Orlando To Keep Winning, While Houston To Prove They Are Still Elite

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 3:15 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 3:15 PM UTC

Orlando is playing extremely well of late and will look to take advanatage of a short-handed sixers team. The Rockets are shaping form into the 65-win team from last season and will be tested against the elite Raptors.

Orlando (30-35 SU, 34-29-2 ATS) at Philadelphia (40-23 SU, 30-33 ATS)

Tuesday 7:00 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Magic ATS
Best Line Offered: Heritage

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be looking to bounce back from a big Saturday NIght primetime loss to the Golden State Warriors with a good showing against the surging Orlando Magic. The thing that is holding the Sixers back from being one of the elite teams in the Eastern conference is their inability to stay healthy as a team. The Sixers have been without All-Star center Joel Embiid for the last 7 games since the All-Star break.Last week the Sixers also loss their backup center in Boban Marjanovic to injury and will now have to rely on Amir Johnson as their only competent big man.

The Magic, meanwhile, appeared to be surging with victories over the Warriors and Indiana Pacers to move to 30-34 and into a playoff spot. But the Magic traveled to Cleveland Sunday and were pounded 107-93 by the host Cavaliers, falling to 30-35. Nikola Vucevic paced Orlando with 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while shooting 13 of 16. D.J. Augustin contributed 19 points, but the Magic struggled after the game was tied at 81. Magic head coach Steve Clifford held a team meeting following the loss.

The Magic bench struggled and was outscored 47-13 by the Cavaliers' bench. That wasn't the only reason the Magic lost. There were defensive breakdowns, rebounding issues and a lack of execution on offense in the fourth quarter.

Orlando has been one of the better covering road teams in the entire NBA this season, as they have gone 18-14 ATS away from home this season. That statistic bodes well from for a team that will be playing the Sixers, who are only 17-16 ATS at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Magic are also 22-15 ATS against other Eastern Conference teams and look like a very smart bet as underdogs in Philadelphia.

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3️⃣.J. Augustin

📺: @FOXSportsFL | #PureMagic pic.twitter.com/fNPWGVXkoP

— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) 4 de março de 2019
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Houston (38-25 SU, 28-33 ATS) at Toronto (46-18 SU, 26-37-1 ATS)

Tuesday 8:00 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Rockets ATS
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Houston Rockets must reverse a trend when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night if they want to extend their season-best, five-game winning streak. The Rockets have lost on nine of their past 11 visits to Toronto, though the wins came fairly recently, in 2016 and 2017. On the plus side for the Rockets, they have won their past three games away from Houston overall and seven of their past road 10 contests. Houston defeated the Celtics 115-104 in Boston on Sunday with James Harden scoring 42 points before fouling out late in the game.

The Raptors lost 112-107 in overtime Sunday to the Pistons in Detroit, but they have won nine of their past 11 games. Kawhi Leonard, who made the winning shot against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, sat out Sunday because of "load management."

Kyle Lowry scored a season-best 35 points against Detroit. The Raptors have twice lost this season to the Pistons, coached by Dwane Casey, who was fired by Toronto at the end of last season.

Houston is 19-9 this season when Capela, Harden and Paul play together. In the teams' first meeting this season, the Rockets never trailed and held on to defeat the Raptors 121-119 in Houston on Jan. 25. Harden scored 35 points, and Leonard finished with 32.

The Raptors are still trying to work in newcomers Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin as they prepare for what they hope is a long playoff run and in the process are struggling mightily to cover games. The Raptors are one of the worst teams in the entire NBA at covering home spreads, as they have a mark of 14-19 in Toronto. Houston will use this as an opportunity catch up to some of the elite teams in the West and put the rest of the league on notice that the Rockets are back to being contenders.

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