NBA Picks Heat vs. Magic

Joe Freda

Saturday, November 23, 2013 1:53 PM GMT

Saturday’s NBA has the rivals meeting in the back end of a home-and-home set, with the Magic heading south as larger dogs.

The Miami Heat pulled away in Wednesday’s 120-92 victory over the Orlando Magic, cashing as seven-point betting odds favorites on the road. 

Heat, James light up Magic

Heat forward LeBron James notched a team-high 21 points against Orlando, while adding seven assists. The nine-time All-Star sank 11-of-11 free throws, with mate James Jones draining 5-of-7 buckets from three-point land. 

Miami’s Michael Beasley came off the bench for seven boards, leading his club to outrebound the Magic, 40-25. Heat veterans Ray Allen and Chris Andersen combined for 16 points, with Andersen logging two of his side’s six blocks. 

Magic guard Arron Afflalo came away with 30 points, while he and Miami’s Mario Chalmers were hit with a double-technical. Orlando’s Victor Oladipo and Moe Harkless united for nine assists, with Oladipo adding two blocks.

Afflalo and Co. trailed by as many as 36 points, while held to a 40.8 percent night of field shooting. Orlando was outscored in the paint, 38-20, with the battle’s 212 points soaring OVER the ‘total’ of 200 ½.

Wade expected to return

BetOnline opened Miami as a 13-point home favorite for Saturday’s rematch, while first setting the ‘total’ at 200 ½. Early wagers on the Heat and OVER drove the numbers north to 13 ½ and 203.

Heat guard Dwayne Wade missed Wednesday’s affair with a knee injury, but is listed as “probable” to return in this spot. Orlando will have no rest before Sunday’s home date with the Phoenix Suns, while Miami will have one night off and host Phoenix as part of Monday’s league slate.

Back the Magic on Saturday

I am taking the points with Orlando for my NBA picks in this affair, going with the ‘zig-zag’ effect as the Magic look to bounce back with a closer contest.

Orlando is 2-0 ATS in this year’s pair of spots as a double-digit dog, cashing in road duels against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers. The battle in Minnesota saw the Magic erase a 17-point deficit en route to a 120-115 overtime defeat, while finding the rims at a 47 percent clip.

Miami has allowed foes to connect at a sizable 39.1 percent clip beyond the arc, which should open up chances for Orlando’s Arron Afflalo.The UCLA alum leads the Eastern Conference in three-point shooting (33-for-61), while ranking fourth in scoring (22.5 PPG). 

Orlando’s last five road meetings with the Heat have been decided by 12 points or less, while Miami is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games that followed a double-digit victory. The Heat have gone 2-4 ATS in their six matchups as a favorite of 8 ½ points of more, giving up 100.8 PPG in that stretch.

Look for the Magic to stay within cashing range here, connecting their share of buckets and catching Miami in an overvalued position.

NFLPick: Orlando Magic +13 ½ at Bet365