Sixers vs. Magic Pick – February 9th

Win or lose tonight, can we all agree to have a better night than Charles Oakley??

We got a winner last night with Atlanta handling their business at home against road-weary Denver despite a few attempt late to give away the cover by the Atlanta Hawks.  I made a bone-headed typo yesterday, transposing the “last ten ATS” and “last ten ATS head-to-head” column, hopefully no one was too miffed by it as the sentiment was still the same and the result was a positive one.  Alas, good catch – it is both comforting and daunting to know there are 10,000-plus daily proofreaders and that I type like a two-fingered sloth (the thoughts are so much faster than my fingers… maddening really).  I try to keep them to a minimum, but if you catch one, feel free to message me @TheMarchManiacs and I’ll try to clean it up pronto!

It’s hard to believe the CAVS play the Thunder tonight from all the KD/Russ coverage that is already pouring in, but that is actually the matchup tonight, lest any of you, like me, were looking for the Dubs/Thunder line (there isn’t one yet).  Gotta love ESPN’s affinity for the male soap opera.

So while we wait for that emotional circus, let’s stack up another winner in the meantime.

Oh, and real quickly – HOLY HEAT.  They may never lose again.  An 18-point road win in Milwaukee for their 12th straight???

Today’s NBA Pick:

Philadelphia 76’ers at Orlando Magic -4.5

The Magic haven’t done well as a favorite this season, but hey, they also don’t have much experience! (rimshot!).  They are just 2-5-1 ATS at home this season when laying points and I doubt they have laid more than five this season (haven’t researched it, just a wry guess).  And for GOOD REASON.  They are just 9-16 SU at home this season, one of the worst marks in the NBA.

The Sixers showed some signs of life, everyone got excited, then things regressed back to the mean with a 3-7 SU stretch over their last ten.  But before we are too tough on the surging Sixers, keep in mind most of those games were on the road – almost all at teams far better than the Magic, and the home losses were to San Antonio and Houston.  But here’s the other BIG factor – the losses came without Joel Embiid.

Orlando is just 7-16-2 ATS at home this season, and while Philly is a below .500 ATS road team (11-13), they have been better in 2017 than they were after a rough start to the season.  BUT HERE’S THE KICKER – Joel Embiid isn’t playing tonight.  No Embiid – no road win.  It really feels just that simple.

I like Philly and their momentum and there are a ton of reason to fade the Magic.  But even with their dreadful home record, getting a chance to fatten up on the Embiid-less Sixers is too good an opportunity to miss out on, and I don’t think they will.

Stats are great, but they don’t tell us everything.  The Sixers are a better team and would easily be the play tonight IF EMBIID WAS PLAYING.  Barring a stunning change of heart (they’ve already announced him OUT) I’ll take my chances with Orlando.  Even if Aaron Gordon is scratched as well, -4.5 is too good a price at home without the Sixers best player.

Today’s Pick:  Orlando Magic -4.5