Lots of Scoring Chances Likely to Send Hawks-Magic Total 'Over'

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, February 8, 2018 4:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 4:10 PM UTC

From the moment the odds were released for tonight's Hawks-Magic game, sharp action started shifting the point spread and total. Is there still value left in the opening odds? I think so.

Thursday NBA: Hawks vs. MagicFree NBA Pick: Over 214½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Atlanta has been playing a lot better on both ends of the court as of late, and now they have a divisional matchup against one of their main competitors for lottery positioning. In other words, both teams wouldn’t mind losing this one.

After the Magic opened as -3 favorites on the NBA odds board, the number was quickly bet down to -1½. However, the total is where I’m looking for value in this game. That number already has gone up two points to 215, and even with this big shift upward, the "over" still looks like a strong play.

These teams have combined to cash the "over" at 14-7 in divisional matchups this season, including in both of their games against one another. Even with Orlando’s recent battle with injuries, this Hawks defense is nothing to get scared of, so I don’t think scoring will be the problem for Orlando.

Both teams rank 24th or worse in defensive rating, and with Orlando playing at a pace of more than 101 possessions per game, both teams will have plenty of opportunities to score.

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If you look at the highlights from the previous meeting above, the Magic's Aaron Gordon was out but they were still getting almost anything they wanted offensively against the Hawks. Dewayne Dedmon being back does help Atlanta's defense, and the lack of Nikola Vucevic does hurt, but that might increase the pace of this game.

Keeping that in mind and with the Magic cashing the "over" in four of their last six games, I like the "over" with my NBA picks tonight.

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