Free NBA Pick for Close & Low-scoring Match: Heat vs. Magic

David Lawrence

Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:09 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 1:09 PM UTC

Heat trying to go through a season without Wade. Orlando learning to play with the young players. Who will come out on top in this NBA betting matchup of Floridian teams with uncertain futures?

The Miami Heat Can Win Because…
Their ability to play without Dwyane Wade is something that should subject the Heat to several questions, there’s no doubt about that. However, the Heat have proved on some occasions that they can in fact win without Wade. One game came this past Monday, and not at home, either. The Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 95-83. With Chris Bosh – who scored 28 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday – leading the way for the Heat, Miami has a central anchor through whom it can run its offense, providing needed stability. The young players and the newcomers on the Heat are getting more minutes as a result of Wade’s prolonged absence from the lineup. The Heat are a work in progress, but while this team will struggle at times, it will also have some moments in which it comes together. Playing the Magic could be one of those moments for Miami.

The Magic are only 22nd in the NBA in offense, averaging under 97 points per game. Their defense is not terrible, but it’s not quite good, averaging roughly 100 points through Friday night. The Heat can certainly maneuver around this opponent. Miami will receive stiffer challenges from other Eastern Conference clubs this season.


The Orlando Magic Can Win Because…
They're playing the Heat without their spiritual leader and the icon of the franchise. Dwyane Wade has been the face of the Miami Heat, even though LeBron James was the central star the past four years. Wade is a Miami legend, the player who has been with the franchise throughout the past decade, leading the Heat to three championships. Other players are getting more playing time, but in the meantime, the Heat don’t have a player who unquestionably makes them better. Orlando should be able to attack Miami a little more on offense, and it will not have as big a price to pay on defense, with Wade out. The Heat also have an offense that’s 21st in the NBA in scoring, and what’s worst about Miami is that it is last in the league in rebounding, the franchise’s persistent Achilles heel even in the LeBron era. That’s carried over to this year. Orlando should be able to get plenty of loose balls and minimize Miami’s ability to score on putbacks or other kinds of hustle plays. With Miami scoring inconsistently, NBA odds just point out that the Heat are compromised in terms of finding other ways to score. As long as Orlando does not have an abnormally bad offensive game – meaning that it doesn’t score well below its average of nearly 97 points – it should like its chances.

The game should be close and low-scoring, but Miami has few quality scoring options outside of Chris Bosh. Orlando can take Bosh away and feel it will get enough stops to win the game. Take the Magic with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Magic at Pick'em at BookMaker

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