NBA Picks: Magic Superior Defense To Take The Win & Cover Over Wizards

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, January 9, 2016 4:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 4:47 PM GMT

A nice divisional battle is set to take place this evening to kick off the night slate of NBA Odds, as the Wizards travel into Orlando to play the Magic. Can we trust either of them?

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NBA Pick: Magic -2.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

B2Bs and Underperforming
If it weren’t for teams like the Pelicans and Bucks, we would be talking a lot more about how bad the Washington Wizards have been this season. A lot of it has to do with the loss of Bradley Beal, but even with Beal the Wizards have severely regressed from where they were heading into the playoffs last season.

Tonight they travel down into Orlando to play the Magic, and the NBA Odds have the Magic as -2 favorites, with a total of 197½. Both teams are coming off games last night, as Orlando was all the way up in Brooklyn where they got a win, while the Wizards were at home against the Raptors. Both teams had a way to travel after their games last night, and as we head into the dog days of January, both teams will have some tired legs heading into this matchup.

However, on the season, the Magic have been pretty successful playing on no rest, Orlando is 4-2 ATS this season and even though they are 2-4 SU on the second night of a back to back, the Wizards aren’t much better. Washington is only 2-5 SU this season on the second half of a back to back, and they are 3-3 ATS.

Orlando might once again be without their starting point guard, Elfrid Payton, but Victor Oladipo has been steady in his absence, and tonight against a tired Wizards team, Oladipo should once again have a big night like last night. Orlando is 11-8 ATS when playing at home this season, and while the Wizards have beaten the Magic twice already this season, both games were in Washington, and one was the first game of the season where Beal was active and scored 24 points.

 

The Sharp Pick
What this game boils down to for me is the Magic’s defense going up against the defense-less Wizards. On the year the Wizards have been trying to play faster, and while it’s working, it’s not helping their defense one bit. The Wizards have become one of the league’s worst defensive teams, and going up against one of the better ones tonight could poise some problems. Scott Skiles is simply going to let any other Washington player beat them that’s not named John Wall.

The Wizards’ point guard has been very good this season, and without Beal for now two different stretches this season, Wall has had to carry this team on his back. Even though the Wizards have won their last five games SU against the Magic, outside of the two wins in Washington this season, you can’t look at that and simply like the Wizards tonight. Orlando is a borderline top ten home defense this season, giving up only 98 points per game to their opponents in the Amway Center. Compare that to the Wizards who are giving up over 104 points per game when playing on the road this season, and you have a recipe for the Magic to win and cover this one as the NBA pick.

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