Add Lakers vs. Magic to Friday's NBA Picks

Jordan Sharp

Friday, January 24, 2014 3:23 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 3:23 PM UTC

It’s another big night in the NBA, and a night after giving the Miami Heat all they could handle, the Lakers continue their Grammy road trip in Northern Florida to play the Magic. Whoever wins this game, it’s the Magic who have really won.

The Lakers got owned in the Dwight Howard deal, and now they are +1 ½ underdogs to the Magic tonight with NBA odds listing the total at 206. Will LA shake off the back-to-back and go into Orlando and get Mitch Kupchak some revenge, or will the slumping Magic beat down the banged up Lakers?

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Boom Boom Pau 

Pau Gasol had a nice game last night against Miami, and now he goes into Orlando, a place where interior defense is unheard of without their start center, Nikola Vucevic. While the Magic big man is still dealing with a concussion, Gasol should feast once again tonight. Despite it being about the time where teams fall off on the second night of a back to back, even a loss last night against Miami could have given some momentum and confidence to LA. Without literally almost half of their full roster last night, the Lakers stayed with Miami and outscored them in the 4th quarter. Going up against a much less talented team tonight in Orlando, LA might be able to out-pace the Magic to a small victory.

The Magic have been really bad recently, even at home. Their defense has been giving up a ton of points, and as you can imagine, a lot of them have come in the paint. The Lakers’ perimeter players can get to the rim, and with literally no one over 6’9 on their roster, it’s going to be hard to defend the basket tonight if you are Orlando. The Magic have given up over 108 points per game in their last ten games, and while the Lakers have been even worse on defense in their last 10, they have a giant advantage down low with Gasol

The Sharp Pick 

Orlando is 1-5 SU in their last six home games, and furthermore they have only won once in their last 13 games. In their last 19 games, the Magic are only 6-13 ATS. While LA is also in a pretty bad SU slump without Kobe Bryant, they are in a solid position tonight, and I think they may be undervalued coming off of the back to back. As I mentioned above, they probably gained at least a little confidence from last night, and carrying that over tonight against Orlando is possible. 

While LA is only 5-5 ATS on the second night of a back to back, Orlando is only 2-6 ATS as a home favorite this season. The Lakers are actually 13-11 ATS this season when playing as dogs on the road, and the key could lie in the Lakers’ record against the Eastern Conference, of which they have been very undervalued ATS. 

With their cover last night against the Heat, the Lakers are now 12-4 ATS when playing the Eastern Conference. Only the Indiana Pacers have a better record in non-conference games, and with how bad the Magic have been, it’s hard to say that they are nearly two points better than LA tonight in any arena. Have you seen how many people come to Magic games? When you place your NBA picks, look for the Lakers to be a solid value in the spread or moneyline tonight.

My Pick: Lakers +1 ½


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