Beat The Odds & Make Magic Your NBA Pick Against Celtics

Swinging Johnson

Monday, March 21, 2016 1:14 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 21, 2016 1:14 PM GMT

The Magic travel to Boston after dropping their last three while the Celtics snapped a four game slide with a win over Philadelphia last night. Let’s review the NBA odds tonight.

Orlando Magic (29-40 SU, 39-29-1 ATS)
If you happen to be a fan of the Orlando Magic you are undoubtedly frustrated with their efforts recently - and all season for that matter - having lost three of their last four. However, if you have been including them in your NBA picks the results have been nothing but net. The Magic have ATS covers in their last four contests and are a money-making 39-29-1 against the number this season. It only goes to prove that even lousy teams can deliver the goods financially if given enough of a head start by the NBA odds makers.

Last night Orlando commenced a four-game road trip in Toronto with another loss on their record but another ATS cover for the backers. The Magic held a two-point lead heading into the second half but couldn’t hold on against the Raptors. When the final buzzer sounded Toronto prevailed with a 105-100 victory but Orlando cashed as nine-point road dogs. It was the 13th loss by five points or fewer for the Magic this season. Orlando center Nikola Vucevic and his 17.8 points per game average missed last night’s game with a groin strain.

 

Boston Celtics (40-30 SU, 36-32-2 ATS)
The last four games before the Celtics’ meeting with the lowly 76’ers have not been kind to Boston. Just when they needed to continue jockeying up the Eastern Conference ladder they began a freefall that began against the Rockets and ended in Toronto on Friday night with losses to the Pacers and Thunder wedged in between. But the Philadelphia 76’ers are the antibiotic to all things that ail an opponent and the doctor made a house call to the Boston Garden last night that culminated in a desperately needed 120-105 Celtics’ victory.

Six Celtics notched double digits against the Sixers and All-Star Isaiah Thomas led them all with 26 points while Jared Sullinger netted 17 and grabbed 13 boards. It was a four-game series sweep for Boston and has now won their last eight against the team from the City of Brotherly Love. Amir Johnson, in his first year with Boston via Toronto, was unconscious from the floor shooting 9-of-10 for 18 points and eight rebounds. Johnson has seen an uptick in his minutes with the injury to Jae Crowder and he has delivered on both ends of the court with seamless passing and solid defense. Although Johnson has been a starter most of the season he is averaging about the same amount of minutes as a key player off the bench. Coach Brad Stevens is cognizant of the nagging injuries that can plague Johnson and has limited his minutes so he is fresh for the postseason.

 

Betting Analysis
Both teams will be flying into Boston after games last night so tired legs may be the common denominator in tonight’s tilt. Though the series between these two clubs ever so slightly favors the Celtics 6-5 straight up and ATS, it has strikingly partisan leanings. The Celtics are 5-0 straight up and against the spread against the Magic when the venue is Boston. This season Orlando is 2-1 straight up and ATS against the Green with the only game they dropped and failed to cover took place in – you guessed it – the Boston Garden.

While I am not one to normally buck a trend I believe the NBA odds makers have inflated this line just a tad to thwart all the snipers who have done their homework and have seen how pivotal a role home court plays in this series. The Magic may not win very often but they do cover and will do so again tonight.

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NBA Pick: Orlando +8.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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