NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | February 24

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NBA Parlay of the Weekend
NBA Picks and Parlay of the Weekend

The Orlando Magic give Piston fans a glimpse of what might have been. After years of high draft picks, the Magic have become playoff contenders in 2023-24, riding the efforts of former Duke star Paolo Banchero. The Pistons still have the worst record in the NBA and are waiting for one of their young stars to raise his game. Let’s talk parlay on the Magic at Pistons tonight.

Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons Best Bet

Magic -7 (-112) at DraftKings

Against the spread the Orlando Magic are the best team in the NBA, and it’s not even close. The Magic are 37-19 against the spread this season, and are on pace for their first winning season since 2019.

They are what the Pistons could be. The Magic bottomed out, but their draft picks have paid off. Orlando started the season 14-5, and has basically played .500 ball the rest of the way. They’re in a virtual tie for sixth in the East with the Pacers and Heat.

Detroit is 8-47 and have lost four in a row. They’re 27-28 against the spread. On Thursday, the Pistons didn’t show much effort against the Pacers. They were down 29 at halftime and lost by 15. Detroit is waiting for one of their young players to make the leap other than Cade Cunningham and with every passing game it just looks like it won’t happen.

The Magic are fighting for a playoff spot. The Pistons are just existing.

Look for the Magic to take a big early lead and coast.

Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons Total Best Bet

Over 224 (-110) at DraftKings

Orlando has won four straight in this series by 12, 32, 26 and two points. There are more fun streaks connected to this one.

The last six Orlando games have all hit the over. The Magic are a good bet over/under at 29-27 this season. Meanwhile, the last four Pistons games have all hit the under, but that’s because the total has been so high. 224 is the lowest total for a Pistons game I can find since Dec. 6.

Detroit has become king of garbage time basketball. Detroit is 31-23-1 over/under this season. They’ve averaged 115 points in their last six games. Orlando has averaged 114 in their last six games.

With totals, I love to look at who’s hot right now. The Pistons don’t play a lot of defense, allowing 122 a night. Orlando has been scoring well anyway. The Pistons love to score when they’re down 20 points. Take the over.

Paolo Banchero Points Best Bet

Under 21.5 (-110) at DraftKings

Who did Paolo Banchero make his NBA debut against? That’s right, the Pistons in the season opener in 2022. He scored 27 points and went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year.

The 21-year-old from Duke led the Magic to 34 wins last year, and this season he’s averaging 22.8 a night and almost seven rebounds and five assists. He’s a bonafide NBA star. The Magic are what was supposed to happen to the Pistons and because of injuries and other things…just hasn’t.

All that said though, I’m still pegging the under in this game for Banchero. Banchero had 20 points against Detroit on Feb. 2, and the Pistons do have the length on the wing to match up with him. Besides, the Magic’s big advantage over the Pistons comes elsewhere.

Expect Banchero to come close to 20 points, but still hit the under.

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Parlay summary

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.