Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic – NBA, February 23, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 23, 2021 10:47 am PDT

This is the second meeting between these two teams within the past few days. Both teams are struggling towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but the Magic know a win for them tonight can put them in the playoff picture. The Pistons want to be in any picture right now as they are on their own at the bottom of the conference, beginning to become detached.

The Magic comfortably won the meeting a couple of days back by nine points. This made it seven wins from eight meetings between the two in Orlando. It will therefore be a stiff task for the Pistons to win tonight.

Here is my Pistons vs. Magic betting preview.

Pistons vs. Magic Odds

Pistons +3-110
Magic -3-110
Pistons To Win+135
Magic To Win-143
Over 208.5-110
Under 208.5-110

The spread and the points total look about right for this matchup. However, since the fans were no longer allowed into the arenas, there has been an increase in points per game. Presumably, this is because there isn’t the added pressure of the expectations of the fans, and the different noise levels probably make games seem more like a training session which is relaxing players.

Although the game a couple of days back between them fell short of this target, surely it has to be taken on again. Let’s break things down and see what we can come up with.

The Magic have a decent record as favorites this season and have won 70% of their matches.

Pistons News

After a small resurgence where they won three in four games, the Pistons are back doing what they do best, which is losing. They have lost their last three in a row and failed to score more than 100 points twice in doing so.

Their form on the road is abysmal, and they have only won two away fixtures all season from 16 attempts. However, their last win was impressive when they beat the Celtics in Boston just over a week ago.

Here are the latest betting trends for Detroit:

Against The Spread

  • They have lost four of their previous five matches against the Magic.

They have a good record over the Magic; however, they did lose the last game against the spread a couple of days ago.

Points Total

  • Five of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in four of their previous five matches against teams in the Eastern Conference.

There is no getting away from the fact that their games are usually low scoring which is a worry for over backers.

Other Pointers

  • They have only won three of their last 11 games.
  • Detroit is 1-10 in their previous 11 matches on the road.

This highlights the Piston’s poor form and what a battle they will have on their hands tonight.

As you probably guessed, the Pistons don’t have a great offense this season, but it is ranked higher than Orlando’s. Their shooting has failed miserably this season, and this is a matchup between the two worst field goal percentages in the NBA right now.

Their defense is better and is bordering on average. However, I’m not sure why, as I can’t see what they are doing well. Their rebounding has been poor and is amongst the worst in the league this season.

They have defended slightly worse on the road this season, conceding three points more per game on average.

The Pistons have been plagued with injuries at present, and it has shown as their offense is struggling to get going right now. Here is their head coach Dwayne Casey discussing the issue.

Detroit will be without Okafor, Wright, and Hayes, who are all out injured, and Griffin is currently being left out as he is on the brink of being crowded away from the Pistons.

Magic News

The Magic have been spellbinding as of late as they have won four of their previous five matches. Although they currently sit fourth in the Southeast Division, their form has put them within touching distance of the first placed Hornets and a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

They have a split record at home this season, winning eight and losing eight of their 16 games at the Amway Center. However, half of those wins have come in their previous five home fixtures, which means that their form is picking up at the right time of the season.

Here are the latest betting trends for Orlando:

Against The Spread

  • They have won five of their previous six games.
  • Orlando is 4-1 in their last five games at home.

This highlights their recent improvement in form.

Points Total

  • Six of their previous eight games have gone under the betting total.
  • The total has gone over in four of their last six matches against Detroit.
  • Their games against teams in the Central Division have generally been low scoring as six of the previous eight have gone under the points total.

There is a slight edge towards under here.

Other Pointers

  • Orlando is 4-9 in their previous 13 games against teams in the East.

They haven’t done particularly well against their familiar opponents recently.

The Magic have a feeble offense that has struggled to shoot this season. However, they are rebounding the ball well at both ends of the court, which could be their key to victory tonight. They certainly won’t be able to rely upon their passing skills as they have been non-existent this season and have contributed to their low field goal percentage as they aren’t making many openings.

Their defense is good and has only conceded 110 points per game on average. Much like the Piston’s defense, it’s hard to see exactly why as they aren’t brilliant in any areas. However, they aren’t bad in any either, which is probably why they have done well. However, they could be blocking the ball slightly better.

Their biggest asset is their organization and discipline in defense which makes them hard to break down. Michael Carter-Williams has been their talisman in defense, and it’s no coincidence that they have a record of 9-3 when he has played this season. He isn’t a player that is talked about much, but if his team continues to excel when he is playing, then people will have no choice but to stand up and take note.

The Magic have their own injury concerns at present, but they have dealt with them much better than the Pistons. They will miss Gordon, Isaac, Fultz, and Anthony, who are all out with long-term injuries.

Pistons vs. Magic Betting Pick

Pick
  • Magic -3
    -110

Although they haven’t done brilliantly up until this point this season, I like the Magic, and I think they are a team on the up. They are methodical in their approach, and they turn up for each match with a good game plan. They have a defense that is improving all of the time, and I think their superior rebounding will see them win tonight.

The Pistons are struggling in most departments, and they seem like a team going through a challenging transitional period right now. They have struggled in Orlando recently, and I think that is set to continue tonight.

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