NBA Eastern Conference Betting Preview: Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Orlando Magic have lost 13 of its past 15 contests, including a 100-92 loss to New Orleans Sunday night (Jan 26). Arron Afflalo scored 25 points in the loss, but with Nikola Vucevic recovering from a concussion there was no one to counter Anthony Davis inside. The former Kentucky Wildcat went for 22 points and 19 rebounds while swatting away seven shots.
The Magic have some nice pieces to build on for the future, but the team currently is not constructed to be competitive. Arron Afflalo is having a career year with 20.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, but Magic GM Rob Hennigan has been reluctant to deal the Magic’s best offensive player. Tobias Harris is starting to show signs of the dominance he displayed towards the end of last season, and the Magic may have their 4-man of the future if Harris can add some bulk to help on the defensive end.
2013 No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo has been very good, though he’s committing all the typical rookie sins in turning the ball over a lot and making erratic decisions. Oladipo is averaging 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds ad 3.8 assists in 32 minutes a night, but likely will lose out on the Rookie of the Year to Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers. It is just the mid-way juncture of the season, however, so it is by no means close to being decided.
Detroit went and spent the big dollars on Josh Smith this offseason, while also making a move to acquire Brandon Jennings from Milwaukee. While on paper the team became much better, it hasn’t necessarily translated to court success, as Detroit is just 17-27 on the season. Jennings and Smith are 1,2 on the team in scoring with 16.9 points and 15.6 points per game.
The Pistons have a tough frontcourt with Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, and that should suit it well for any matchups against the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs.
Monroe ranks third on the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game, but his impact has been softened by adding Smith and the continued development of Andre Drummond. Drummond is a workhorse on the interior averaging 12.6 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, and he’s a game changer on the defensive end, too (1.3 steals, 1.8 blocks). Detroit has the potential to be a far better team than a .400-ish club, and if Jennings can get the most out of his teammates, the Pistons could upset one of the Eastern Conference juggernauts.
Orlando Trends: 0-8 ATS in last 8 road games; 0-4-1 ATS in last 5 vs teams with home winning percentages of less than .400; 4-1 ATS in last 5 following SU loss.
Detroit Trends: 0-5 ATS in last 5 when opponent allows 100 or more points in previous game; 0-4 ATS in last 4 on 1 days rest; 0-4 ATS in last 4 overall.
Head-to-head: OVER 3-1-1 in last 5 meetings in Detroit.