Those looking to place NBA picks might think that neither LA Lakers nor Orlando Magic are worth a bet, as they are playing out the string on lost season. We know better, and see value in the total.
Lakers-Magic Betting Odds
Most of the NBA odds market opened this game with Orlando favored by 2.5 points, the total pegged at right around 202. In early betting many books bumped the Magic to -3 and -3.5.
Orlando has lost 10 games in a row, and 16 of its last 18, after falling at San Antonio Wednesday night 110-103. Just before that the Magic lost at Oklahoma City 104-97. But they did cover both those games, as underdogs of 10 and 13 points.
Orlando only trailed the Spurs by a point Wednesday with about five minutes to go, before fading. On the night the Magic shot 50 percent from the floor, and made 10 of 21 from 3-point range, but allowed San Antonio to shoot 52 percent, and make 14 of 32 from long range.
Since Christmas, while going down the tubes, Orlando is 10-10 ATS.
Big-picture, at 15-37 and just having fired their head coach the Magic are a ship adrift at the moment.
LA recently snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 123-118 overtime upset of Chicago last Thursday. But since then the Lakers lost at New York – New York! - 92-80 and at Milwaukee in overtime Wednesday night 113-105. LA never led against the lowly Knicks, trailed by 21 at one point and shot just 36 percent from the field. Then Wednesday the Lakers blew a six-point lead in the final minute of regulation, giving up a game-tying 3-pointer with a second left, and lost in OT to the Bucks.
LA only shot 42 percent Wednesday night, while allowing Milwaukee to shoot 50 percent.
At 13-36 about all that can be said for the Lakers is they're four games ahead of Minnesota in the battle to stay out of last place in the Western Conference.
LA took the first meeting between these teams this season about a month ago 101-84, covering as a two-point favorite, winning that game without Kobe. The Lakers led that game throughout, and ended up winning the battle on the boards by a 71-43 margin.
That game played UNDER its total of 198, as the teams combined to shoot just 40 percent from the floor.
Lakers-Magic Key Stats
LA ranks 25th in the league in FG shooting at 43 percent, and 28th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46.5 percent.
Orlando ranks 11th in FG shooting at 46 percent but 29th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 47 percent.
LA is without Kobe Bryant for the rest of this season because of a bad shoulder, and now C Jordan Hill (12 points, eight boards PG) is out with a sore hip. Not that the Lakers were going anywhere this season.
Lakers-Magic Betting Trends
LA is 6-19 SU,11-12 ATS on the road this season.
Orlando is 5-17 SU, 7-15 ATS at home.
LA is 21-27 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, even as Lakers games have averaged 205 points.
Orlando is 26-25 on the totals, as Magic games have averaged 198 points. Also, Orlando has also allowed each of its last 14 opponents to hit the 100-point mark.
Lakers-Magic Free Pick
Neither of these teams inspires any betting confidence at the moment, so we can't make a NBA pick on the side. Instead, noting that neither of these teams is very good at playing defense, we'll go with the OVER.
Free NBA Pick: Lakers/Magic OVER 202 at YouWager