Detroit Pistons (4-5) vs. Orlando Magic (4-6)
NBA Basketball Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 at 7 pm ET (Amway Center)
Line and Odds: Detroit Pistons -2, Orlando Magic +2, Over/Under 209
FREE NBA Prediction and Odds Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic host the Detroit Pistons in an early-season battle between fringe Eastern Conference playoff contenders.
After starting the season on fire behind the All Star duo of Blake Griffin (28.1 PPG, 3rd in NBA) and Andre Drummond (16.3 RPG, 1st in NBA), the Detroit Pistons have hit a wall of late, losing five straight games heading into Wednesday’s matchup against Orlando. As good as their big men are, in the modern NBA it’s tough to compete on a nightly basis without floor-stretching shooters and an elite point guard, both of which they’re lacking. They rank in the middle of the NBA in three pointers made per game (10.5) — which they hit at a clip good for 5th worst in the league (32.2%) — and Blake Griffin leads the team in assists at 4.8 per game (strong numbers for a big man, but not ideal that he paces the team in that statistic). One of last year’s surprises was veteran SG Reggie Bullock’s emergence as an elite outside shooter, and though he’s day-to-day with an ankle injury at the moment, Detroit will need him to build on his promising campaign from a year ago to help stretch the floor and give their big men room to operate underneath the basket.
This team is big and bruising, as they lead the league on the offensive glass and are 1 of just 4 teams grabbing 50 rebounds a game, but without a surprising internal development or midseason acquisition, they’ll go only as far as their skilled big men will take them.
Orlando is built similarly to the Pistons, emphasizing size in lieu of shooting and playmaking, and they doubled down on that approach with their first round pick in last year’s draft, selecting 7-footer Mo Bamba 5th overall. Veteran center Nikola Vucevic looks great to start the season and über-athletic PF Aaron Gordon will try to continue the ascent to stardom he hinted at last year, but the rest of the team is mostly comprised of journeymen and mediocre role players. As such, their offense ranks dead last in the NBA at 101.8 PPG, and once the Rockets (42.4 FG%) break out of their slump, Orlando’s FG% (42.6%) will also rank last. They do take care of the ball, though (13.1 TOPG, 5th in NBA), and they should be playing with some confidence on Wednesday, as they’re coming off 2 straight wins against a strong Spurs team on the road and a weak Cavs team, whom they beat at the buzzer on Monday night.
Orlando will likely find itself in a crowded race for the 8th playoff spot most of the year, but developing Mo Bamba should be their priority if they hope to eventually shed the stigma of finding themselves perennially on the fringe.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Detroit is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Orlando
Detroit is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Detroit’s last 6 games on the road
Orlando is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Detroit
Orlando is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Orlando’s last 5 games
FREE NBA Prediction and Odds Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons
Detroit is in a free fall. Yes, the season is young, but 5 straight losses hurts any time of year. Orlando, meanwhile, is coming off two great victories, but still finds themselves as the home underdogs in this matchup. Will their elite ball security really matter when they hit such a low percentage of their shots? Their 1-5 home record ATS this season would seem to indicate there’s more to covering, much less winning basketball games, than limiting turnovers. The Pistons can’t lose forever, and their affinity for grabbing offensive rebounds should give them just enough second chance points to put this one away on the road.