Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic – NBA, Thursday, March 17, 2022

| March 16, 2022 5:54 pm PDT

I know March Madness will be on everyone’s mind on Thursday, but we still have NBA action to watch. There is only one game Thursday night as the Detroit Pistons take on the Orlando Magic.

This will be the final matchup of the season between the two teams. The Pistons have won two of three, but the Magic have the advantage of being the home team.

I’m sure most people will watch March Madness, but if college basketball isn’t your thing, the Pistons and Magic will give you NBA action. Let’s check out the odds.

Pistons vs. Magic Odds for March 17th 

Detroit Pistons (+4.0)-110
Orlando Magic (-4.0)-110
Detroit Pistons to Win+145
Orlando Magic to Win-165

I’m sure everyone is thinking it, but this isn’t the most exciting matchup. The Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. The top NBA betting sites have the Magic as a (-4.0) point favorite.

I doubt many people know this, but the Pistons have been the best team against the spread over the last month. They only failed to cover once in the previous 12 games. They’ve been the underdog in every game, but that’s an impressive stretch.

Detroit has gone under their point total in six of their last seven games.

Orlando has also been strong against the spread. Since the All-Star break, they’ve covered in seven of their ten games. Unlike Detroit, we’ve seen them favored in a few games. The Magic have hit the over on their point total seven times since the All-Star break.

Unfortunately, both teams enter this matchup with a few injuries. Detroit could be without Frank Jackson and Cade Cunningham, while Orlando might not have Jalen Suggs.

Someone has to win this matchup of Eastern Conference dwellers. Let’s see who has the upper hand.

Detroit Pistons Preview

It has been another tough season for the Detroit Pistons. They’re on pace for another top-three pick in the NBA draft.

Detroit showed some promise last month, winning four of six games. That stretch included some impressive wins. They defeated the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, and Toronto Raptors on the road. The Pistons also had home victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.

Unfortunately, they enter this matchup on a four-game losing streak. Cade Cunningham missed Tuesday night’s game with an illness. The Pistons would love to have him back on Thursday because he has been playing great basketball.

Check out his numbers in March.

  • 23.1 points
  • 8.4 rebounds
  • 6.4 assists
  • 44.8 field goal percentage

We’re starting to see why Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick. The Pistons will have a franchise cornerstone for the next 10-15 years if he can continue this play.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cunningham performs against the Orlando Magic. They’ve had his number in three matchups. Cunningham has 22 points on an ugly 7-39 shooting.

Jerami Grant seems like the obvious candidate to lead the Pistons. He scored 22 points in the Pistons’ first matchup with the Magic but didn’t play in the last two. Grant is averaging 19.8 points in March.

This season, Trey Lyles has been the Pistons’ best player against the Magic. Check out his scoring numbers.

  • Magic: 12 points
  • Magic: 16 points
  • @ Magic: 18 points

It’ll be interesting to see which player leads the way in Thursday night’s matchup. Cunningham should be the go-to player if he plays. If not, watch out for Grant or Lyles. This is a good chance for the Pistons to end their losing streak.

Orlando Magic Preview 

Remember what I said about the Detroit Pistons having a tough season? You can go ahead and copy and paste that for the Orlando Magic. Like the Pistons, we’ve seen better play from the Magic lately.

Since the All-Star break, Orlando is 5-5. They have a pair of impressive victories, beating the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Throughout the season, Cole Anthony has been Orlando’s leading scorer. Over the last month, that honor belongs to Wendall Carter Jr. Check out his combined numbers in February and March.

  • 18.2 points
  • 11.0 rebounds
  • 3.3 assists
  • 56.4 field goal percentage

Carter has a double-double in eight of his last ten games. His improvement is behind Orlando’s recent success. Can he and the Magic keep it up against the Pistons? We talked about Cade Cunningham’s struggles against the Magic. Carter has dealt with the same against the Pistons.

Across two games, he has 17 points on 5-19 field goal shooting. It has been a balanced scoring attack in their matchups against Detroit.

Gary Harris, Franz Wager, and Terrance Ross all have 20+ points games against Detroit this season. Which one will we see step up for this matchup?

The biggest thing I’m wondering about the Magic is how they will recover from Tuesday night’s blowout loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn’s offense had its way, scoring 150 points. The big story of the night was Kyrie Irving.

  • 60 points
  • 6 rebounds
  • 4 assists
  • 20-31 field goal shooting
  • 8-12 three-point shooting

Obviously, there’s a big difference between the Pistons and Nets. Detroit is contending for the No. 1 pick, while Brooklyn is among the 2022 NBA Finals contenders. Still, it shows how much the Magic struggle on defense.

Let’s check out my game pick for Thursday night’s lone NBA game.

Pistons vs. Magic Pick

  • Detroit Pistons to Win

Both teams have been playing surprisingly well lately, so this matchup could bring some excitement. I believe the Detroit Pistons have enough firepower to win this game. I’m counting on Cade Cunningham to return because he’s a difference-maker.

There’s a chance Wendall Carter Jr. doesn’t play on Thursday night. If not, the Magic’s chances of winning would go way down. I’m backing the Pistons on Thursday night.

Because this is the only matchup on Thursday night, NBA TV will air the game at 7 p.m. ET. Check out our basketball picks page if you’d like to check out more NBA and March Madness picks.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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