My loan game for you this evening features the Magic hosting the Lakers, and lines opened up in this one favoring the Lakers on the road. The NBA odds makers have LA favored by -8, with a total of 206 ½.
This should also be an interesting game, as this will be the first time Dwight Howard makes his way back to Orlando after the trade. What a story it would be if the Magic’s new ensemble of characters dispatched the Lakers tonight?
Orlando beat the Sixers (probably one of the most depressing stories in NBA history) last Sunday at home, and then they had a day off before welcoming in the Lakers this evening. LA has also played their last two games at home, winning both of them SU.
Orlando, however, has traditionally been one of the leagues worst home teams ATS, and tonight they are taking eight points. The Lakers are coming in hot winners of three straight, and the Magic have not faired well recently at home, losing seven of their last eight games in Orlando. A lot of that can be blamed on injuries, especially to Jameer Nelson, but the squad is starting to heal.
With a somewhat healthy (still no Hedo Turkoglu due to the suspension and no Glen Davis) cast tonight for the Magic, I’m not sure if the Lakers are worthy of the heavy price tag that the odds makers are giving them.
Lakers in club
The Lakers are back in the Western Conference playoff picture and steadily climbing. Another win tonight on the road could help them dodge facing the Thunder or Spurs in the first round. There are still 20 games to go, and now LA is an eight-point road favorite this evening, a place they have been only 15 times this season. The Lakers are 7-7-1 ATS as road favorites this season.
Obviously, Howard was playing for the other side in most of these two team’s exchanges in the past, but LA has not had much success in making the long road trip to Orlando. The Lakers are 1-4 SU in their last five games against the Magic overall, although they have only played once this season where the Magic won in LA back in early December. LA is 2-5 SU in their last seven trips to Orlando.
The Sharp Pick
Even though the Magic have been awful ATS at home this season, the Lakers aren’t that much better on the road. The end all for me, besides the fact that this is a long trip for the Lakers, is their ATS record in non-conference games this season. In games against the East this season, the Lakers are 9-15-1 ATS, while the Magic are actually 15-10 ATS against Western Conference opponents this season.
I understand they have won three straight games, but those three wins were against three subpar teams, two of them were at home, and all of them were single digit margins of victory.
I think it’s safe to say that Chicago, Toronto and New Orleans are all better than Orlando, but not by much, and this one is on the road, a place where the Lakers are 11-20 ATS this season. LA is also 6-12 both SU and ATS in their last 18 road games. The Magic will want to play hard tonight and welcome Dwight back the proper way. Take the points.
My NBA Pick: Magic +8 at 5Dimes
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