NBA Picks: Raptors vs. Magic

Joe Freda

Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:26 PM GMT

The Toronto Raptors were edged out Wednesday in a 123-116 overtime loss to the Miami Heat, while still cashing as 10-point road dogs against the betting odds. Now it's time for the Orlando Magic.

NBA Thursday: Raptors head to Orlando

Dwayne Casey’s club plays Thursday’s second night of its back-to-back spot against the Orlando Magic, who went 0-3 ATS in their trio of duels over the past week. Can the Magic end their slide here or will the Raptors cash again in “O-Town? and beat the NBA odds?”

Raptors, DeRozan outgunned in Miami

Toronto shot 50 percent from the field in Wednesday’s defeat, while sizably outrebounded, 53-28. Raptors forward Alan Anderson notched a team-high 20 points off the bench, uniting with mate Jose Calderon to drain 9-of-18 buckets beyond the arc.

Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan logged seven assists en route to 12 points, while guard Terrence Ross recorded two of his squad’s eight steals. The Raptors sank 14-of-18 free throws, while allowing Miami to connect at 54.9 percent from the floor.

The duel’s combined 239 points did not need its extra minutes to soar above the ‘total’ of 194 ½, moving the OVER to 6-0 in the Raptors’ last six games. Toronto led by as many as 15 points, while outscored in the paint, 48-44.

Magic, Redick downed in Detroit

Orlando’s latest defeat came in Tuesday’s 105-90 setback as a 4 ½-point road dog against the Detroit Pistons. The Magic allowed Detroit to hit 46.2 percent of its field buckets, while being edged out in boards, 54-41.

Magic guard J.J. Redick piled in 26 points, drilling 5-of-6 shots from three-point land as part of a 9-for-10 night from the field. Orlando’s Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic united for 24 points, while notching nine assists and nine boards, respectively.

The contest’s combined 195 points ‘pushed’ the closing ‘total,’ making the OVER move to 13-1-1 in Orlando’s last 15 games. Magic forward Arron Afflalo was held scoreless in 38 minutes of action, shooting 0-for-4 from the floor.

[gameodds]5/134734/43/us[/gameodds]

Back the Magic at home

Bookmaker.eu opened Orlando as a 3 ½-point home favorite, while first posting the ‘total’ at 196 ½. Early wager on the Magic and OVER drove the numbers north to four and 198 ½, respectively.

I am agreeing with the initial betting ‘steam,’ adding a NBA picks ticket on Orlando as home ‘chalk’ here. Toronto is caught in a spot of no rest after a grueling overtime battle, marking it the third contest out of their last four that needed an extra stanza.

Orlando also looks to end a losing streak, while also trying to avenge its three defeats from the Raptors earlier this season. The latest affair in December between the foes resulted in a 123-88 spanking for the Magic, with Orlando having no answer that night for Toronto’s 15-for-27 shooting outside the arc.

Magic center Nikola Vucevic sits atop the Eastern Conference in boards (11 RPG), while Jameer Nelson is among the group’s top five for assists (7.2 APG).  Orlando has found its home rims at a 46.6 percent clip of field shooting, while landing a sizable 38.4 percent from three-point land.

Look for Orlando to have the spot it needs to reel off some octane again, pulling away down the stretch for a cashed ticket.

NBA Free Picks: Orlando Magic -4 (Bookmaker.eu)