April 22 NBA Playoff Action: Milwaukee Bucks @ Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee @ Detroit +7.5 1H
Milwaukee -13 @ Detroit
Milwaukee @ Detroit u219
Not unlike our appraisal of the Celtics-Pacers series heading into game 4, we think Monday's contest between Milwaukee and Detroit will mark the end of the road for this season's version of the Pistons. In addition to ushering in the start of Detroit's vacation though, we expect the Bucks to cover comfortably, as has been the case in the first three games of this series (Milwaukee beat the double-digit chalk in each, by a comfortable margin of between 5.5 and 20.5 points).
History validates the narrative we expect to play out this afternoon, as lower seeded NBA home teams on playoff losing streaks have struggled in the past. In fact, betting against teams in this spot, like the Pistons, has cashed in 55% of the time (ATS), for an 8% return on investment (ROI) since 2005.
With that said, we do expect inspired play from Detroit, in an all-out effort to stave off what we regard as an inevitable first round exit. This peak effort is likely to translate to Detroit securing the first half cover, but we estimate the gap is too substantial between these teams, and that Giannis is far too ambitious, to let the Pistons hang around late.
Supporting this thinking, we note that underdogs in the NBA's Eastern Conference that are playing the fourth (or later) game of post-season have, in fact, tended to beat the first half number, covering in two of every three games, on average.
The sample size for this system is limited, but the 25% ROI since 2005 is compelling (we must note though that, at odds with the long-term track record, this approach is 6-8 ATS since the 2015 playoffs...but is 1-0 ATS so far this year).
Finally, history also hints that the UNDER has an edge in tonight's competition, as, historically, bets on lower scores have been strong plays in early playoff action featuring a team receiving points in their building (this system has amassed a 12% ROI since 2005).
Worth mentioning, the total sat at around 218 at most shops early this morning, but has since been bid up to as high as 220.5/221. But this clear action on the OVER does not scare us, as this system is 54-32 (63% win rate, 23% ROI) in situations where the line moves the other way.