NBA Picks: Profit From Magic & Heat's Continued Florida Rivalry

Mark Lathrop

Friday, April 8, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 8, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

With the Magic playing spoiler as they play their season out, they host the Miami Heat in a cross-state rivalry. Read on our NBA Odds Overview and Betting Preview to find a trend worth backing.

In a game that only has playoff implications for one team, the Miami Heat (46-32) travel to visit their cross state rival Orlando Magic (33-45) on Friday night. The Heat currently hold the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference, but could slip to 8th if they lose out. This line was off the board for some time with both Miami and Orlando figuring to miss some players due to injury. For Miami, Hassan Whiteside is still nursing a thigh injury (played Thursday), while the Magic don’t know if Aaron Gordon will get through concussion protocol to play on Friday either.  Miami has swept the season series both SU and ATS, but still find themselves as one-point underdogs on the road in Orlando. The O/U total has opened at 207, but is being bet up to 207.5 at sites such as Heritage.

The Miami Heat have finished the regular season on a strong note, going 14-6 SU since the end of February. Their offense has also picked up some steam in the last month of the year as well. The Heat have scored in triple digits in 17 of their last 20 games. That has only led to an 11-9 O-U record though, as the NBA odds makers have inched up the bar for the Heat’s listed totals over the last week or so. The turn has been dramatic, with the Heat cashing Unders in 6 of their last 7 games.

The Heat are coming into this one having played last night against the Chicago Bulls, winning 106-98 and ending the Bulls playoff chances. The Heat started off slow, only scoring 40 points in the first half, before exploding for 66 points in the second half. The scoring effort was well rounded too, with seven Heat players scoring in double digits. Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside pulled down double-doubles in the game as well.

The game before the Heat beat Chicago, they walloped Detroit 107-89 at home easily covering a 4.5-point spread. Detroit just happens to be Orlando’s last opponent, and they lost to the Pistons at home, 108-104. It was a close game throughout, but in the end, it was Detroit’s hot three-point shooting that put them over the top. Five players scored in double digits for the Magic with Nikola Vucevic pulling down a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. It was a departure of sorts from a string of strong play that the Magic had exhibited since getting eliminated from the playoffs on March 25th after a loss to Miami. Since that game, the Magic had gone 4-1 SU and ATS. Orlando has also cached the over easily if 4 out of their last 5 games.

This will be the first game of a short home-and-home series between the Heat and Magic over the weekend. After this game tonight, the teams travel to Miami to play on Sunday afternoon. In a way, these games with Orlando have less to do with Miami’s playoff seeding than a matchup with the 4th seeded Boston Celtics in their last game of the year on April 13th.

With both of these offenses putting up triple digits with regularity, I’m looking at the Over for wagering value in this game. The Magic have scored 104 more points in six straight games, after all. For this reason, I’m jumping on the Over early and taking it at 207.5 at Heritage as my Friday Night NBA Pick.

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NBA Pick:  Heat Over 207
Best Line Offered:  at Bookmaker

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