The Detroit Pistons are 2-29 on the season, and have lost 28 straight games. Tonight, they face the Toronto Raptors, who recently had a major shakeup in their lineup. Can they break their streak tonight and avoid the wrong side of history?
In the world of betting, bettors are rooting for the Pistons. Actually, most of the basketball world is pulling for Detroit. Riding a 28 game losing streak, it's D-Day for this team. After a gut wrenching 128-122 loss against the Celtics, the Pistons are on the verge of tying the 1942-1945 Chicago Cardinals for the longest losing streak in the history of American sports.
Sure, the Pistons can forget about this season, it's been disastrous. Having chalked up as many losses before the All-Star break is historically bad. However, Detroit has a chance to avoid their name even deeper in the history books tonight against the Toronto Raptors.
While the Pistons already own the longest single losing streak in NBA history, they still have the urgency to win. Detroit is a tough city, and it's not known to go down without a fight. Let's break down why Detroit can stop their losing streak at 28 games, and cash out bettors tonight.
Raptors (12-19, 4-10 away) vs. Pistons (2-26, 1-14 home)
Over 231.5 (-108)
Under 231.5 (-112)
*Odds courtesy of DraftKings sportsbook*
Both the Raptors and the Pistons almost upset the Celtics
As terrible as the Pistons are, the Raptors have fallen to 12-19 in the standings. If these two teams have something in common, they almost upset the top team in the league, the Boston Celtics. In a chaotic sequence of events, the Raptors lost by two points, while the Pistons lost by six total points in overtime. It may be possible Detroit extends their losing streak to 29 games tonight, however, there are several reasons why I'm hot on the Pistons tonight.
Also, I haven't forgotten the night I bet on the Pistons to take the victory against the shorted handed Utah Jazz last week. Tonight, for some reason, there's a feeling in my gut to sprinkle a unit or so on Pistons Money Line. Also, I have factual data to back that up.
You can bet on when the Pistons next win will be
Currently, on DraftKings sportsbook, bettors can wager on which game the Pistons will break their losing streak. Before I took a look at this, I already decided in my mind I would be riding Detroit tonight. In the book, the Pistons are favored to win tonight at home against the Raptors at +135 odds. If they are unsuccessful, their next change is against the Utah Jazz, on Jan. 3, which odds of +425. And as I'm typing this, I can see Detroit Money Line trending on X.
While I've bet on Pistons Money Line tonight, I might as well grab the special running on Draft Kings for them to win tonight at +145 odds. If you plan to do just, you can't parlay these together, and would have to take them at two separate bets. I currently placed 1.1 units on the Pistons Money Line tonight, along with .6 units for them to win their next game.
The Raptors had a major shakeup this afternoon
More news from the NBA— Ballislife Bets (@BallislifeBets) December 30, 2023
The Raptors acquire: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, 2024 second round picks
The Knicks acquire: OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn
The Knicks Odds to win a title: +6000https://t.co/w79kRCM4eh#NBA #knicks #raptors
If you haven't heard the news, the Toronto Raptors shipped two-way sensation OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks, in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second round picks.
With that said, according the Rotowire, Barrett and Quickley are not expected to suit up for the Raptors tonight. With several players unavailable, their expected starting lineup includes Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Otto Porter, Pascal Siakam, and Jakob Poeltl.
For the Pistons, Isaiah Stewart is out for tonight's contest with a toe injury, and Monte Morris, out with a quadriceps injury. Under head coach Monty Williams, Detroit is expected to start Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Kevin Knox, and big man Jalen Duren.
With the change in the lineup, Cade Cunningham will have less pressure on him, now that Anunoby has been shipped off. Known for his defensive prowess, Anunoby has often guarded Cunningham. Along with the major trade, Raptors head coach recently made the decision to insert Gary Trent Jr. in the starting lineup in exchange for Dennis Schroder. For the Pistons, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have finally been given starting opportunities by Williams.
Their head-to-head matchup history
In the last ten matchups, the series is split 5-5 between Toronto and Detroit. Since Nov. 2022, the Raptors captured five straight victories, including a 142-113 blow out on Nov. 19. With that said, this is why I chose to put only a unit on tonight's game. OG Anunoby was a non factor offensively in that meeting, finishing with nine points. Between Flynn and Achiuwa, they combined for only 19 points. With Barnes, Schroder, Siakam, Trent Jr. pulling the weight offensively, Toronto was able to dominate Detroit on the boards, inside scoring, and fast break points.
Sure, the Raptors blew the Pistons out at home. However, this Detroit team has come close in several defeats, specifically to the Celtics, Nets, Hawks, Knicks, Nuggets and more. Yes, they've been exploited defensively by several teams, but as you can see, they've managed to hang in games.
According the Sofascore, the Pistons have been the first half loser in five of their last six matchups against Toronto. In their last ten head-head-matchups, they've been offensively even, which each team scoring around 110 points.
The Pistons have one lone victory at home, and that came agains the Chicago Bulls, on Oct. 28. As terrible as their record is overall, specifically at home, the Raptors aren't much better. 4-10 on the road, Toronto is 3-7 in their last ten games, which key losses to the Celtics, Jazz, 76ers, Nuggets, and Knicks. Not one of their three wins have come against a teams who's win/loss record is above .500. 1-4 in their last five games, the Raptors are one of the worst offensive teams, ranking 23rd in offensive efficiency. Much like Detroit, scoring has been a problem, only putting up 113 points a game, compared to Detroit's 109.
What truly has separated these two teams is their defense and point differential. Allowing over 121 points, the Raptors allow opponents to score significantly less at 114.5 points per game. However, with Anunoby not in the picture, it drastically changes the defensive landscape for the Raptors. With the Raptors ranking 16th in defensive efficiency (114.9), the Pistons are ranked 26 (119).
Offensively, both teams struggle and leave a lot to be desired. Both teams shoot at a low clip beyond the perimeter (33 percent), and Toronto remains the worst free-throw shooting team in the league at 73.3 percent.
While the Pistons have plummeted in several statistical categories over the last ten games, so have the Raptors. Throughout the last ten, Toronto falls to 21 in defensive rating at (119.5), allowing 14.8 second chance points per game.
Why I chose Detroit Money Line (+145)
Sure, we've established Detroit has dropped 14 straight games at home. However, they've narrowed the deficit to 11.6 points per game over the last five. Their hard fought play and determination against the Celtics was eye opening, and tonight they get the chance to break the streak in front of their home fans.
For Toronto, they've been terrible as of recent, and are 1-4 in their last five games. Even worse, they are 1-4 on the road, and with a newer lineup, it's unpredictable how they will look against the Pistons.
For Detroit, I love the insertion of Duren and Ivey into the starting lineup. This time around, they'll have a boost with Bogdanovic back, who's putting up 19.7 points per game. With a combined 26 games started, Duren and Ivey combine for a total of 25.5 points per game.
Bottom line, the Pistons have to secure a victory to avoid the wrong side of history, and the Toronto Raptors are coming off back-to-back games. Averaging over 23 points, Cade Cunningham has been on a tear, scoring a combined 72 points in consecutive games against the Celtics and Nets. While he's put everything on the line for his team, Detroit has made it known, they strictly want to win.
Bonus Bet: Cade Cunningham 25+ points
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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at Ballislife, and Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.Tweets by BallislifeBets