The Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors are starting to come back from poor post All Star break & we have our NBA picks ready. Find out why I am betting the plus money line predicting a minor upset.
Since the Break
Both teams struggled a lot coming out of the All-Star break, but recently they are starting to get back to playing solid basketball. I did not like the Jackson trade that Detroit made getting rid of Singler and Augustin, but I do like Stan Van Gundy and I knew it was only a matter of time until he would figure out where the pieces would fit. Since the All Star break Toronto is shooting 44% from the field, for the year they have shot over 45%. The Raptors did not come out of the break well, and in March they are 5-6. Recently they have played a bit better, but overall they just don’t seem to be the team they were prior to mid-February. The Pistons tried to shake things up and it has cost them some wins, they are 3-8 in March, but I think this was more attributed to getting some continuity going and a gelling phase that seems to be coming together now… albeit too late to do anything this season. Since the break the Pistons have not shot the ball very at just over 42% from the field and just over 30% from beyond the arc. This is actually not very different from their overall average for the year, they have been streaky. I think in this spot we are catching them in one of those streaks. Usually when teams start to get things going on the defensive end it is a good sign they are heading in the right direction.
Pace, and Space, and Defense oh my!
Yes, we are not in Kansas anymore with the modern day NBA flow. The phrase of pace and space sounds good but if you talk with Greg Popovich it still begins and ends on the defensive end. This year, neither Toronto nor Detroit has been very good on the defensive end. You can blame it on their up tempo style to some degree, but ultimately you have to get stops to still have a chance at a championship. For the year Toronto is allowing 46% from the field for fourth worst in the NBA, the Pistons are not far behind at 45.6% allowed. From beyond the arc they are both allowing around 35% for the year which is average for the league. Recently though, the Pistons have started to get things done on the defensive end which is a good sign. In the last three games Detroit is ranked second in the league in field goal percentage allowed at just above 40%, the Raptors recently are still struggling on the end allowing 47.6% in that same time frame, one of the worst in the league.
When the Line is Not the Line
As usual when I am looking for good value NBA picks on the money line we have a situation where one team HAS TO be favored. In most cases that “has to” is due to reputation, public perception, and record but in reality the game could really go either way. With those three aspects in play the Toronto Raptors, according to NBA odds makers, at 42-28 are favored by a small -2 against the 26-44 Pistons. That line looks off, but it isn’t. This time in the season the sports books have enough information to make the right line and this small number is telling. I think the Pistons come out and play well against the porous defense of the Raptors and get the minor upset at home.
NBA Pick: Detroit +120 from 5Dimes