Magic vs. Clippers NBA Picks & Predictions

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 6, 2014 2:42 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 2:42 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers have been an average team when playing without the services of Chris Paul, as they return home to host the Orlando Magic Monday. With injuries taking their toll on both teams, how do we plan on leaning with our NHL picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this non-conference matchup at the Staples Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. 

[gameodds]5/252080/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Heading to the West Coast

Orlando is 0-3 SUATS in its last three games, including a 110-94 setback to the Miami Heat as 10-point home underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total of 199.5. 

The Magic have dropped all four road games against non-conference opponents, as they get set to open up their first West Coast road trip Monday night. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 11-8 SUATS versus Pacific Division foes, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (9-9-1 Over/Under).

Returning home

Los Angeles split a pair of road games in the Lone Star State, as it looks to bounce back from a 116-92 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs as 9.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the NBA odds for a third consecutive affair. 

The Clippers have actually dropped 11 of their last 13 meetings against the Magic, which includes a five-game losing streak when playing at this venue. 

It’s important to point out that the franchise leads the NBA in scoring at home—averaging 109.7 points a game in that situation. 

Vucevic

NBA handicappers will want to keep an eye on the injury report, with Magic center Nikola Vucevic being listed as questionable to return after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. 

Orlando earned a 98-90 victory over Los Angeles as 6.5-point home underdogs in the first meeting on Nov. 6, with Vucevic leading the charge with 30 points and 21 rebounds. 

Life without Paul 

The Clippers have split 20 games without the services of point guard Chris Paul since the 2011-12 campaign, while they’ve compiled a 109-55 SU record when he suits up for action.

Los Angeles is expecting shooting guard Jamal Crawford to provide a lift on the offensive end while one of its stars is out for three-to-five weeks, as he’s averaging 20.6 points and 4.3 assists in playing 13 games without his backcourt mate.

Outlook 

I’ve established the Clippers as five-point home favorites if Vucevic suits up for the Magic, which signals a play on the home favorite at a number below that mark, while the road underdog is attractive at a price of +5.5 or higher.

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