Free NBA Picks for October 31, 2017 by Professor MJ



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Hello my friends, happy Halloween! Before moving on with my picks for Tuesday, let’s update our season record following a 2-1 night yesterday:

  • 5 star bets = 2-0
  • 4 star bets = 0-0
  • 3 star bets = 4-2
  • 2 star bets = 2-2-1
  • 1 star bets = 3-1

TOTAL: 11-5-1 (68.8%)

Out of the four games on the menu, I only like one.

PICK: Los Angeles Lakers +4.5 vs Detroit Pistons (rated 3 stars)

The difference between the actual spread and my projected lines is not huge (my statistical models have Detroit as 2.5-point favorites), but some situational factors have enticed me to grade this selection with a higher rating.

If you have ever heard of “sandwich” games, this is the textbook definition. The Pistons are facing a weaker Lakers teams after playing the top team in the league (despite what their record says), the Warriors, and they have another strong team up next in the Milwaukee Bucks. What makes this play even better is the fact that Detroit actually won their previous matchup against a top team, which makes them even more likely to letdown tonight in Los Angeles. This will be the Pistons’ final game of a three-game road trip, and they might feel satisfied with what they’ve accomplished thus far by beating the Clippers and the Warriors.

One more important factor in favor of the Lakers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope faces his former team for the first time after spending his first four seasons in Detroit. Not only is this a good motivation factor, but he knows the Pistons’ tendencies very well.

 To top it all off, we are observing a reverse line movement on this game as the spread opened at 5 at some sportsbooks, and dropped to 4.5 or 4 (depending on your bookie) despite heavy action on the Pistons, which is to be expected every time a team who is on fire faces a team who is riding a losing streak. Close to 70% of spread bets have gone on Detroit thus far.

The Lakers didn’t play too bad in their last two home games: they beat a good Wizards team in overtime, and they held a 17-point lead against the Raptors in the third quarter before losing by a 9-point margin.

In other words, from a statistical standpoint I would rate this play as 1 or 2 star(s), but the situation makes it even more alluring.

One final comment: the Pistons beat the spread by 3 points at the Lakers in their last visit at the Staples Center, but Los Angeles had beaten the spread in the previous five meetings in L.A.

Thanks for reading, let’s hope for another winner tonight!

Professor MJ