Free Pick for Magic vs. Heat: Miami to Cover Odds & Win

Steven Suarez

Monday, December 29, 2014 5:33 PM GMT

It's been pretty ugly for the Heat so far this season. As we get set to tackle tonight's NBA betting odds, however, Dwyane Wade and company seem to hold good value at home against the Magic.

Odds Overview
Opening NBA odds show Miami favored by 5.5 points at a majority of the top online sportsbooks. To track the live line movements all the way up until tipoff, be sure to check out Sportsbook Review's comprehensive odds monitoring service.

It should be somewhat of a defensive struggle when these two teams collide in South Beach, as evident by a low total of 189.5 on the board. The Heat and Magic are ranked 28th and 29th respectively in points per game this season.

 

Miami Heat
Life without LeBron James hasn't been all sunshine and roses. There have been a lot of struggles for the Miami Heat without the King around, especially now that both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been dealing with injuries. We haven't really gotten a chance to see this team operate at full strength yet.

Having alternated losses and wins over their last five games, the inconsistency has made it very difficult to trust Miami with our NBA picks. We know the talent and winning attitude is there, but we've yet to see it on a consistent basis, which has in turn made the Heat an easy team to avoid for the most part.

That being said, we've been incredibly impressed by Wade's recent play. He's looked as lively as he has in years, having averaged 26.8 PPG, 6.5 APG and 4.3 RPG over his last five games. Of course, his usage is way up due to the injury to Bosh, but he's more than answered the call and is sure to be at the heart of everything Miami does this evening. It remains to be seen if Bosh will be able to play, as he's currently listed as questionable.

 

Orlando Magic
Despite getting tormented by opposing point guard Kemba Walker throughout, the Magic were still able to earn a nice road win over Charlotte on Saturday. With the win, Orlando moved to 12-21 overall, while improving to 8-12 on the road.

It was a nice all-around effort from the Magic, who turned the ball over only six times, while dishing out 22 assists in total. Tobias Harris had 21 points, six rebounds and three assists, Elfrid Payton had a 11/8/7 line, and Nikola Vucevic put up 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier and Ben Gordon all scored in double figures as well, with Orlando hitting 45.8 percent from the field overall.

It looks like Orlando has settled on a starting five, at least for now. Payton and Oladipo have been the starting backcourt duo, while Kyle O'Quinn has been inserted as the starting power forward ahead of Channing Frye. This Magic squad is one of the youngest out there, but they've got some very good young talent in Vucevic, Harris, Oladipo and Payton, so they should only get better and better.

 

NBA Pick
Bosh's status is important to the cause, but we actually do like Miami to win and cover regardless, primarily because of how well Wade is playing at the moment.

We've seen in the past that one player taking over is all it takes sometimes. We can't imagine Wade is happy with Miami's performances of late, and we expect the whole team to step it up and make up for their recent disappointments. Of course, it helps that Orlando hasn't been too good lately either, having gone 3-7 over their past 10 contests overall.

The Magic have lost three of their last four road games and we believe they'll fall short again this evening. With Wade setting the tone, bank on a Miami win and ATS cover.

Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat -5.5 at YouWager Sportsbook