NBA Pick: Orlando Magic +9 over New Orleans Hornets

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 4, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Magic have one of the worst teams in the NBA, but the Hornets are one-half game from having the worst record in the West and have not been favored by this much all year.

In a game between two bad teams where neither team probably deserves to be a nine-point favorite over the other on Monday, the Orlando Magic (16-44, 7-21 away) pay a visit to the New Orleans Hornets (21-39, 11-18 home) at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA at 8:05 ET.

The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Orlando as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -110.

Now believe us when we tell you that we realize the risks of putting money on a team like the Magic that has lost 31 of its last 35 games and is playing no defense while allowing over 100 points in nine of the last 11 games. Believe it or not though, Orlando has a winning record against the spread on the road at 15-12-1 ATS, mostly due to playing to inflated lines with bettors so reluctant to play them.

It could simply be that the Magic relax more on the road after constantly listening to the abuse of the home fans, who have become accustomed to making the playoffs every year while Dwight Howard was in town. Regardless of the reason, this team has been a true horror show at home while at least showing some semblance of a pulse away from Orlando.

The last time the Magic played a road game, they beat the Philadelphia 76ers by 14 points 98-84 on one of the two occasions in the last 11 games where their opponent failed to reach the century mark, and it is not as of the Magic are facing a high caliber opponent in New Orleans tonight.

These teams went right down to the wire the first time they faced off this season down in Florida with the Hornets prevailing.97-94 the day after Christmas, and a similarly tight game here would not be at all surprising as New Orleans simply does not have the offense to consistently cover large spreads like this one.

Now we would normally quote a stat at this point about what the Hornets record is when favored by eight points or more, except that this is the first time all season that New Orleans has bee favored by that many!

The Hornets have improved since guard Eric Gordon returned from his torn ACL as he and Greivis Vasquez have teamed to form an exciting and productive backcourt. The bottom line though is that New Orleans is still only one-half game ahead of the Sacramento Kings for the worst record in the Western Conference, and the Hornets are still just 23rd in the NBA in scoring at 94.2 points per game, an average that actually drops to 92.4 points at home.

The Hornets have won eight games all season by double-digits, which is what would be required to cover this lofty spread, and to make matters worse the Bees are now a bit undersized. Number one overall draft pick Anthony Davis remains out with a bone bruise on his shoulder and fellow forward Jason Smith has now been lost for the season with a torn labrum.

Conversely, there is about a 50/50 chance that Jameer Nelson could possibly make his return for the Magic tonight, but whether he does or not, look for another close battle between two bad teams just like the first meeting and take the big points with Orlando on Monday.

[gameodds]5/220053/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Magic +9 (-110)