The NBA is showcasing two of the best teams in a solo game slate on Thursday. These teams are so good that their combined win total on the season would put them at eighth in the East. All sarcasm aside, the Pistons and Magic will be the lone game in the NBA as all attention is on the start of NCAA March Madness. This does not take away from the fact that there is money to be made in tonight’s matchup. While all the public focus will be on the recent against the spread covers by Detroit, the full game total has some value at its current line. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets today, picks and NBA betting tips for Thursday, Mar. 17.
Best NBA Bets Today: Game Tips & Betting Predictions
Pistons vs. Magic Best Bet
The Pistons head to Orlando to face off with the Magic on Thursday. Detroit (18-51) seeks to snap a four-game skid after losing to Miami 105-98 in their most recent outing. Orlando (18-52) will be looking to get back in the win column after a 150-108 blowout loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. These two teams are tied for the worst record in the East and both will be hoping for some good luck in the upcoming draft lottery. The Pistons and Magic have faced off three times this season with Detroit leading the series 2-1. The Pistons hold a 7-28 record on the road, while the Magic are just 8-25 at home. Buckle up for the battle of the bottom feeders on Thursday.
Detroit’s roster is full of injuries entering tonight’s matchup. Jerami Grant (knee), Frank Jackson (back), and Hamidou Diallo (finger) have all been ruled out for tonight’s contest. Cade Cunningham (illness) and Rodney McGruder (hamstring) are listed as questionable. Detroit is averaging 103.5 points on 42.6% shooting and allowing 112.3 points to opponents. The only exciting aspect of the Pistons as of late is their against the spread record. The Pistons are 11-1 against the spread in their last twelve games overall. Outside of this trend, there is not much to boast about when looking at the Pistons this season. They rank 28th in offensive rating and 24th in defensive rating. They have officially been eliminated for the playoffs and will run the course in their remaining games.
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After a horrendous start to the season, Orlando has managed to go 5-5 in their last 10 games overall. Jalen Suggs (ankle) and Chuma Okeke (knee) are listed as out for Thursday. Wendell Carter Jr. is questionable with an ankle injury. Orlando is averaging 104.2 points on 43.4% shooting and allowing 112.2 points to opponents. Cole Anthony can only do so much for this young Magic squad, as he leads the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. Orlando is above-average on the defensive glass, ranking 10th in the league at 34.9 per game. This should help limit the second chance opportunities for the Pistons.
The Pistons will be without their top scorer in Grant, which is a blow to their offense. To make matters worse, there is a chance Cunningham, who is their second-leading scorer on Detroit, sits this one out as well. These two squads rank 28th and 29th in offensive rating on the year. Both teams have played better defense over the past five games, ranking 14th and 15th in defensive rating during this span. The average combined total is sitting at 208 points in three matchups this season with the total going over 219 points once. Detroit has gone under the game total in six of their last seven games overall, while Orlando has gone under in five of their last seven games. The bottom line is these are two bad teams that have shown little to no consistency. With key injuries on both sides of the floor, expect the offensive production to take a hit. Roll with the under in Thursday’s showdown.
Best Bet for Today’s Game: Total Under 219 Points
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