Free NBA Pick: Take Magic To Pull An Upset Against Clippers

Charles Stark

Friday, February 5, 2016 12:10 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 12:10 PM GMT

Even though they lost to Minnesota, the Clippers have been rolling without Blake Griffin so it makes sense for them to be the road favorite tonight in Orlando. Let's check the NBA odds now!

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NBA Pick: Magic +4.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

NBA odds experts have come out making Orlando a +4 underdog and a total around 205 . It makes sense for the Clippers to be favored considering how well they have played the past month, but the value in my opinion is on Orlando. For one of my selections tonight I will take the Magic plus the points to take this game to the wire or possibly pull off the minor upset.

 

Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles is averaging 104.3 points per game while shooting 46.2% from the field and allowing 100.5 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the field. On the season they are 23-23-3 overall against the spread, and 12-10-2 on the road. There is no denying how well they have been playing this last month, but I really think Orlando could give them some trouble tonight. Not to be too hard on them, but their strength of schedule has not been anything to brag about and they are currently 6-4 in their last 10 games. The wins in that stretch came in overtime to Houston, against struggling New York and Chicago teams, two one bucket wins against Indiana and Atlanta, and then beating the Lakers at home by eight. Traveling across the country to take on an Orlando team that has not been playing nearly as well as they are capable of will not be an easy task. Offensively the Clippers rank as one of the better teams in the league ranking fourth in overall in three point shooting percentage. They have been controlling tempo and been very efficient in putting the ball on the basket. However, most of their scoring comes outside the interior as they rank last in the NBA at just 36.8 points in the paint. Defensively they are good but not great but rank in the top part of the league in most offensive categories. Notably they rank seventh in opponent shooting percentage, and eighth in opponent effective field-goal percentage. Tonight they face an Orlando team that although as been struggling record wise, they haven't been a push over.

 

Orlando Magic
Orlando is averaging 99.3 points per game while shooting 45% from the field, and allowing 100.7 points per game on 44.6% shooting from the field. On the season they are 26-21-1 overall against the spread, and 12-11 at home. One would imagine their ATS record would be much worse considering how much they have struggled their last 10 games, but they are being competitive for the most part. Orlando is coming off of a tough two-game road stretch where they had to travel to San Antonio and OKC. Prior to that they beat Boston at home, a team that has been really hot this past month. I can't put my finger on what the issue is with Orlando, but my best guess is that they are simply young. It is rare that they get blown out of any game, and for the most part they have stayed close with their competition but simply have not found a way to win. Not to say they haven't been ugly a couple times these past few weeks, but on the whole they are competing hard which is what I would expect from a Scott Skiles coached team. Offensively they rank in the middle of the league in most categories but they do push tempo averaging 85.8 field-goal attempts per game, ranking eighth in the NBA, and making 38.6 of those which ranks sixth in the league. They move the ball well playing unselfish basketball averaging 22.6 assist per game which ranks ninth in the league, and have the ability to score from distance averaging 35.8% from beyond the arc. Defensively it is more of the same, ranking in the middle of the league. However, they do rank in the top 10 in opponent field goals attempted and made per game, as well as 11th in opponent three point shooting percentage and opponent points in the paint.

Just looking at Orlando statistics you would be surprised at how the losses have piled up the last few weeks. Still, they have a winning record at home at 13-11, and are not nearly close to being anybody's doormat in the league. This is a talented team, albeit young, and I expect them to put in a great effort tonight against perhaps a bit overachieving Los Angeles. For one of my NBA picks I will grab the points with Orlando and look for them to possibly pull off the minor upset.

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