 23, 2005
Detroit at Miami
Monday 05/23 08:00 PM Eastern
5 units on Game Total UNDER 89 -110 (risk 5 to return 9.55) RESULT: loss
4 units on Miami -190 (moneyline) (risk 4 to return 6.11) RESULT: loss
The Detroit Pistons advanced to the conference finals for a third straight year knocking off the 76ers in five and the Pacers in six. Piston backers scraped by going 6-4-1 ATS. The Heat had a much easier time moving to the finals taking out the Nets and Wizards in four as it's followers were a profitable 6-2 ATS with the team scoring an average 106.5 points/game. The teams did battle three times this season with the Pistons coming out on top 2-1. But don't let that fool you. Miami comes in sporting a 32-2 (25-7-2 ATS) record in their last thirty-four on their home court, and a 22-3 (17-8 ATS) record the last twenty-five on the home hardwood hosting an Eastern team. Miami is 11-3 ATS at home versus good defensive teams (allowing <91 points/game) in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
Since the 81-82 season, almost 25 years of history, the home team in the conference finals is 38-9 SU. In the last 21, the home team has won 12 of 21 games by double digits and 17 of 21 by 7 or more. There is a reason for that - the home team has typically been the team that dominated all season long. Miami has been amazing at home all year with only 6 losses. Since January 30th, Miami is 13-0 SU as a home non-double-digit favorite. In those same games they are 11-2 ATS with 9 of those 11 wins coming against teams in this years playoff field! The average winning margin has been a healthy 13 points per game.
The last nine times these teams have met including a couple exhibition games, One game saw either team top the century mark (102-100 on 2/2/04). In the other 8 games, only twice was 90 reached by either team. The average score was 166 ppg. Furthermore, in 15 of the last 21 conference finals matchups, the visitor did not reach 90 points. Detroit is not a high caliber offensive team. 65% of their points come on jump shots, and they convert just 42.1% of these. Miami forces a league high 69% jump shots against, allowing 42%.
What does this all mean? Detroit will struggle mightily to score points and Miami has history on their side. As a result, we'll back Miami straight-up on the moneyline (-190) for four stars and take the Detroit team total UNDER 89 points for five stars.