Toronto is 7-2 straight-up, 6-3 ats in its last 9 meetings with Detroit, which bodes well for the playoff-bound Raptors and, potentially, their financial backers for tonight's visit with the Pistons.
Raptors-Pistons Betting Odds
Most of the NBA betting odds market opened this game with Toronto favored by two points, the total offered at 201.5. In the early betting most books dropped the total to 201.
After a three-week stumble that saw Toronto go 1-9 the Raptors have won three of their last four games, most recently beating New York Sunday 106-89, covering as 12-point home favorites. Toronto led by 15 at the half, let the Knicks pull to within six points early in the fourth quarter, then pulled away with a 12-0 run to lock down the victory. The Raptors shot 52 percent from the floor Sunday, and hit 24 of 29 free-throws.
Last Friday Toronto lost at Chicago 108-92. But just before that the Raptors beat Indiana and Minnesota.
At 42-28 Toronto is basically tied with Chicago for the three-four spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, three games behind second-place Cleveland.
On the homey side of this match-up Detroit recently lost 10 games in a row, but has also won three of its last four, after tripping Boston in overtime Sunday 105-97. The Pistons trailed by 10 in the third quarter, rallied to force OT, then scored the first seven points of the extra period to take control. Detroit shot 44 percent from the floor Sunday, and caught the Celtics on a cold night, as they shot just 36 percent.
Saturday the Pistons beat Chicago 107-91, and last Tuesday they beat Memphis 105-95. So they are capable of beating playoff contenders.
At 26-44 Detroit trails eighth-place Boston by five games in the East, with just 12 games to play.
Raptors-Pistons Recent Series
Toronto has taken two of three games from Detroit so far this season, winning 111-100 at the Palace back in December, and 114-110 at home in January, sandwiched around the Pistons' 114-111 victory at the ACC Jan. 12. The Raptors shot 51 percent from the field in those three games combined, while Detroit shot 44 percent.
All three of those games played OVER their totals.
Last season Toronto swept three games from the Pistons.
Raptors-Pistons, Statistically Speaking
The Raptors rank 14th in the league in FG shooting at 45 percent, but 27th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.
Detroit ranks 28th in FG shooting at 43 percent, and 24th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot almost 46 percent.
Raptors-Pistons Betting Trends
Toronto is 18-16 SU, 17-16-1 ATS on the road this season.
Detroit is 14-21 SU, 15-20 ATS at home.
Toronto is leaning toward the OVERS this season by a 39-31 margin, as Raptors games are averaging 205 points. Most of that lean has come recently, as Toronto has played nine OVERS in its last 12 games.
Detroit is trending UNDER by a 38-30 margin, as Pistons games are averaging 198 points.
Toronto G Kyle Lowry (18 PPG this season) has missed the last two games with a bad back, and is questionable for tonight. So far this season the Raptors are 2-2 both SU and ATS in games Lowry has missed.
Detroit is playing without both G Brandon Jennings (15 points, six assists PG), who's gone for the season with that Achilles injury, and F Greg Monroe (16 points, 10 boards PG), who recently suffered a knee injury. The Pistons are 8-20 but 15-13 ATS without Jennings this season, 2-3 both SU and ATS without Monroe.
Raptors-Pistons Free Pick
Toronto is the better team here, with more to play for, and owns the advantage in the recent series between the teams. Also, Detroit has pulled upsets its last two times out, but we have serious doubts as the whether the Pistons can extend that run to three. So we like the visiting Raptors as our NBA pick, at the very manageable spread.
Free NBA Pick: Raptors -2 at 5Dimes