Betting Pistons Money Line Our Best NBA Pick Against Raptors

Jay Pryce

Monday, February 8, 2016 1:09 PM GMT

The Pistons and Raptors clash for the second time in ten days Monday night (7:30 p.m. ET) at the Palace of Aubrun Hills. Who will be our NBA pick on this matchup?

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NBA Pick: Pistons ML +115
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

The Raptors and Pistons clashed a little more than a week ago with Toronto winning the game 111-107, but Detroit cashing the cover as a 7-point dog. Coach Stan Van Gundy's crew have beat the spread in four straight meetings. Can they do it again against one of the league's hottest teams?

 

Toronto Raptors (34-16 SU, 27-20-3 ATS)
The Raptors are the best team in the NBA over the last month. Going 13-1 SU (9-4-1 against the NBA odds), they are just two games back of the Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto’s offense is the key to their success. It has finished in the top 10 in efficiency each of the prior two seasons, and rank sixth this year behind only the West's top four teams and the Cavaliers. Coach Dwane Casey team's success isn’t one-sided either. Last year’s 23rd ranked defense is now punching at ninth-best in efficiency, allowing 101.1 points per 100 possessions thanks to the addition of defense-first players like PG Cory Joseph and C Bismack Biyombo.

DeMar DeRozan, the team’s leading scorer with 23.3 points per game, is playing smarter and more effectively this year. His number of inefficient mid-range jumpers is down nearly 30 percent from last season. Coupled with backcourt partner PG Kyle Lowry, the team’s second-leading scorer with 21.0 points per game, they make up one of the best backcourt tandems in the league. When the two combine for more than their season average 44 points, the Raptors put up 103.6 points a night with the OVER going 18-9-1. For what it's worth, the OVER has cashed in six straight meetings between the two. 

When the Raptors offense squares off against a team that is right around the league average or worse at forcing turnovers, they play at their best offensively. Lowry and DeRozan are able to thrive when ball handling comes easy. Against defenses generating 14.8 turnovers (league average) or less, the Raptors are scoring 103.0 points per game. Shooting 45.0 percent in this situation, they are 17-11-2 ATS with 19 OVERS. Against foes coercing more, Toronto scores 99.2 points per game and is shooting 43.5 percent from the field. It is 9-9-1 ATS these games with the UNDER going 12-6-1. Detroit only forced 13 turnovers in last week's meeting and enters this contest generating just 14.4 turnovers per game.

 

Detroit Pistons (27-25 SU, 27-25 ATS)
Detroit is clinging to the final playoff spot in the East after picking up just seven wins in its last 16 games. The defense has been shoddy, yielding 104.6 points a night with opponents shooting a lights-out 39.5 percent from the three-point area. Failing to protect the arc is a no-no in the modern NBA.

Reggie Jackson is Detroit's best scoring threat, posting 19.2 points per game. The team is 18-6 SU and ATS when the the point guard scores more than his average on any given night versus 9-19 SU and ATS at 19 points or below. The Raptors give up the fourth fewest points per game (19.8) to the position in the league.

Both Toronto and Detroit rank in the bottom four of assist ratio, a metric measuring the percentage of a team's possessions that ends in an assist. Assists can be a tricky tool to work with, but most successful teams have a high number of them accompanying their scores. They often lead to higher quality shots with better shooting percentages, and is a sign of more diverse playmaking abilities.

Each team is guilty of playing too one-dimensional at times, which can allow opponents to execute significant adjustments. Detroit excels at this on defense. Facing offenses averaging less than 20.1 assists per game on the season, it is 9-3 SU and 10-2 ATS, allowing just 97.0 points per game as opposed to 102.7 above this figure. Since coach Stan Van Gundy took over in 2014, the team is 19-6 ATS in this situation.

 

Final Analysis
Detroit''s difficulty against strong backcourts is weakened even more with the recent loss of starting SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, out until after the All-Star break with a groin strain. Nonetheless, the Pistons defense should pick up at home. This should be a very tight game. We'll go against the early line movement and take Detroit as a small home dog on the money line. Detroit +115, our NBA pick tonight.