NBA Pick: Orlando Magic +2½ over Washington Wizards

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 14, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The 6-28 Wizards have now won two straight games, but they still have not done enough to be favored over anyone, let alone over a Magic team that just beat the L.A. Clippers on the road.

The wrong team might be favored on Monday night when the Orlando Magic (13-23, 6-11 away) pay a visit to the potent Washington Wizards (6-28, 5-13 home) at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET.

The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Orlando as a small underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of -110.

The Wizards have now pulled off back-to-back upsets after a 4-28 start, first stunning the Oklahoma City Thunder101-99 last Monday and then beating the Atlanta Hawks 93-83 on Saturday with both of those wins coming here at home. Before going on with the particulars of this game, consider that teams coming off of back-to-back upset wins that are then favored are just 53-71-5 ATS for a 57.3 percent fade since 2007.

That makes sense because a lot of times those are bad teams that are not accustomed to being favored and usually wilt when they are suddenly expected to win. That is a perfect description of these Wizards, who are already 0-2 straight up as favorites this season, losing to both the Charlotte Bobcats and the Cleveland Cavaliers here at home.

Now the Wizards did beat the Magic 105-97 here the last time these teams met, but Orlando was the 1½-point favorite in that contest. Washington also now has John Wall back, as he made his seasonal debut vs. the Hawks on Saturday after missing the first 33 games of the season with a stress injury to his left kneecap, and he immediately contributed 14 points and four assists in 20 minutes off the bench.

The news is not all good for Washington on the injury front though, as leading scorer Jordan Crawford missed the Atlanta game with an ankle injury and remains questionable for tonight and the Wizards will probably also be without Cartier Martin, who scored a season high 13 points vs. the Miami Heat three games ago but hyperextended his left knee in that game and has not played since.

The Magic ended a 10-game losing streak by beating the team that was tied for the best record in the NBA at the time when they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-101 at the Staples Center as 12½-point underdogs on Saturday, snapping the Clippers’ franchise record 13-game home winning streak in the process!

While the Magic had been 0-10 since the injury to Glen Davis, they continued to play hard and it was not as if they were getting blown out in most of the losses. In fact, seven of the 10 losses were by four points or less, another was by six points in overtime and another was by eight-points, so only one of the 10 losses was by double digits. In fact, the upset over the Clippers leaves Orlando at 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.

The Magic have also actually been one of the best bets in the NBA on the road all year, going 12-4-1 ATS overall away from home, 12-3-1 ATS in tonight’s road underdog role. The only time Orlando was a road favorite this year was in the loss on its last trip to D.C, and that revenge motive should prevent a letdown after the big win over the Clippers.

Look for the Magic to get that revenge and win their second straight on the road on Monday.

[gameodds]5/134180/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Magic +2½ (-110)