Free NBA Picks: Expecting High Scores In Magic & Hawks Game

Charles Stark

Monday, February 8, 2016 12:50 PM GMT

For NBA basketball Monday we are going to take a look at the back to back contest between Atlanta and Orlando. Orlando won at the buzzer when Atlanta visited yesterday. Let's review the NBA odds.

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NBA Pick: Over 200.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

NBA Odds experts have come out for the total of this game at 200.5 and Hawks as an 8 point favorites. By just looking at the last two times these teams have matched up this total seems too high on paper. However, when we look at the pace that these teams were going at just yesterday, not having a high-scoring game was attributed to less than stellar shooting. For my selection today I'm point to back over the total in this contest because I expect them to be more efficient offensively tonight.

 

Orlando Magic
Orlando's averaging 99.2 points per game while shooting 44.9% from the field, and allowing 100.8 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field. On the season they are 24-26 overall on their over under totals, and 14-11 away. Yesterday they got a really crucial win with a big shot by Nikola Vucevic at the buzzer, a game that got them out of their recent slump. This team has struggled a lot these past few weeks, and I was surprised at how poor they played in their game before Atlanta when they played the Clippers. Still, this team has some talent and I like how they push tempo averaging 85.7 field goal attempts per game which ranks eighth in the NBA. They were spot on that number yesterday against Atlanta, but the reason they didn't score more points was how poorly they shot from beyond the arc. On the season Orlando averages 22 attempts from distance averaging 35.5% per game. Against Atlanta they shot just 27% from distance, and they only got to the line 12 times. Both of these statistics are well below their averages, and I expect them to score at the very least the same amount as they did yesterday. Defensively Orlando ranks in the middle the league in most of their defensive categories. On the season the Magic rank in the bottom half of the NBA in opponent shooting efficiency, opponent two point shooting percentage, and opponent effective field-goal percentage. On the road tonight I think they will have a hard time stopping Atlanta who should be looking for a bit of revenge.

 

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta is averaging 102.2 points per game while shooting 46.1% from the field, and allowing 99.6 points per game on 43.9% shooting from the field. On the season Atlanta is 26-27 overall on their over under totals, and 12-13 at home. Last night they shot about as poorly as they possibly could shooting just 38.5% on the field. However, they were very efficient from beyond the arc and they pushed the tempo all game putting up 91 shots. Atlanta is a very good scoring team at home and I expect them to put up well over 100 points tonight against Orlando which should help to get us over this total. On the season Atlanta ranks third, fourth, and fifth in the NBA in two point shooting percentage, shooting efficiency, and effective field-goal percentage respectively. They also rank in the top 10 in most offensive categories and are still in contention as far as the Eastern Conference goes. Defensively they have been less than stellar this season but they do rank eighth in the NBA in overall opponent shooting percentage and opponent two point shooting percentage. What I like about the total tonight is Atlanta allows opponents to push pace as they rank in the bottom third of the league in opponent field goals attempted per game.

The last two times Orlando and Atlanta have matched up their final totals were well below what odds makers have established today. Nevertheless, because of their pace for my NBA pick tonight I will back over the total when these two meet up in Atlanta. Expect a high tempo game with more scoring than last night.