Orlando is 8-2 against the NBA odds this season; Washington, is 0-3 both SU & ATS over its last three games. Why are the Wizards favored by so much for Saturday night's bout with the Magic?
Magic-Wizards Betting Odds
Most of Saturday's NBA Odds market opened Washington at -6 over Orlando; most books then dropped the Wizards to -5.5. Also, the market was holding off on posting a total on this game, probably waiting for better injury news.
Those who think the Magic might win this game outright could get a price of +210 on the NBA moneyline at 5Dimes.
Orlando (5-5 SU, 8-2 ATS) has won two games in a row, and four of its last five, after beating Utah Friday night 102-93. The Magic led by 18 after one quarter and by 23 midway through the fourth quarter, allowed the Jazz to sneak within seven points with just over a minute to go, but held on.
On the night Orlando only shot 42 percent from the field, and committed 22 turnovers, but hit 28 of 31 free-throws and held Utah to just 39 percent shooting.
Wednesday night the Magic beat the Lakers 101-99, but they couldn't cover as eight-point favorites.
Washington (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS), meanwhile, has lost three games in a row, after falling at home to Oklahoma City Tuesday 125-101. The Wizards, playing without G Bradley Beal (23 PPG) and F Nene, trailed the Thunder by 18 points at the half and by 29 early in the fourth, and never mounted a comeback, even with OKC forward Kevin Durant in the locker room nursing a leg injury.
Washington shot just 39 percent from the floor Tuesday, while allowing the Thunder to shoot 51 percent.
Last Saturday the Wizards got blown out in the fourth quarter in a 114-99 loss at Atlanta, and just before that they lost at Boston 118-98. So they're not playing very good ball as of late.
Must Read: Rewarding Free NBA Picks of the Day for Saturday's Hoop Action
Magic-Wizards Recent History
This is the second meeting between these teams this season; Washington nipped the Magic in Orlando in the season opener for both teams 17 days ago 88-87 on a John Wall bucket with 12 seconds to go.
The Magic led that game by five points with two minutes left, before the Wizards finished with a 6-0 run. But Orlando hung on to cover as a four-point home dog. Washington only shot 39 percent from the field that night, but held Orlando to just 37 percent shooting. Consequently, that game played way UNDER a total of 202.
So the Wizards have beaten the Magic nine times in a row, including a four-game sweep of the season series last year. But Orlando has covered three of the last four meetings, losing close games while getting points.
Also, four of the last five meetings in this series have played UNDER, as those games have averaged just 185 points.
Orlando is 6-4 on the UNDERS this season, as Magic games have averaged 202 points.
Washington is 5-1-1 on the OVERS, as Wizards games have averaged 213 points.
Beal will probably miss tonight's game for Washington, but Nene might play. On the other side of the scorers' table Orlando G Victor Oladipo (15 PPG) missed Friday night's game after suffering a concussion earlier this week, and is doubtful for Saturday night.
Magic-Wizards Free NBA Picks
Orlando is playing better defense than Washington, doing a better job on the boards and taking better care of the ball. We like the Magic for tonight, plus the points as our NBA Pick. Also, these two teams have produced some close, relatively low-scoring games over the last season-plus, so we're thinking UNDER.
NBA Picks: Orlando +5.5 at Pinnacle and UNDER