Magic 4.5 vs. Lakers for NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Sunday, March 23, 2014 12:25 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic are both regulars at the NBA playoffs bar, but both will miss the party this season. So how will things shake out when the teams meet Sunday night? Here's our guess, along with a free NBA pick, to be used at the reader's discretion.

The Line
As of early Sunday morning most NBA betting outlets were chalking LA at -4.5 on the basketball odds board for this game, with a total of 216.

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The Situation
LA has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight after falling at home to Washington Friday night 117-107. The Lakers shot 47 percent from the field, but allowed the Wizards to shoot 48 percent, failing to cover as five-point home dogs.

Orlando, meanwhile, has lost eight in a row, after an 89-88 defeat Saturday night at Utah, losing on a three-pointer with two seconds left. The Magic shot just 39 percent from the floor, but covered the spread as four-point dogs.

So Orlando, at 19-51, owns the third-worst record in the East, while LA, at 22-46, has dropped to last place in the West.

In the first meeting this season between these two teams back in January the Magic beat LA in Orlando 114-105. The Magic shot 48 percent from the field that night, and made nine of 17 shots from beyond the arc in covering the spread as three-point favorites.

That game played OVER its total of 210, as the teams combined to shoot 47 percent from the field, going a combined 21-for-39 from 3-point land.

 

Magic-Lakers By the Numbers
Orlando is shooting 44 percent from the field this season, 35 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the free-throw line. On the other end of the hardwood the Magic are allowing opponents to shoot 45.5 percent.

Los Angeles is shooting 45 percent from the floor, 38 percent from long range and 75 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 46 percent.

Neither of these teams has been very good on the boards this season; Orlando ranks 24th in the league in rebounding at -2.4 per game, while LA ranks dead last at -7.9 per game.

 

Magic-Lakers Betting Trends
Orlando has lost 22 of its last 23 games on the road.

Orlando has trended toward the UNDERS this season by a 39-31 margin, as its games have averaged 199 total points.

LA has trended toward the OVERS this season by a 40-28 margin, as its games have averaged a league-high 211  points.

The Magic are 12-23 ATS on the road this season.

The Lakers are 15-17 ATS at home.

LA is 5-7 ATS this season as a favorite.

Orlando is 23-31 ATS as an underdog.

 

Injury Update
LA, of course, is without Kobe Bryant for at least the rest of this season. But Nick Young, who had missed a lot of recent action with a sore knee, returned to the court Friday night, as did Steve Nash, who hadn't played in more than a month.

Then again, Lakers C Chris Kaman, F Xavier Henry and G Jordan Farmar are all dinged up, and iffy for Sunday night.

Orlando, meanwhile, has played its last two games without G Jameer Nelson, who's dealing with a bad knee of his own. He is listed as questionable for Sunday night.

 

Free NBA Pick
This is a tough one, because neither team has done much lately to inspire any confidence, and motivation is a huge unknown. But LA is banged up, Orlando a little less so. And the Lakers have basically forgotten how to play defense. So we'll go with Orlando and the 4.5 points offered at Pinnacle for our free NBA pick for Sunday.