Pistons vs. Raptors Pick NBA – Jan 12th

No defense. No Kobe. No cover.

It was a pretty easy recipe for Los Angeles Lakers last night as Portland beat them by double digits and earned an easy cover and win. Win keeps our good fortune rolling as we are now 10-1-2 ATS in the New Year in NBA picks. I am sure we will cool off at some point, but right now, consider us the anti-Cavaliers in terms of momentum.

Here’s a not-so-fun fact if you are a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. The Cavs have lost five straight games and in two of those games your leading scorer was J.R. Smith. ‘When in doubt, shoot the ball’ indeed my man. Clearly J.R. isn’t alone in his doubt with the Cavaliers, but you can almost feel a few more items making their way into Kevin Love’s moving van with each passing day…

It a complete mess in Cleveland right now. Maybe all becomes well when LeBron comes back super-charged and he can throw the team on his back and make a stunning run to the Finals and everyone ends up happy. But right now, this franchise is on a collision course with a first-round exit and a long off-season full of contention and questions.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors -6

My faith in the new look Pistons is really being put to the test tonight with a tricky road trip to Toronto and the home-dominant Raptors. Toronto 15-4 at home. Detroit is 5-13 on the road. Toronto has won four straight games head-to-head and six of the last seven. Toronto’s ppg differential is eight and a half points better than Detroit’s.

And I still don’t care. I’m in. Something radical is happening in the Motor City and I think this Pistons team is going to compete on a nightly basis as long as their young core stays healthy. During their last eight game stretch (7-1) they have won in Cleveland, Dallas and San Antonio and their only loss is a narrow three-point loss to Atlanta, who might be the best team in the NBA right now.

Do they win outright tonight? I’m not willing to go that far. But getting six points should be plenty tonight for a team that has been not just good, but great, since the release of Josh Smith. Plus, Toronto hasn’t been quite right lately. They ended their four-game slide with a win over lowly Boston, but have still dropped four of five and five of eight overall. This will be a good test for both teams tonight; is Toronto really a legitimate Eastern Conference contender? And is Detroit as good as their two-week preview made them seem like they could be?

I imagine it will be a little bit of both tonight in a close, hard-fought, competitive game.

Free Pick: Detroit Pistons +6

Chris Scheeren / Author