Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Atlanta/Detroit under 225 ½ -106
7:00 PM EST. Normally we like to avoid betting on totals in the NBA early, especially if we're looking at an under, because of how unformed and volatile many of these squads can be through the first few months. This spot presents a clear opportunity, however, since we're catching the Hawks in a subpar situation that's ideal for our bet, and since the Pistons may be a better matchup for Atlanta than oddsmakers think.
If a bettor was only looking at the Hawks and what they've done through the first three weeks of the regular season. they might not love this bet. Atlanta puts up a lot of points (120.3, 4th) and they allow too many (117, 23rd) on average. Not surprisingly, six of their nine games have gone over tonight's listed total. Dejounte Murray and Trae Young lead an offense that loves to run the floor and put up points fast. Under new direction from long-time Jazz coach Quin Snyder, the Hawks are 6th in offensive efficiency and 2nd in tempo through three weeks. Tonight may present a different version of the Hawks, though, and much of that has to do with pace. The other factor is Trae Young.
When betting on totals, a big part of the equation is pace. The Pistons average five fewer possessions than the Hawks (per 100) and they've been slowing down more as of late. And unlike their foe tonight, only two of their elevent games have gone over tonight's listed total. A part of that is because of Monty Williams and his effect on their defense. Atlanta depends on the fast break to overwhelm teams, but Detroit is 4th overall in opponent fast break points, allowing just 12.6 per game. Enemy teams only shoot 51% from the field against Detroit, too, a top-5 mark, and they've been particularly good against two-pointers (50.6%, also 4th). A team with young, disparate offensive contributors, Detroit needs to rely on their defense to stay in games.
That might be easier to do if Trae Young is out tonight. The enigmatic guard has bigger life events to attend to since he and his wife welcomed another child yesterday. If Young does play, he probably won't be well rested (take it from this recent dad), and he'd be a big missing piece for the Hawks. He's struggled from the field (36%), but his 10.2 assists per game are crucial for their rhythm and pace. We officially congratulate Trae and thank his wife for choosing to have their baby right before this game, obviously solely for us bettors so we have a solid angle to bet on. Nice.
In all seriousness, this is a game the Pistons can control. They're at home and don't have another game until Friday, while the Hawks have a big lookahead matchup against the Knicks tomorrow night at home. We could see Atlanta trying to conserve energy and still eke out a win Tuesday, which would only support our play even more. The total has been falling way down, indicating that Young is likely sitting out. This one shouldn't breed as big of a scoreboard.
Atlanta/Detroit under 225½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)