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April 22, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Cleveland Cavaliers -4 spread against Detroit Pistons for 3% of the bankroll.

The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers square off in Game 3 of this best of 7 series tonight. It’s important to mention that the venue has changed and tonight will be the Pistons’ first playoff game at in Detroit dating back to 2009! While many believe the Pistons should have an advantage playing on their home court in this contest, we actually believe that it will be somewhat of a disadvantage tonight.

Playing at home in the playoffs, especially in the first home game, brings a lot of added pressure with it. That is only amplified for a starved franchise like Pistons that hasn’t hosted a game at Palace of Auburn Hills for years! Like we saw with the Toronto Raptors, the first home game can often put too much pressure on a team. Also, with Detroit being down 0-2 in the series, there will be even more pressure on them to perform in this contest and just another factor that will have a negative mental impact on the psyche of an inexperienced squad. There is no question that the Cavaliers are the better overall team in this contest. Having a commanding 2-0 lead in this series and being on the road, there is a lot less pressure on them than their counterparts. This should allow them to play loose and free and let their style of game come to them, unlike the Pistons who will likely be tense and trying to almost force things to happen.

There has also been a lot a trash-talking being done by the likes of Stanley Johnson and Marcus Morris, which shows their lack of playoff experience. The last thing they truly want to do is give LeBron James and company an added motivation to not take their foot off the gas pedal. We wouldn't be surprised if that motivation drives the Cavs to try and blow the Pistons out on their home floor. Coach Tyronn Lue might just leave his starters in for a few additional minutes, even with a big lead when normally they’d be taken out in the 4th quarter.

Detroit doesn't have the defense to keep up with the ball movement of Cavaliers which has improved greatly in 2nd half of the season since the departure of David Blatt. They rely on a lot of isolations and simply giving the ball to Reggie Jackson and hoping he makes something of it. Cleveland distributes the ball all over the court and is therefore the much more efficient offense as evidenced by their assist-to-turnover ratio compared to Detroit's!

Andre Drummond's free-throw woes also give the Cavs another added edge in this series. The Cleveland coaching staff has already elected to foul him on purpose to put him on the line with good results. He went 4 for 12 from the charity stripe in the last game and could struggle again tonight. When Cleveland decides to limit Pistons to 1 point per possession at best by fouling Drummond and then perhaps replying with a 3 or a 2 themselves, it gives them a great chance to not only win the game but to cover the spread.

The Cavaliers received somewhat of a scare in Game 1 and bounced back in impressive fashion in Game 2! There is no question that they want to get through this series as quickly as possible which would give them an extended rest before moving on to the semi-finals. This game may be close for a while, but Cleveland's talent will shine through sooner or later as they pull away and cover the short Vegas line.

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