An O/U of 187 has risen slowly to 188, with 188.5 also available at a few sites.
The Magic finished last year with a 20-62 SU record, while going 36-44-2 ATS. They've been in rebuilding mode and are still a ways away from competing in the Eastern Conference.
There's still talent here though.
Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, and Glen Davis are some of the “veterans” on the team, but the young guys to look out for are Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless, and even Andrew Nicholson.
Oladipo was the top pick from the Magic in the draft and is going to get all the minutes he can handle. Vucevic emerged as a double-double machine last season, Harris showed some good things after getting traded from Milwaukee, and Harkless also proved he has promise. Nicholson will fight Harris for the starting power forward job while Davis recovers from injury.
During the preseason, the Magic went 2-6 overall, with Oladipo leading the team in minutes (26.3 MPG) and scoring (13.9 PPG). It'll be interesting, with so many young players fighting for time, to see how the rotation pans out for Orlando. We'll get a good idea starting tonight.
The Indiana Pacers finished 49-32 in the regular season and were 42-39 against the spread. They went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to Miami in an incredibly hard-fought seven-game series.
That kind of run should do Indiana a world of good as they head into the new season with another year of playoff experience under their belts.
The starting five is clear. George Hill runs the point, with Lance Stephenson in at the two until Danny Granger proves he's fully healthy. Paul George, who's quickly become a stud in the league, will start at small forward and David West and Roy Hibbert remain in the front-court.
That's a great starting lineup, but the biggest improvements Indiana has made during the offseason has come with their bench. Their second unit gave them practically nothing last year.
To address that, the Pacers brought in Luis Scola from Phoenix, and also reached deals with C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland. When Granger returns to full health, Indiana is going to have a great rotation on their hands.
It's a lot of points to give away, especially on opening night, but the Magic just don't match up to the Pacers right now.
Indiana has chemistry and hardened playoff experience on their side, while Orlando is going to take some time to figure out which rotation works best and which players deserve legitimate playing time. It's going to be a process.
The Pacers know who they are and should come out in front of their home fans and get the job done. They had the league's second-best defense in 2012/13, when they allowed only 90.7 points per game. Hibbert should be able to corral Vucevic inside and Indiana also has the size and athleticism on the perimeter to cause problems for Nelson, Afflalo, and Oladipo.
For our NBA picks? Signs point to yes., let's take the Eastern Conference runners-up to cover the sizable number here in the opener.Pick: Indiana Pacers -11.5