Blake Griffin and the Pacific West Division leading Los Angeles Clippers (14-7) travel to Orlando as he anticipates a muscle to muscle matchup with one of the strongest big men that the NBA's ever seen, Dwight Howard.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 

Despite a 15-9 record, NBA odds makers opened with the the Magic as a 1 point favorite at home with a total of 192. Early sports betting action quickly turned things around, and now the Clippers hold the 1 point advantage with a total of 190.

With the alot of line movement at the sportsbooks, should we follow the public when it comes to making our NBA picks? Join me as we preview both teams and decide who will have the edge in this matchup.

The Magic have managed to show some life lately, with 3 consecutive wins after some really poor outings. They'll be tested on Monday as the Clippers have managed to dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers as the best and most interesting team in the city of Angels.


Dwight HowardI'm surprised that the Magic have been able to win 3 straight with all of the dissention going on in their locker room. Saying that Dwight Howard is the Magic's best player is an understatement, but the team moral has been low due to the fact that Howard hasn't hidden his displeasure as he makes it clear that he wants to get out of Orlando. 

Veterans like J.J. Redick and Hedo Turkoglu haven't been consistent this season. One night the Magic might get 15 point from each player and the next, a mere 2 points. The Magic have had some real low scoring outputs in some losses, and it was reported that after one loss in the locker room, Turkoglu and Redick were talking and actually said "we stink".

Dwight Howard doesn't keep much of a pokerface either where the camera is concerned. In one bad beating, the camera was focused on him on the bench and he actually looked at J.J. Redick as to say, "focus the blame over there!"

From a NBA betting perspective, you look at the Magic as a 1 point underdog and at home against a young team and think this is a good spot for a 4th consecutive win but beware, this is a team that's unpredictable. 

Second in command 

Forward Ryan Anderson has really lifted his game this season, and even Dwight Howard couldn't complain about his commitment to this team. Anderson is a consistent player that averages 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and a reliable 85.7% from the free throw line. Anderson has given a weak offensive team like Orlando, who averages 92.2 points per game, some much needed offense. Even for a big man, he manages to be productive from anywhere on the court.

Anderson averages a sizzling 43% from 3 point range this season, and he can be found at a bargain price for you fantasy leaguers out there. He's basically a second tier player that's underestimated. The Magic will desperately need his offense in this game. 

Young Guns 

When you look at the Los Angeles Clippers, you see a loaded group of young gunslingers. This is a deep and talented group of players. This is an energetic team with various players that could light the scoreboard up on any given day. 

Even with all of the young talent, everyone knows that this is Blake Griffin's team and each player knows their role. Aside from one poor outing from CP3, this team is starting to blend well as Paul gradually becomes a greater part of the team. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are starting to become more familiar with each other, and when they're playing at peak level, it's simply "Magic" (no pun intended).

Chris Paul is slight in build, but can do anything on the court. The Clippers need his offense but expect his ball distribution to be on point. He hasn't disappointed as he's averaged 8.9 assists per game. If the shots aren't dropping, CP3 can always be expected to still deliver the ball in the right situations. Of course the Clippers could use a center like Dwight Howard, but Chris Paul was the piece that was needed to make this team a title contender. 

Fouls to spare

Blake Griffin

At 6 foot 10, Ryan Anderson plays more of an outside game while for the Clippers, they have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to protect against Dwight Howard. The Clippers will have the edge on the inside but this could be a question of "who can stay out of foul trouble?”

Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard are equally awful from the charity stripe, and these are two players that usually see the foul line more than 10 times a game each. Griffin is shooting 48.7% from the line while Howard is shooting 48.6%.

Key head to head trends

Clippers are 0-8-1 in their last 9 meetings vs. Orlando

The favorite is 17-2-2 in their last 21 games between these two teams 

Those are some very decisive trends and I tend to ignore the second one as the Clippers are just a 1 point betting favorite. 

Will the Magic win four Straight? 

This should be a close game and Dwight Howard will need support in this spot, but look for the Magic, who have been playing with confidence, to eke out a win against an up and coming young team that will eventually reach elite status. 

Monday night pick is Orlando +1