Mar 21 NBA Action: Detroit Pistons @ Phoenix Suns
Detroit Pistons -7 @ Phoenix Suns
Talking Stick Arena, Phoenix, AZ
March 21, 2019, 7:00PM PDT
Bad teams are not behaving as they normally do this season. Usually by now, the tank-athon is well underway among the worst NBA cohort, as teams whose most immediate prospect for improvement lies in draft opportunity jockey for the top pick.
Between 2005 and 2017, from game 55 (the start of the last third of the basketball season) to where we are today (...call it game 72), NBA home dogs with win rates of the less than 40% went 173-237-8 ATS, for a 42% cover rate. However, this season such teams are a confounding 13-12 versus the number so far.
We do take comfort though from the Hawks Tuesday and then the Knicks the following night both blowing covers comfortably from this position.
Against this backdrop, we are summoning the courage to back the Pistons to cover the chalk Thursday. In addition to the normalization by bad teams that might be underway, Detroit's recent play triggered a signal for the road cover this evening.
The Pistons' unexpected defeat in Cleveland Monday not only serves as a case in point for our thesis about bad teams at home NOT sticking to the script this year, but also sets the stage for a solid bounce back performance Thursday.
Road favorites off a loss as the favorite have been solid bets in the past, covering at a 54% clip since 2005. We note though that this system is consistently more profitable as the season wears on and the cream rises to the top, so to speak. In the tail end of the season (games 72-82), for instance, backing road favs after unexpected losses has been good for a 22% return on investment.
Our expectation is that Detroit's loss at the Cavs left a bad taste in the mouth of the currently sixth-seeded team in the East. With Brooklyn and Miami both on their heels, we think the more-than-capable Pistons will find proper incentive to take care of business this evening.