Add Home Dog Magic Over Clippers to Your NBA Picks

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:50 PM GMT

The Clippers begin the first game of a seven game road trip in Orlando. While the Clippers offense and defense have both taken a step backwards, the Magic have been lighting it up from 3-point range, enabling them to win 5 out of their last 8 games. Do the Magic have a chance tonight against CP3 and Blake Griffin? See what we think as we provide you with our betting pick.

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

 

No Respect?
Even though the Orlando Magic have been the much more effective team lately, the oddsmakers aren't buying it as the Clippers have been the better team since Dwight Howard's time in Orlando. Orlando is a 5 point betting underdog and the total for the game is 203.

Although there's no doubt that the Clippers are the better basketball team, I'm a bit surprised that the Clippers are such a large favorite, especially with their offense sputtering.

Bettors like to take the better team. Do we fade the Clippers in this spot as Orlando leads the league at 41.3% from 3-point range and are coming off of a sizzling shooting performance in which they shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range en rout to a 107-93 win over the Detroit Pistons?

 

Difference Maker
He might not be the best player on the Mag, but when Tobias Harris plays well, the Magic, seem to win. This is a player with a high upside that's capable of going for 40 points in any given game. While Harris hasn't hit the 40 point mark just yet, he's been the model of consistency where production is concerned.

He's averaging 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in his last 5 games and is shooting well over 50% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. As long as he continues to play like this, the Magic will be a winning ball club and will be underestimated where odds are concerned. Look for Harris to have another 20 plus point effort against the Clippers. He's oozing with confidence.

 

Nikola Vucevic
This is a center that's flown under the radar because he hasn't played on good teams the past couple of seasons. People think that there's opportunity for ordinary players to produce because the Magic have a depleted team. I think that's incorrect as this is a team with some good pieces that's rebuilding and maybe Vucevic is just a really good big man that can score efficiently and control the paint.

Vucevic leads the Magic in points (18.8) and rebounds (11.8). He's coming off of a 25 point, 14 rebound effort against Detroit. Facing the size of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, Vucevic will be tested, but look for him to be effective in this game. Orlando is playing with a lot of confidence lately and Vucevic has been the model of consistency.

 

A Good Barmoeter
Maybe after a 105-89 loss at home to the Chicago Bulls, the Clippers have realized that they haven't been playing as well as they have in the past and they might be sliding down "the food chain" where the top level teams in the NBA are concerned.

In this game, the Bulls starters outscored the Clippers starters, 86-53 and this was without Pau Gasol. While DeAndre Jordan compiles a massive amount of rebounds like the 17 that he got against the Bulls, he's not a bigtime scorer and there's something missing regarding the fluidity of the Clippers offense.

Big numbers are good, but team consistency and clutch play are important also. When I look at the San Antonio Spurs, their numbers are small in comparison to the Clippers, but their team contains the missing ingredients that the Clippers don't have and L.A is ranked 22nd in points allowed and 29th in rebounding. Poor defense won't lead to a title.

 

Key Players
Look for the Clippers to stay with their 1-2 punch of CP3 and Blake Griffin. This is one of the best point guard-big man tandems in the game and Jamaal Crawford has taken over J.J. Redick's spot as a key player.

Crawford has that live by the sword, die by the sword playground style of play, but when he's on a hot streak, it's best for other players to keep feeding this veteran the basketball. Crawford is having a big season, averaging 18 points per game, but to me, he's not a winning player due to his wildness and lack of consistency. This type of play is why the Clippers are 5-4.

 

Outcome
The Magic are in a good spot here, at home, and with young and talented players that are gaining major confidence by seeing results. 5 points on NBA odds is too much for Orlando at home. Take the points for your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Orlando +5 at 5Dimes

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