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Raptors Should Roll Pistons Despite Outbreak

Detroit Faces Toronto in Rescheduled NBA Wednesday

In spite of NBA COVID regulation and contact tracing and all that, the Detroit Pistons will play the Toronto Raptors at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Wednesday. The online sports betting odds originally sided with Toronto, but that’s up in the air now.

The short-handed Raptors could be underdogs here. But it’s Detroit, the worst team in the NBA. The BetUS online sportsbook should have this game either way. I’m taking Toronto to win here regardless of the NBA odds.

Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons drives around Patrick McCaw #22 of Toronto. Check out the Pistons vs Raptors betting preview
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

Pistons vs Raptors Betting: Quick Look at Each Team

Pistons: Coming For the Top (Lottery) Spot

Detroit is bad. There’s no denying it. But what makes this team tough to peg is its penchant for occasionally upsetting the big favorite. The Pistons hold wins over the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, seven of their nine wins have come against teams above .500.

What is their secret sauce? Hustle. What the Pistons lack in… well, everything, they make up for with heart and hustle. This is a poorly assembled team with a logjam of forward-centers and guards that either belong in the G-League or overseas. But this team still has athletes.

Led by F Jerami Grant, the Pistons are a big and rangy team that can make teams work if they’re up to it. Coach Dwane Casey may not have the acumen to come up with effective schemes, but he’s able to squeeze every bit of effort from his players.

However, the Pistons are just about as banged up as teams ravaged by quarantine. Grant could be out of action. Guards Delon Wright and Killian Hayes are injured. It’s slim picking for Detroit, which is only adding more ammunition to its tank.

Raptors: Digging Deep

Like the Detroit Pistons, the Raptors will be without several players. Forwards Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are out as well as star point guard Fred VanVleet as well as head coach Nick Nurse. That’s their three best players and their bench boss.

But this is Toronto we’re talking about. This team has developed a culture where they are used to working their way out of unfavorable situations. The Raptors’ depth will be tested, but this only gives players like G Terence Davis, G Matt Thomas, and F Stanley Johnson more opportunities to shine.

Toronto has put together the sixth-best defense in its last ten games. They’ve already been shooting lights out for the year, hitting the third-most threes per game (15.4) at a 38.3% clip.

And just like the Pistons, Toronto knows how to hustle and is filled with athletes. Kyle Lowry is still present and will mobilize the troops as they look to cover for their missing teammates.

Raptors Outduel Pistons

This game went from a potential Raptors blowout (or Pistons upset special) to a fun and scrappy battle between two teams missing half its rotational pieces. I’m taking Toronto as part of my NBA betting picks in this spot.

The Raptors have Lowry, who can still ball and is averaging 18 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.7 rebounds. Most notably, Lowry’s 61.8 true shooting percent (TS%) is his best mark in four seasons.

Toronto also still has plenty of size left in the roster. F/C Chris Boucher and C Aron Baynes have a nice mix of length and bulk to contend with Detroit’s larger players while Johnson and F DeAndre’ Bembry will make Detroit work for every basket inside.

Buckle up because this will be a fun battle between two squads with half a rotation of players fighting for more permanent roles. My hats off to coach Casey and the Pistons, but Toronto wins this one.

Pick: Toronto Raptors to win

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