Hornets vs. Pistons Pick
Charlotte finished last season 36-46 to miss out on the postseason, while Detroit also missed the playoffs by going 37-45. The Pistons won three of four meetings straight up during the 2016-17 campaign and went 2-2 ATS. Three games went over the total.
The biggest acquisition made by either team during the offseason was by the Hornets, who traded for center Dwight Howard (13.5 ppg, 12.7 rpg). Already a defensive-minded team, Charlotte will undoubtedly benefit from the interior abilities of Howard as a defender and rebounder. Whether he will impact team chemistry positively or negatively remains to be seen. Kemba Walker (23.2 ppg, 5.5 apg) will again be the catalyst who makes Charlotte go.
As for the Pistons, head coach Stan Van Gundy is banking on a healthier version of point guard Reggie Jackson (14.5 ppg, 5.2 apg) this year after a knee injury kept him out of action for the first month last year and upon returning he was not the same player who helped guide Detroit to the playoffs the season before. The Pistons will also need a bigger season out of Andre Drummond (13.6 ppg, 13.8 rpg) as he had a tendency to be lazy on both ends of the court last season, sometimes at crucial junctures.
The over is 20-6-1 in the last 27 meetings in Detroit. In a more random bit of information, the Pistons are 0-6 ATS in their last six games played on Wednesday dating to last season.
Detroit will want to open Little Caesars Arena with a victory and get started on the right foot in its quest to qualify for the postseason a second time in three years. Jackson is healthy, the Pistons have some roster depth and they've had good recent success versus the Hornets.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: DETROIT PISTONS -3