Detroit and Orlando both limp to their regular-season finale with disappointment and despair. However, it appears that the despair is more significant within the Magic’s locker room following their lackluster effort against Chicago on Monday.
Orlando suffered a humiliating 122-75 loss to the Bulls, amounting to the largest margin of defeat in the team’s franchise history. Overall, the Magic have lost a total of eight games this season by margins of 30 points or more.
Orlando head coach Frank Vogel had the understatement of the year following his team’s pathetic performance on Monday. “I share responsibility,” Vogel told the Orlando Sentinel after Monday’s loss. “I haven’t gotten the most out of these guys. I haven’t gotten enough out of these guys on the defensive end.”
Technically speaking, Orlando is a money-burning 7-19-1 ATS at home versus .499 or worse opposition, including 5-16-1 ATS in its last 22 home games versus teams with a road win percentage of .399 or worse. Let’s also note that the Magic are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven home affairs and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
Meanwhile, Detroit applies to a very good 32-12 ATS system of mine that invests against certain poor shooting teams after shooting 35% or worse from the field in their previous game. The Pistons are also a decent 11-5 ATS in their last sixteen games after failing to cover the point spread, 13-6 ATS when playing with one day of rest and 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings in this series.
The Magic were expected to make a playoff push this season behind a stout defense, but Vogel’s squad failed to get enough stops at the defensive end of the floor. Orlando allowed 107.6 points per game this season on 46.8% shooting from the field. Even more concerning is the fact that the Magic are yielding 119.8 points on 53.2% shooting from the floor and 41.4% from beyond the arc over their last five games.
In contrast, Detroit’s defense is actually 3.3 points per game better than average this season (102.3 points per game to teams that would combine to average 105.6 points per game). That is certainly good enough to limit a pedestrian Orlando attack that is 4.6 points per game worse than average (100.9 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 105.5 points per game).
Finally, Detroit has shown some signs of life recently, winning two of its last three games and covering the Vegas number in four of its last 7 games overall. Since March 24, the Magic has secured one win, and that victory came against one of the worst teams in the NBA (Brooklyn).
With Detroit looking to avenge a 115-87 loss to Orlando on March 24 and the Magic standing at 4-12 ATS as favorites, 13-26 ATS at home and 6-17 ATS at home following a blowout loss by 15 or more points, grab the points with the Pistons as Oskeim Sports’ Free NBA Pick for Wednesday, April 12.