Detroit Pistons 2019-20 Betting Predictions, Odds, and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet: To Miss the Playoffs (-155)
Worst Bet: To Win the Central Division (+1600)
Is any team in the NBA being talked about less than the Detroit Pistons heading into the 2019-20 season? Perhaps not. They weren’t good in 2018-19, but they also weren’t terrible. They are expected to be in the middle of the pack once again, so what is there to say? At least last year Detroit had a head coach in Dwane Casey, who parted ways from the eventual champion Raptors. Now this franchise has the same head coach and basically of the same players. The Pistons are just kind of…there.
Now the question is will they actually do anything this coming season that changes the uneventful narrative. Detroit did not lose not much in free agency but also did not make a whole lot of impact additions–unless Derrick Rose turns back the clock in miracle fashion. Rose briefly showed flashes of his former self in Minnesota during the 2018-19 campaign and was even somewhat consistent, contributing 18.0 ppg in 51 games (13 starts). Of course, the injury-plagued veteran is not getting any younger (he is now on the wrong side of 30). The Pistons also signed Markieff Morris and got Tony Snell in a trade with Milwaukee. Among the returnees are Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard. Like Rose, Griffin is also 30 years old. Is he still a legitimate No. 1 option on a solid NBA team? He’ll have to be if Detroit wants to take any kind of step in the positive direction.
Pistons Win Total: O/U 37.5
Based on win totals, Detroit is expected to fall out of the playoff picture and finish ninth in the Eastern Conference (replaced by Miami). That is probably right where the Pistons will end up, which could be the case even if they win at least 38 games. And they are capable of winning 38 games. Griffin, Drummond, Jackson, and Kennard all averaged in double-figures last season. A potent inside-outside game will once again be on display with those guys coming back. Griffin and Drummond are forces in the paint, and the team can feel good about itself at point guard even if Rose gets injured again because Jackson is more than capable. Most of the teams in the Central Division are overrated. Detroit is not rated highly at all. This a low win total–one that even the Pistons may be able to surpass.
Odds to Make the Playoffs: Yes +135, No -155
Detroit has made the playoffs only twice in the last 10 years (but also twice in the last four, it must be said). For what it’s worth, this is a franchise has not won a single postseason game since the 2007-08 Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. The Pistons got swept by LeBron James and the Cavaliers in 2008-09, got swept by LeBron and company again in 2015-16, and got swept by the Bucks this past season. You probably won’t have to be especially good to reach the postseason in the East, but you also may not be able to be mediocre. Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston, and Brooklyn are locks out of the Atlantic Division, Milwaukee is a definite, Indiana looks solid even if Victor Oladipo doesn’t return as the same player, and Miami is in the mix in the Southeast Division along with Atlanta. Juice of -155 on “no” is not a lot, so pick the Pistons to miss the playoffs.
Odds to Win the Central Division: +1600
There is only one division up for grabs in the Eastern Conference. Here’s a hint: it’s not the Central. Here’s another hint: it’s not the Atlantic. Detroit would be in the discussion in the Southeast, but the door is closed everywhere else. A lot would have to go right for the Pistons to even hang around with Milwaukee in this division, starting with Rose staying healthy and Griffin doing the same while once again averaging something close to 24.5 ppg. Neither is likely. The Pistons have zero chance of finishing ahead of Milwaukee and almost no shot at being better than Indiana. You would probably need at least +3000 odds on this in order to bite.
Odds to Win the Eastern Conference: +5000
There are at least two teams in the Central that are far, far better than Detroit. And we haven’t even gotten to the Atlantic yet. Let’s get there now…. The 76ers, Celtics, Nets, and Raptors would all most likely destroy the Pistons in a best-of-seven series. Philadelphia lost Jimmy Butler but added Al Horford, Boston lost Horford but added Kemba Walker, Brooklyn made arguably the biggest noise during the offseason by bagging Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and Toronto is still the defending champ even if Kawhi Leonard is gone. The Pistons can match plenty of clubs in the depth department, but they are not exactly top heavy. Neither Griffin nor Rose is on the way up, of course, and a lot of the younger guys either don’t have a high ceiling or are currently extreme projects. Getting +5000 odds makes this a better bet than winning the Central Division, but it’s still bad. Just say no.
Odds To Win NBA Championship: +15000
You need stars to win titles in the NBA. Detroit has one (Griffin), and he is past his prime. Rose, of course, used to be in that category. To say he no longer is would be a gross understatement. Drummond, Jackson, and Kennard are nice piece; they are not title-winning pieces. The Pistons are nowhere near the top teams in the Eastern Conference and they are even further away from competing with the likes of the Lakers, Clippers, and Rockets. This team is many, many years from contending. In fact, the Pistons will likely have to break it all down before they can build it back up. Right now they are just stuck in neutral.