We notched an easy NBA winner last night with the shorthanded Clippers darn near knocking off the insanely favored Thunder in a 119-117 thriller. Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford (I TOLD you they’d be itching to get some shots up) dropped 32 points apiece and were it not for a late Steven Adams tip-in, the Clippers might have actually won the game despite not having the services of Chris Paul, JJ Redick, DeAndre Jordan, and of course, Blake Griffin.
We all knew the Clippers had finally stockpiled some bench firepower, and I imagine the guys enjoyed a night to get to stretch their legs for 37-plus minutes.
In other news, the Pacers took a disastrous home blowout loss to the Magic, and coupled with the Bulls win in Houston, now find themselves just one game ahead of Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot. Detroit now rests one game ahead in the all-important, Cleveland-dodging seventh position. Only Detroit is in action tonight, a tricky home game hosting Dallas, while the Pacers get a should-be freebie tomorrow in Philly while Detroit and Chicago meet head-up in the United Center.
Let’s see if we can string together another winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks -3
I never like to get too carried away on a regular season NBA game, but this one just feels like a free money alert. The Magic, who are dreadful on the road at 12-26 visiting a sneaky undervalued home team in Milwaukee that is 22-15 at home, AND the fact the Magic are on the backend of a back-to-back after a surprising win in Indiana last night? And I only have to lay three points to back the Bucks?
It feels too good to be true.
So is there any reason to fear a trap? Well, the Magic are clicking lately, winning three in a row and scoring over 110 points and shooting over 53% in each game. That’s pretty impressive stuff, albeit too little too late for the once again Lotto-bound Magic. BUT, let’s also consider that if the Magic scored over 110 tonight it would be the first time since 1995 Orlando has done so in four consecutive games. So there is a great opportunity for a regression to the norm tonight.
Milwaukee is 1-4 in their last five games while Orlando is 7-3 SU over their last ten, so momentum is certainly on the side of the Magic. They have also done well in this individual matchup, winning three of the last five and covering in three of five as well.
However, Orlando is on the road on the backend of a back-to-back. That’s usually a pretty good recipe for easy NBA betting money. A bad team that stinks on the road on no rest? I’ll throw the last few weeks momentum out the window in that instance. Give me the Bucks at home.