Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76’ers -7 (Total: 179.5)
Orlando has to make a the tough turnaround, less than 24 hours after getting wiped off their home court by the Indiana Pacers they have to fly to Philly to face one of the league’s hottest teams in the 14-6 Sixers. To make matters more challenging to Dwight Howard and crew, the 76’ers are 10-2 at home this season, including 4-1 in their last five.
The Magic have been inconsistent offensively all season. Despite averaging an above-average 92.7 ppg, they have plopped down two of the league’s biggest stink bombs in the last two weeks; a loss to Boston in which they scored an absurd 56 points, and a 91-63 loss at New Orleans (one of the three worst teams in the NBA) over the weekend. In fact, despite being right in the thick of the Playoff positioning for an opening series at home, they have won just one of their last five and two of their last seven games. So now they take their tired ball club for their third game in four nights to face a well-rested and home-dominant Philadelphia club. If you think this sounds like a recipe for a blowout loss, I think I am inclined to agree; however let’s take a quick peek inside the numbers and trends for confirmation.
Philadelphia has not only been good this season, they have also been great against the number. They are 16-5-1 in their last 22 games against the spread and an even better 11-2 against the spread in home games. The only cause for pause is the fact Philly has lost 9 of 10 straight up against the Magic. However, this year’s Philly team is a far cry from the squads of the past two seasons, and has fresh legs in their favor while Orlando will be feeling some fatigue.
The Magic, who we’ve already mentioned dropped five of their last seven haven’t exactly been making nail-biters of them either. In each of their five losses, they have also failed to cover the spread. Meaning, when they lose (as I suspect they will tonight) they also aren’t cashing a ticket at the wagering window. With all the trends plus the wicked schedule dealt to them by the NBA, it seems hard to imagine them sneaking up and clipping the Sixers on the road.