In terms of on-court performance, the Detroit Pistons’ 2020-21 season could only be described as lackluster. Motor City’s finest finished the year with the worst record in the Eastern Conference (20-52) and posted one of the worst net ratings in the league.
However, there were some positives that came from their abysmal season.
Blake Griffin‘s departure allowed the franchise to pivot fully into rebuilding mode and shine a spotlight on Jerami Grant, who averaged a career-high 22.3 points per game and looked the part of a breakout star.
No. 19 overall pick Saddiq Bey also forced his way into the starting rotation early in the season, showcasing his reliable outside shot and consistent perimeter defense. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team at year’s end and established himself as a key member of the franchise.
The biggest positive, however, was the Pistons earning the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Detroit didn’t balk at the decision to select Cade Cunningham, a talented combo guard with limitless potential.
The Pistons also made some smaller acquisitions that shouldn’t be glossed over, including signing Kelly Olynyk and Cassius Stanley. Detroit will be a good place for the 22-year-old Stanley to develop, while Olynyk is someone who can make a more immediate contribution.
With that said, let’s take a look at our 2021 Pistons predictions. Please note that all odds and lines are current as of Thursday, October 14.
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Pistons Win Total Prediction 2021-2022
Pistons Over 25.5 Wins (-110) at PointsBet
I have the Pistons pegged at 26 wins this season, so the Over/Under here is essentially a tossup for me. However, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Detroit can surpass this total by at least a few wins.
The Pistons have one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, and as such, there are several players who have yet to scrape the surface of what they’re capable of. Many of Detroit’s key pieces are entering their first or second year in the league as well, so guys like Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart should be able to improve upon what they showed in 2021.
Couple that with more star-caliber play from Jerami Grant and supplementary performances from Detroit’s role players, and you can start to see something building here.
There are obviously still a lot of questions surrounding this team (like how Cunningham will look, for example), but this is no longer a franchise embracing the tank. They’re still a year or more away from competing for a playoff spot, but the Pistons shouldn’t finish with the worst record in the Eastern Conference this season, either.
Pistons Win Total Pick 2021-2022: Over
The Detroit Pistons remain a work-in-progress, but with a stronger sense of direction in 2021-22, they could overachieve and hit the Over on their win total.
Pistons Make NBA Playoffs Prediction 2021-2022
Pistons to Make the Playoffs (+2000) at BetMGM
The Pistons’ odds of making the playoffs are astronomical, and rightfully so. Despite the handful of things they have working in their favor, the Eastern Conference is far too competitive for them to make any noise.
Detroit will likely finish somewhere in the No. 11 - 13 range in the standings, above the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers but below the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards. To reach the No. 9 or 10 seed and qualify for the play-in tournament, they would have to finish with a better record than teams like the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets.
Pistons Make NBA Playoffs Pick 2021-2022: No
The Pistons simply aren’t talented enough to make the playoffs this year, but they should at least be more competitive than they were last season.
Pistons To Win NBA Championship Prediction 2021-2022
Pistons to Win NBA Championship (+50000) at BetMGM
Again, the odds here are massive for a reason. Detroit’s playoff hopes may be slim, but they have a significantly better chance of qualifying for the postseason than they do of winning the NBA title.
No matter how good you think Cade Cunningham will be, it won’t be enough for the Pistons to win it all in 2022.
Pistons NBA Championship Pick 2021-2022: No
Don’t even think about it.
Pistons & Player Prop Predictions 2021-2022
Cade Cunningham to Win Rookie of the Year (+250) at DraftKings
This will be one of the most popular player props to bet this season, and now may be the best time to get in on it. Cade Cunningham is the odds-on favorite to be named Rookie of the Year at virtually every sportsbook, and if he lives up to the hype early on, it’ll be difficult to find this bet at a better value.
It’s not that Jalen Green isn’t a formidable opponent. The No. 2 pick in the draft is a natural scorer who will have the opportunity to put up big numbers on a nightly basis. Cunningham is just the more versatile player at this stage of his career.
Nothing excites NBA voters like stat-stuffers, and at 6-foot-8-inches with a point guard’s vision, Cunningham is sure to record a handful of triple-doubles this season.
His position as the odds-on favorite may scare some bettors away, but this is likely to be a two-horse race. So long as Cunningham can outperform Green, he should have this in the bag.
Detroit Pistons To Make Play-In Tournament (+2000) at BetMGM
It’s unlikely that the Detroit Pistons will qualify for the play-in tournament, but in the event that they do, wouldn’t you want to be the one who called it?
Personally, I feel their chances are extremely slim — BetMGM gives the Brooklyn Nets the same odds to make the play-in tournament as Detroit — but I suppose that this could be considered a best-case scenario. Crazier things have happened, after all.
If anything, this could be a solid choice to use a free bet on. If you’re considering placing a real cash wager on this prop, consider making it light.