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Detroit Pistons… Time to Take Them Seriously

If you haven’t been paying attention, let me briefly fill you in: back-to-back road victories in Oklahoma City and Boston has the Detroit Pistons sitting atop the Central Division and the current #2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

When it comes to the East, everybody is always talking about the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics… and rightfully so. The Wizards and Raptors are brought up as potential threats, with the young and upstart 76ers team now entering the picture.

But how comes nobody brings up the Detroit Pistons? I haven’t heard anyone mention the Pistons as a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference. That all ends now.

I wrote this blog post to explain to readers just how legitimate of a squad owner Tom Gores has built in the Motor City. The Detroit Pistons need to be taken seriously, and I am here to tell you why. I will use facts, data, and numbers to back up my claim that these guys in Detroit are a genuine threat to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.

I also want to share some very valuable information about the Pistons to all of you NBA sports bettors out there. If you have any desire to make some money betting the NBA, you don’t want to miss the section below regarding how Detroit has performed against the spread this season.

Before I do that, I want you to get familiar with the guys in Detroit. Let’s dive right in and take a look at the makeup of the team to see just exactly how they are getting it done on a nightly basis.

The Roster

This team isn’t built around one megastar with a bunch of surrounding role players. This isn’t a super team with multiple guys signed to max contracts combined with league veterans playing for the minimum.

The Pistons were built from the ground up and is full of studs. A nice mix of talented up-and-comers with an absolute beast in the middle is a great recipe to get the job done. Nobody has an ego in Detroit, no member of the team thinks they are bigger or more important than the success of the team. It starts with Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations, Stan Van Gundy.

Van Gundy has preached a philosophy to his group of men to play sound defense and move the ball around. This formula has been good enough to win 13 of their first 19 games out of the gate. AS much as Van Gundy’s approach has to do with the success of the team, it really comes down to the players.

The Starting 5

 

F Tobias Harris
F Stanley Johnson
C Andre Drummond
G Avery Bradley
G Reggie Jackson

I am sure this isn’t jumping off the page and smacking you in the face saying, “Look how ridiculous this lineup is!”. Before you start gawking, let me point a few things out and explain how things are done in Detroit.

It starts with Andre Drummond. The 7-foot monster has been stellar his entire career, but a few improvements to his game this summer has made a huge difference. His scoring and rebounding numbers are up, which is pretty natural for a guy with his stature and skill set. His average of 15.6 rebounds per game this season is a full 2 rebounds more than anyone else in the league.

As impressive as his league-leading rebounding numbers and his 54.5% field goal shooting is, the two stats that really catch my eye are the following:

 

Career Numbers This Season
Free Throws 39.2% 61.8%
Assist per Game 0.9 3.5

As you can see, Andre Drummond is making free throws at a much higher clip this season. He is getting his teammates involved and effectively passing out of double teams as evident with his huge jump in helpers per game. Drummond has always been a dominant force inside. Now that he is making more free throws and understanding how to be effective when he is double-teamed, I think the sky is the limit for the 24-year old former University of Connecticut star.

Forward Tobias Harris is leading the team scoring 19.1 points per contest, and he too is getting it done in a variety of ways. The 6’9” hybrid forward can post you up inside and score with his back to the basket. He can drive to the rim and finish, and best of all, the dude is shooting 47.4% from beyond the arc.

When your power forward can bang inside and then step out and reign in from downtown, he’s is nearly impossible to defend. The guys that are big and strong enough to handle his strength don’t have the speed and agility to contend with his perimeter game. If you put a small, quicker guard on him, Tobias will back him down- creating a huge mismatch down low.

Now I have to mention their big offseason transaction- bringing in Avery Bradley from Boston. I got to be honest. When I saw that Celtics swapped young and emerging guard Avery Bradley to Detroit for Marcus Morris, I was kind of scratching my head. I guess because of the direction Boston was heading in (bringing in Gordon Hayward), they needed to clear room on the perimeter and trading away Bradley was their answer. It could not have worked out any better for the Detroit Pistons franchise.

Avery Bradley steps into the starting shooting guard role for Van Gundy and immediately brings a defensive presence on the perimeter. With Avery defending the opposing team’s best outside player and Drummond clogging up the paint, the Pistons all of a sudden have an extremely formidable defensive unit.

