Magic vs. Clippers
Along with elite performance comes a lot of respect from betting odds makers. It looks like they're finally catching up though, with the Clippers favored by 12.5 points at most NBA betting sites.
The UNDER has gone 3-1-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these teams. That being said, the OVER is 5-2 in L.A.'s previous seven and has hit the mark, crazily enough, in nine straight games involving Orlando.
It's been a rough holiday season for the Magic. They haven't won since December 19 against Washington.
However, it's not like they haven't come close. Of those 10 straight defeats, only one came by more than eight points. The Magic lost by only two against Miami and Chicago and were also competitive with New York at home and Denver and Portland on the road
The latest loss was against the Nuggets. Six different players hit double figures, though Jameer Nelson (20 points and eight assists), Nikola Vucevic (10 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks) and J.J. Redick (four threes leading to 17 points) were the standouts.
Orlando did make backers happy though, easily covering as 11.5-point underdogs. That means the Magic will be taking a 5-1 ATS record over their last six road contests into tonight's matchup.
This ATS success has come with a shorthanded rotation too. E'Twaun Moore, Gustavo Ayon, and Hedo Turkoglu are all doubtful, while Glen Davis and Al Harrington remain out. The Magic will need to battle hard against L.A.'s incredibly deep team.
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Los Angeles Clippers
A return to Staples Center has brought three straight wins for the Clippers. They topped the L.A. Lakers (107-102), Golden State (115-89) and Dallas (99-93) to push their record to 28-8.
On Wednesday night, the Clippers looked sluggish, turning the ball over 21 times and making only 61.9 percent from the charity stripe. That's when Chris Paul decided to take over and put the team on his shoulders.
CP3 was unstoppable, finishing with 19 points, 16 assists, five rebounds and two steals. He was getting everyone involved and his decision-making down the stretch was top notch. Elsewhere, Blake Griffin had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Matt Barnes nailed five threes en route to 19 points and seven boards.
With the SU and ATS win, the Clippers moved to 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 home contests.
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Can they get it done again tonight?
Well, they'll have to do so without Grant Hill (and Chauncey Billups), who's still working his way back from a knee injury. Still, it's not like L.A. has been doing too bad without the experience of those two veterans.
As good as the Clippers have been this season, it's not a lock they'll cover tonight. While L.A. is an impressive 15-6 ATS, Orlando has been an excellent money-maker on the road – the Magic are 11-4-1 ATS away from home.
A ton of people are going to be rolling with the Clippers and we don't blame them. It's not easy fading an L.A. team that looks to be the real deal.
However, we're biting the bullet and going that route anyway. Orlando is missing components, yet these guys are still hanging close with a bunch of good teams. We feel there's a chance L.A. will sleep on the struggling Magic, so we're taking those 12.5 points and hoping for a closer game than the masses think.
Pick: Orlando Magic +12.5 at 5Dimes
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