Toronto Raptors favored vs. Detroit Pistons despite COVID issues

Posted By Erik Buchinger on March 3, 2021

The Toronto Raptors will return to the court, though they will be significantly shorthanded when they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, March 3. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. ET from the Raptors’ 2020-21 home court of Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

Toronto had each of its last two games postponed, but it will have enough players to field a team despite COVID-19 issues within the organization. On Wednesday night, the Raptors’ depth will be tested as starters Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby have been ruled out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Also out for this game will be reserves Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw.

Outside of the players, Toronto’s head coach Nick Nurse will not be available for the game to go along with five other staff members. Sergio Scariolo is an assistant coach for the Raptors, and he’ll once again be the acting head coach against Detroit. He was in charge for the last time Toronto played in a game on Friday, Feb. 26 when the Raptors beat the Houston Rockets 122-111 at home.

Toronto had Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls postponed and Tuesday’s scheduled game against the Pistons was moved back a day as the Raptors were dealing with a shortage of available players.

Raptors general manager Bobby Webster noted the players who are sidelined for the game against the Pistons will likely not return to the floor on Thursday when they head on the road to take on the Boston Celtics.

With just two games left before the All-Star break, Toronto will enter Wednesday’s game with a 17-17 record, which is last place in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors snapped a two-game losing streak with Friday night’s win over the Rockets. Toronto was without Nurse and five other coaches as well as Siakam. Norman Powell stepped up to score 30 points, while Kyle Lowry went for a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. VanVleet added 25 points, knocking down five 3-pointers.

The Pistons enter Wednesday night’s game with a 9-25 record, which is last in the Central Division and last in the Eastern Conference. Detroit has lost six of its last seven games including three in a row. It is coming off a 109-90 home loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Detroit is dealing with its own struggles as well with a number of players out for various reasons including Blake Griffin, Killian Hayes, Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor and Delon Wright. Jerami Grant is listed as questionable for this game with a left quadriceps contusion. The Pistons will play the Knicks on the road on Thursday for their final game before the All-Star break.

Detroit Pistons vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

Oddsmakers have plenty of new information to account for heading into Wednesday night’s matchup, but here’s a look at the betting information prior to the game. All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.

Point spread

Despite all the COVID-19 issues, the Raptors will head into the game favored by six points at home with -110 odds on each side of the wager.

Betting Trends: Toronto is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games, while Detroit comes in at 2-4 against the spread in its last six.

Point total

Oddsmakers set the over/under at 211 with -112 going toward the over and -109 odds on the under.

Betting Trends: The total went over in 11 of Toronto’s last 16 games, while the under hit in six of Detroit’s last seven.

Moneyline

Toronto comes in as the favorite at -240 odds on the moneyline, while Detroit has +195 odds to pull off an upset on the road.

Betting Trends: Toronto is 5-2 straight up in its last seven games, and Detroit is 1-6 on the moneyline in that span.

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