Clippers vs. Magic Pick NBA – Nov 19th

The Lakers first road win of the season coincided with the return of Swaggy P! Sign the Lakers could be getting better, or sign of the apocalypse?? I’ll let you decide.

More interesting to me was the battle of the two best post players in the NBA, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The win went to Davis, though Cousins may have played slightly better. The Kings were undone by a 30-15 third quarter that proved to be too much to overcome. The Pelicans improved to 6-4 while the Kings fell to 6-5, and the craziest thing about it is that if OKC gets healthy in time, it is realistic that neither could make the postseason. The West is that good.

It was a pretty light schedule last night with college hoops taking center stage but things get cranked up to full tilt again in the Association, highlighted by the marquee ESPN game between the Cavs and the defending champion Spurs in a Lebron vs. San Antonio rematch.

Let’s dive in to today’s free pick.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Clippers -5 at Orlando Magic (Total: 203)

The Clippers should beat the Magic anywhere they play. They should beat most teams they play. But yet, a month into the season they are only 5-4 and a paltry 1-8 ATS. By all accounts, this team has been underwhelming.

Meanwhile, the Magic are actually exceeding expectations. They are just 5-7 overall but a nice 8-4 ATS and now with Oladipo back and healthy they are a more dynamic team on both ends of the floor. They have won three of their last four and have covered six games in a row and seven of their last eight. It is worth noting, many of those results have come against the Eastern Conference, and the bottom will likely fall out the first time they head out West. But for tonight, they are at home playing against a Clippers team that just isn’t quite clicking yet in 2014.

Similarly, the Clippers have played a pretty tough schedule with all of their games coming against Western Conference foes except for a blowout home loss to the Bulls. However, they have failed to cover against the Jazz, Lakers and OKC twice – all teams with similar talent levels to the now-healthy Magic. Nicola Vucavic is one of the more anonymous quality bigs in the league and I expect him to hold his own tonight. Oladipo can be a difficult defensive assignment on Chris Paul, should they choose to rotate him on Paul.

I don’t think Orlando is a better team, but I will take the five points and the rested Magic at home.

Free Pick: Orlando Magic +5