Daily Bet: Pistons +5.5 vs. Nuggets

Did you know that going into Monday’s game against Houston, the New England Patriots had won 20 straight home games in December? Did you know the Patriots have now won 21 straight home games in December? Only a fool would bet against New England in December in Foxboro. Only an inebriated, severely concussed fool with the IQ of Honey Boo Boo’s mother would bet against the Patriots while insinuating they’re a fraud.

Slim pickings on the betting board tonight, with only a handful of games on the college and pro hardwood. The best bet on that board? An NBA team that’s 7-16 overall, playing for the second straight night (and the third time in four nights), and has lost five straight times to tonight’s opponent. Now, before you run and bet a small fortune on Denver, hear me out. Since starting the season 0-8, the Pistons have actually been quite competitive, going 7-8 in their last 15 contests, with half of those eight losses by seven points or less (including Monday’s 104-97 defeat in Philadelphia). And since losing its first two home games, Detroit is 5-3 on its own floor, with those three losses by a combined 15 points.

But more than a play “on” the Pistons, this is a play “against” the Nuggets, who apparently pissed off David Stern at some point in the offseason. How else do you explain the fact that 22 of Denver’s first 31 games are on the road (including one tomorrow in Minnesota)? Through the first 15 of those road contests, the Nuggets have gone 5-10, including 1-5 during a current string that has them playing eight out of nine on the highway.

As for Denver’s five-game winning streak against the Pistons, it’s a tad misleading in that only one of those victories came in Detroit. These are the more informative historical trends: The Nuggets have covered just six times in the last 21 meetings with the Pistons, going 2-7 ATS in their last nine trips to Motown. Finally, there’s this: Denver is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the NBA, hitting just 68 percent of their freebies (the league average is 75.6 percent). Perhaps this is a big reason why the Nuggets are just 2-4 ATS as a road chalk this season …

Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Saturday’s Result: Texans +5.5 vs. Patriots (loss)

Record: 70-63-1