Here are Three at 3’s favorite plays of the day.
1. Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons (-2)
7:00 pm ET
After going 1-3 on a Western Conference road trip (1-3 against the spread), the Pistons returned home as 4.5-point favorites against the Magic on Wednesday night. They won despite allowing Orlando to shoot 50% from the field, but only covered after going to overtime—when a free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining delivered the bad beat to Magic backers.
Oddsmakers have Detroit as shorter favorites for its Friday night game against the Heat, but that may read to some as a red flag: The Pistons are only 4-8 against the spread this season in games where the line is set between +3 and -3, and 20-42 ATS in such contests over the last three seasons. Plus, this looks like a strong setup for the Heat, who are 8-4 ATS this season as a road underdog, and 51-27 ATS as a road ‘dog over the last three seasons. Playing after two full days of rest, Erik Spoelstra’s team should be ready to go on Friday.
Pick: Heat +2
2. Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics (-10.5)
Three at 3 picked the struggling Celtics against the Raptors on Tuesday, purely on the basis that Boston has been phenomenal at home this year. (After the win and cover over Toronto, the Cs are 16-5 straight up and 15-6 ATS in Boston.) We’ll roll with Boston again tonight with the same reasoning, and do so happily against a Grizzlies team that is quickly tumbling down the standings. Memphis has lost nine of its last 10 and, incredibly, 15 of its last 17 against the spread—and the recent losses of wings Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson to injuries have only made things worse. Five of the Celtics’ victories in their current seven-game home winning streak have come by double digits, with wins over excellent Philadelphia and Toronto squads coming by seven and nine points, respectively. In front of a Boston crowd still riding high off of Kyrie Irving’s heroics earlier in the week, look for the Celtics to keep their feet on the gas.
Pick: Celtics -10.5
3. New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers (-3)
On Nov. 1, Portland got a small piece of revenge for the postseason sweep it suffered at the hands of New Orleans last year with a 132-119 home win over the Pelicans. Emphasis on small: In addition to being a single regular season game, it was a single regular season game in which Anthony Davis did not even play. With Davis out of the lineup for the Pelicans—and Jahlil Okafor starting in his place—Portland bigs Jusuf Nurkic and Al-Farouq Aminu had their way on the inside, combining for 37 points and 19 rebounds.
Needless to say, things will be different with AD on the floor. He averaged 33.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in last year’s playoff series, and scored exactly 36 points in each of the two regular season games he played against Portland last year. He’s on a roll right now, having scored at least 30 in five straight games, and looks primed to continue his dominance over the Blazers tonight.
Pick: Pelicans +3
Overall Record: 104-88-4