Reggie Jackson is a talented point guard who can shoot the ball and drive, not to mention leads the team with 5.9 assists per game. Stanley Johnson had only started 7 of his first 150 games in the league. With small forward Marcus Morris now out of the picture, Johnson finally has the pathway to stardom cleared. He still needs to show he can consistently perform well at this level, but he certainly has the opportunity and team around him right to get it done.

You see, I told you this Pistons team has some nice pieces and are playing very good basketball right now. Here’s the only problem:

Experience and Depth

As nice of a story as the Pistons are right now, I’d be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t concerned about the Pistons’ lack of depth and experience. The Eastern Conference has plenty of weak links, I don’t expect the Pistons to have any qualms about reaching the playoffs. I just don’t have the utmost confidence in how the team will hold it together once the postseason rolls around.

To win a series during the playoffs, you need to have a squad that is fully prepared to handle whatever obstacles are thrown at them. With a second unit consisting of guys like Ish Smith, Anthony Tolliver, and Jon Leuer, I just don’t see how the Pistons can get it done game after game after game.

Drummond and Harris can’t play 48 minutes per night, so Detroit needs some of these aforementioned bench players to be able to step in and provide depth and stability. It’s not just about having enough good players to win a playoff series, it’s about having ones with experience. These guys are going to have to go through the ringer a couple times together before being ready to handle the big stage.

The good news is this team is young and full of high-energy guys that want to improve and get better. The future is bright in Detroit, which hasn’t been able to be said since the days of Chauncy Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Ben Wallace back in the early to mid-2000’s. The time may not be this year in Detroit, but a couple years of experience and growth and this team will be a serious contender.

Attention Bettors

Now, for the good stuff. The stuff that can make you cold, hard cash. Talking about the Pistons and their team is all fine and dandy, but my guess is you want to be able to apply that knowledge and take it straight to the online sportsbooks.

Here’s how to do it:

BET ON THE PISTONS!

Through the first 19 games this season, the Detroit Pistons are an astounding 13-5-1 against the spread. That means if you just bet on the Pistons every game so far this season, you would have won 13 times, pushed once, and lost only 5 times. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that betting on the Pistons has been a profitable business in itself.

Now, I get it. 19 games aren’t a large enough sample size to call it a “sure thing”, but here’s the point. The way you and I can profit and make some money is by taking advantage of “bad lines”. Clearly, the sports books and online betting sites haven’t properly adjusted to the level of play the Pistons are bringing to the court night in and night out.

After beating the Thunder and Celtics back-to-back on the road their last two games, the window for taking advantage of the bad lines may be closing in. Don’t continue being late to the party that is making money on betting the Pistons. There’s still time for you to hop on board.

The Takeaway

At 13-6, The Detroit Pistons aren’t catching anyone in the NBA off guard anymore. Surprisingly, they are still catching the oddsmakers of guard because they haven’t been able to get a firm grip on setting the line for the Pistons’ games. Remember, I am not some lifelong Detroit sports fan trying to blow smoke up your fanny. I rely on the facts and data to support my claims.

13-5-1 against the spread should tell you everything you need to know. There has been a window for being able to make money betting on the Pistons this year. The online betting sites have left it wide open for anyone to crawl right in.

I talked about Detroit’s roster and why the makeup of their team fits the style of basketball they want to play. They don’t have a 30-point scoring superstar on their team. They have an absolute monster in the middle by the name of Andre Drummond. They have surrounded Drummond with the right pieces to allow the squad to flourish.

I am not expecting the Pistons to suddenly leapfrog King James and the Cavs and be the top team in the Eastern Conference. How they will stack up with the likes of the Celtics, the Raptors, the 76ers, and other top teams in the East- that remains to be seen.

What I do expect is the Pistons to continue flying under the radar of NBA touts and more importantly, the casino operators that set the lines. I am in the business of watching and studying sports, so I have taken note of the Pistons and their accomplishments.

If you are in the business of wanting to make some extra money by simply watching NBA basketball, try wagering on the Detroit Pistons. It has only failed 5 out of the first 19 times this year. That’s a good enough win rate for me, give it a shot!

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