Tonight’s marquee matchup might not quite live up to the billing on the marquee. If you are just glancing at lines and thought “wow, I can get the Spurs AND twelve points!!?!” you might want to pump the brakes just a bit. Spurs getting points probably means Coach Pop laying one down in the name of “rest”. They are already confirmed as resting “at least five key players” tonight, which means no Kawhi, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Alderidge most likely, and who knows, maybe they can get a quick D-League shuttle to drop off a few dudes and they can rest Patty Mills and Danny Green as well…
Either way, bet that game if you want. I’m staying away.
Instead, I’ll cast my lot against another slumping team hitting the road in a game they really desperately need…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Bulls -5 at Orlando Magic
The Magic aren’t world-beaters by any stretch but they are a reasonably competent basketball team at home, averaging 107.6 points per game over their last eight in Orlando. They also handed the Bulls a 13 point loss earlier this season in Orlando three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Chicago enters fresh off home and home losses to the lowly Knicks and now find themselves two games on the outside of the playoff picture with time running low on the season. They have a little edge in the fact that the Magic played last night and they are just 2-9 in their last eleven games on the back end of a back to back. However, last night’s game was just down the road in Miami and they are at home tonight.
Orlando has lost six in a row and eight of their last ten, but eight of those games were on the road and one of the home losses was a close game to Cleveland that went down to the final minute. The Magic are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Chicago Bulls. The Magic recent record is terrible, but again, nearly ALL of those games were on the road. Tonight they are back at home where they are 20-15 ATS on the season.
Chicago has gone just 12-22 SU on the road this season and a lousy 13-21 ATS on the road. They haven’t lived up to expectations this year; injuries are a big part, but also lines like tonight where they are laying five points on the road. I wouldn’t mind the Magic straight up at decent moneyline odds, but will certainly take them tonight at +5. Keep an eye on injury reports, and the Magic could very well be without Oladipo and Vucavic, but the Bulls have their own issues with Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol.