Look to the Total for Best Value NBA Pick: Heat vs. Magic Will Be Close Contest

Darin Zank

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 1:09 PM GMT

Miami dominated its rivalry with Orlando when it had LeBron; now, the Magic would probably like a little payback. How do we bet Wednesday night's Heat-Magic encounter in Orlando?

Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic Betting Odds
Most NBA books we checked with opened Miami at around -2 for tonight's game, with a total of around 197; most of those books then bumped the Heat to -3, and the total to 198.5.

 

The Situation
Miami is 2-1 SU, 1-1-1 ATS since the All-Star break, after defeating Philadelphia Monday night 119-108, pushing the spread at -11, in its first game with newly acquired G Goran Dragic. The Heat actually trailed that game by six points early in the second half, then exploded on a 32-12 run to take over. For the night Miami shot 55 percent from the floor, hit 11 of 21 three-pointers and, led by Hassan Whiteside, won the battle on the boards by a 58-42 margin.

The Heat had that spread covered in the final minute, until Philly hit a meaningless 3-pointer with 40 seconds left.

Miami had opened its post-break slate with a 111-87 victory over New York, then lost at home to New Orleans 105-91.

At 24-31 the Heat own the seven spot in the Eastern Conference, but they're just a half-game ahead of eighth-place Brooklyn and a game and a half ahead of ninth-place Charlotte. So there's not much room for error if Miami wants to make the playoffs.

Orlando is 3-0 SU, 1-1-1 ATS since the All-Star break, and 4-2 SU, 3-2-1 ATS since it made the change at head coach, following Sunday's 103-98 victory over the Sixers. The Magic shot 48 percent from the floor in hanging on for a hard-fought victory, but came up short ATS at -9.

Just before that Orlando beat the Pelicans 95-84, and just before that it beat the Knicks 89-83.

At 19-39 Orlando is six games out of eighth place in the East.

 

Recent History
These teams have split two games already this season, both winning on the others' home court. Back in November the Heat won in Orlando 99-92, but a month later the Magic upset the Heat in Miami 102-101.

The Heat shot 52 percent from the floor in those two games combined, while Orlando shot 49 percent.

That first meeting stayed UNDER its total of 191, but the second meeting played OVER 190.

Before this season Miami had beaten Orlando 10 times in a row, but of course the Heat had that guy named LeBron on their team during that time.

Check out our top Money Line NBA Pick for Wednesday: Mavs vs. Hawks.

By the Numbers
Miami ranks 11th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, but 24th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.

Orlando ranks 10th in FG shooting at 46 percent, but 28th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 47 percent.

 

Heat-Magic Betting Trends
Miami is 14-15 SU, 16-12 ATS on the road this season.

Orlando is 9-18 SU, 10-16 ATS at home.

Miami has skewed toward the UNDERS this season by a 32-23 margin, as Heat games have averaged 190 points. However, Miami has also played five OVERS in a row, mainly because it's scored at least 109 points in three of those games, well above its season average.

Orlando is 27-30 on the totals, as Magic games have averaged 197 points. They've also played five games that ended up with scores under the NBA odds in their last six games, mainly because they've held each of their last six opponents to 98 points or less.

 

Injury Update
Miami is without F Chris Bosh, who's gone for the season with a rather serious health issue.

 

Heat-Magic Free Pick
Miami looks like it's got the edge here, but Orlando has won three in a row. So we're going to pass on the spread. Instead, we look at the Heat's recent performances, and notice this; over their last seven games Miami has yo-yo'd offensively from 101 points to 85, to 109, to 93, to 111, to 91, to 117. Our guess is the Heat won't shoot 55 percent from the field tonight, like they did last time out. So we'll place our NBA pick UNDER for what should be a tight contest.

Free NBA Pick: UNDER 198.5 at BetOnline