Toronto at Detroit Pro Basketball Expert Pick & Betting Preview

Posted by Kenny Bell on Tuesday,April 4, 2017 11:46, EDT in

It’s the final meeting of the season between neighboring Toronto and Detroit. The Raptors are in the playoffs but trying to nail down the No. 3 seed in the East. The Pistons are just trying to get in. Might Toronto have All-Star Kyle Lowry for the game? The Raptors should be NBA betting favorites regardless.

Toronto at Detroit Pro Basketball Expert Pick & Betting Preview

When: Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich.
TV: NBA League Pass
Stream: NBA.tv
Radio: Toronto / Detroit
NBA Odds: TBA

Why Bet On Toronto?

It’s the second of a back-to- back for the Raptors as they were at Indiana, another team fighting for a playoff berth, on Tuesday. So be careful that the Raptors don’t rest a key guy or two here.

As for Lowry, he didn’t play Tuesday but could here. He hasn’t played since the All-Star game after having wrist surgery. He was a partial participant in practice on Monday. After participating in shooting drills last week, Lowry continues to make progress. A tune-up before the start of postseason play is possible, but that likely won’t come until Lowry is able to be a full participant in practice. Lowry, himself, told reporters that returning before the start of the postseason remains his primary goal. Toronto has played well in their starting point guard’s absence, going 14-6 in that span entering Tuesday.

Since the NBA All-Star break, Toronto’s defense ranks third in the NBA in points allowed (99.3) and second in opponent field goal percentage (.436). The Raptors also have an NBA-best +108 scoring margin in the fourth quarter through 20 games since the break. Toronto has held its opponent to less than 100 points eight times since NBA All-Star; something it did 18 times in 57 games before the break.

DeMar DeRozan has scored a career-high 1,908 total points in 70 games played this season, topping his previous high of 1,830 points set during the 2015-16 campaign. He needs 199 points to match Vince Carter’s franchise record for points in a single-season (2,107) set in 1999-00.

The Raptors are 2-1 vs. the Pistons this year. The teams last played on March 17 in Detroit and the Raptors won 87-75. Serge Ibaka had 17 points and eight rebounds. DeRozan added 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Toronto, which outscored Detroit 27-9 in the final period to take control of a game that appeared to be slipping away.

Why Bet On Detroit?

As of Monday, the Pistons are 11 th in the East and two games out of the No. 8 spot. I don’t see the Pistons making it. They come off a crushing 108-105 OT loss in Milwaukee on Friday. Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer with 40.7 seconds left in overtime after Thon Maker tipped an initial miss from Middleton right back to his teammate.

The Bucks rallied from a 91-81 deficit with 5 minutes left in regulation. Tobias Harris scored 23 points to lead the Pistons in a game of wild of swings. Detroit trailed by 18 in the first quarter, then led by 10 in the fourth quarter before the Bucks finished with a flourish. Ish Smith scored 16 points on 7-of- 20 from the field with five assists, four rebounds and two triples in 32 minutes.

The Pistons have lost nine out of their last 11 games, but coach Stan Van Gundy praised Smith for “playing unencumbered every night.” SVG added that Smith’s “spirit is right,” and it looks like he’s going to be the starter the rest of the way — SVG still hasn’t decided if Reggie Jackson (knee) will play again this season.

Harris is averaging 20.0 points against the Raptors this season. Detroit has lost five of the last eight games against the Raptors at home. Detroit holds a 51-30 record against the Raptors with a 27-14 home record. Pistons center Andre Drummond played with Raptors guard DeRozan on the US National Team that won a gold medal in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014.

The Pistons rank third in terms of least amount of turnovers per game, averaging just 11.9 turnovers a contest. They rank first in allowing second chance points, giving up just 9.9 second chance points per game. The Pistons have won 15 of their last 21 home games.

Toronto at Detroit Expert Pick: Detroit Pistons

Detroit will play desperate and the Raptors will be a bit gassed in their second game in two nights.