NBA Picks Celtics vs. Magic to go Under

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, January 19, 2014 2:34 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic meet up to finish off this week of NBA action, and the NBA Odds have the Celtics as -2 road favorites, with a total of 195 points. Join our handicapper as he shares our NBA picks for this game.

While these two Eastern Conference foes haven’t been battling in the playoffs very much over the last few years, there is still a slight rivalry left from the Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett days. The Magic are still without their best player, so will it lead to the C’s being the play here, or will the Magic turn things around now that they are back at home?

Undersized

The Celtics already don’t have a center on their roster other than rookie Kelly Olynk, and without Nikola Vucevic, the Magic have 6’8 Glen Davis playing center, which has killed them on the glass and in their interior defense. Vucevic has already been ruled out for today’s game, so don’t think a surprise return is happening here this Sunday.

With both of these teams drastically undersized, it’s going to be very hard for either to get easy baskets. Even though both team’s defenses could use a lot of work, without a solid offensive minded big man on both teams, this game could have limited scoring.

The total of 195 ½ could be much too low for this game starting earlier in the evening. Both of these teams have struggled to score the ball some this season, and up against one another tonight, I think the under could have the best value of any play on this game, despite both team’s defensive shortcomings.

The Sharp Pick

These teams combined have been great value on betting the under this season, and I see the trend for both clubs continuing. On the season, the two teams are a combined 46-35 cashing the under listed by online sportsbooks, and once again without Vucevic, the Magic scoring is going to be limited.

The Celtics have cashed the under in 13 of their 20 road games this season, including their first meeting with the Magic back in early November, These two teams have played one another twice this season, once in each arena, and the time in Orlando was a gritty and low scoring game that cashed the under.

Now back in Orlando, I could see more of the same from these two offensively challenged teams. Rajon Rondo is back for the Celtics, but since he is still on a 20-minute limit until further notice, I doubt his offensive upside is going to add too much to this game.

Even though the Magic have been horrible on defense since Vucevic went down, I doubt it affects them too much here. The total is very inflated thanks to their horrible defense recently, but with the Celtics coming to town, they get to face a team almost as offensively challenged as they are.

Both teams have been bad on defense in their last ten games, but there were also some long road trips carved into those games. Even with the Magic giving up about 105 points per game, the Celtics are not talented enough on that end of the floor to drop 105 with ease. They just traded Jordan Crawford, who was one of their main sources of offense. Look for this game to be filled with enough bricks to lay a house, and for the under to be the NBA pick for this one.

My Pick: UNDER 195 ½

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