NBA Picks: Magic & Heat Small Ball Gives 'Over' 210 Betting Value

Mark Lathrop

Friday, March 25, 2016 11:08 AM UTC

Friday, Mar. 25, 2016 11:08 AM UTC

Our NBA handicapper analyzes roster and results trends between these two teams to find the best betting angle for our NBA picks in this Florida only matchup.

The Orlando Magic (29-42) are at the end of a brutal road trip as they finish it against their in-state rival Miami Heat (41-30). The Magic gain nothing in winning this game, other than losing important draft position for next year, while the Heat can move 3 playoff seeding spots depending on the night’s action. The sports books have taken notice to the divergence in motivation for each team and have instilled the Heat as 9-point favorites at 5Dimes. The O/U total can currently be found at 210 over at Pinnacle.

The Magic have lost 8 of their last 10 games straight up, and even though they might not be intentionally tanking, they are losing anyway. They seem to be content in benching their star center, Nikola Vucevic, for the rest of the season with a groin injury in an attempt to preserve him for a possible offseason trade. More on the consequences of that later.

With Atlanta holding the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference with 42 wins, and the Heat currently in the 5th seed with 41 wins, any victory down the stretch for Miami has serious implications for a possible first round matchup.  Although there are really only three teams the Heat could realistically match up with in the first round, if the Heat get 4 seed or above they would hold home court advantage. That would be good news for Miami, as they have compiled a 23-13 home record on the season so far, against just an 18-17 record on the road.

Miami’s home success starts with their shooting, as they hit a hot 47.7% from the floor at home. And they will be glad to get back home too after their last game against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs blew out the Heat in the second game of a back-to-back, 112-88, as Miami failed to score more than 100 point for the first time in 11 games. In fact, Miami had averaged 113.4 points per game this month coming into that matchup. If there was any indication on how hard it will be for the NBA champion to come out of the Eastern Conference this year, this was it.

Back to the Magic. Recent statistics show that since Vucevic has been removed from the lineup Orlando has increased their pace by more than any other team in the league. This hasn’t showed up in O/U records though, as the Magic are 6-9 O-U in their last 15 games. A date with the hot shooting Heat may be enough to get that trend starting in on direction though, as Miami has cashed the Over in 8 games straight.

But as the Over lines up in trends in this game, any fading of the Heat in this matchup also goes against some superior trends. Miami has only lost SU once to the Magic in over four years. That’s not likely to end in this game, with the Magic shorthanded and facing a more motivated Miami team at home.

With Vucevic out for the Magic and Orlando forced to employ a small matchup, the pace of Orlando has shown to increase. Miami’s lineup should play along nicely with this too because of their injury statuses as well. Chris Bosh has been out and also Luol Deng could miss this game as well with a quad injury. They will have to go small and fast which should push the pace. Take Over 210 in this game as one of your Friday NBA picks.

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NBA Pick: Over 210
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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