The 76ers opened up another huge lead last night against New Orleans, only to let it slip away, winning by just two points to shrink the team’s magic number down to two for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The price of blowing that big lead was, once again, the necessity to play their starters more minutes than they would probably have liked, knowing that they had to turn around and play again tonight. All five of the Sixers’ starters played 31 minutes or more, making tonight’s game against Detroit, the Eastern Conference’s worst team, an interesting juggling act for Philly.
Let’s take a closer look at the top Pistons vs. Sixers game picks and make some predictions for this May 8, 2021 matchup.
The Pistons are in a strange spot themselves, as they play their final road game of the season, oddly sandwiched between the three home games they just wrapped up four more to come, beginning tomorrow against the Bulls. Motivation might be a concern here if Detroit did not get up for games against very good teams, as they have failed to cover just one of their last 10 games against teams with win percentages above .600.
Pistons vs. Sixers Odds (May 8, 2021)
Here’s the line for the Pelicans and Sixers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Sixers||-3 (-109)||-148||O 225.5 (-112)|
|Hawks||+3 (-113)||+123||U 225.5 (-109)|
And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Philadelphia 76ers to Win 1st and 2nd Quarter (FOXBET +105)
The 76ers have benefitted from some soft scheduling against bad teams that have been made worse by key injuries. While Philly has blown big leads against many of these teams late in games, putting covers and even wins in jeopardy, the Sixers’ starts to games have not let bettors down.
Philadelphia has won the first and second quarters in five of their last seven games, all wins. The two slip-ups were a one-point second quarter loss to the Spurs and a three-point first quarter loss in the second of back-to-back games against the Hawks after thumping Atlanta by 44 points two days earlier, an understandable letdown in our eyes. Going back further, the Sixers won both the first and second quarters in each of their previous four wins.
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Detroit has not won a first or second quarter in six of their last eight losses to current teams in the top 10 spots in either conference. They have also lost both the first and second quarter in eight of their last ten losses to teams in the top four spots of either conference.
We think the Sixers will want to try to put this team away early so they can get their stars off their feet as much as possible in the second half. If the Pistons come out flat in this weird final road game sandwiched between seven home games with their inferior roster, this prop bet could be an easy winner.
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Philadelphia 76ers Win by 1-10 AND Under 218.5 Total Points (PointsBet +450)
While it is almost impossible to fathom the Sixers losing this one outright with the No. 1 seed so nearly in their grasp, we will bow down to Detroit’s ability to cover against the best of opponents. Philly is just too good at home (26-7) to lose to a 7-28 road team, especially playing with revenge. However, the Sixers did use their starters more last night than they have in recent games, and they are not a great cover team on no rest, with just four ATS wins in 12 prior efforts in that role.
The 76ers have played four of their last five home wins under the posted total. If you toss out the Milwaukee game Philly played without Ben Simmons, the Sixers have played six straight games on no rest under the number, as well.
Detroit has played six of their last eight overall under, with someone scoring less than 100 points in five of those eight, which would be almost a surefire under recipe if it were to occur tonight with this total.
There also seems to be a strange trend that is occurring when Detroit plays current Eastern Conference playoff or play-in teams for the final time. Against teams currently in the top 10 spots in the East, Detroit has scored 99, 100, 109, 100, 81, 111, 108, and 101 points. That’s an average of just 101.1 points per game, six points below their season average. Six of those eight games stayed under the total, as well, with one over cashing at 206 total points against a posted total of 202 (vs. NYK) and the other with 224 total points against a posted total of 217.5 (vs. BKN).
Sixers vs. Pistons Prediction
There is a tempting argument to be made for playing the Pistons here, given their fight this season against the best of foes, their record as double-digit underdogs, and the Sixers’ lack of effectiveness putting bad teams away and playing on no rest. However, with a weak Pistons lineup, one laden with health question marks and a potential lay-down spot for Detroit, we believe the safer play here is the under.
Trends to Know
Detroit has played six of their last seven games under as a dog, including four of their last five as a road dog, which, of course, they almost always are. They have just three overs in their last 13 games and have played four of their last five games on a single day of rest under, as well.
Philly has played six of their last seven games under on no rest and five of their last six under as a home favorite, which they almost always are, as well.
In fact, the 76ers have played 14 of their last 19 games as a favorite overall under the total. With Philly winning but not covering last night, it’s worth mentioning that the Sixers have played 13 of their last 16 games under after an ATS loss and 13 of their last 19 under following a straight up win.
The Sixers have also played four of their five games under this season as favorites of 10-12 points.
Our Pick: Det/Phi Under 219 (PointsBet -105)
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