Philadelphia 76ers vs. Orlando Magic
Remember when the 76ers started out the season with three straight wins? Good times.
Philadelphia is now in straight up tank mode as they prepare for a loaded draft. The 76ers have lost 13 straight games and are now 15-44 SU on the year, while going a poor 22-37 against the spread.
What's even more troubling is the manner in which the 76ers have been losing. Ten of those 13 defeats have come by double figures – they lost by a combined 88 points to the Clippers and Warriors a few weeks back – and the defense has been simply non-existent all season long.
The Magic haven't exactly been killing it either, having lost three of four and six of their last eight. They're 18-43 SU and 25-34-2 ATS overall.
That being said, they have been competitive at home where they're almost even at 14-15 SU. Recently they've beaten a couple giants in the Clippers and Thunder in front of their own fans, so you have to figure they'll have no trouble with the pitiful 76ers.
With our NBA picks, however, we are going a different direction and taking the OVER. We mentioned how the defense just hasn't been there for Philadelphia – over their last five games they've allowed 118.2 PPG on 51.0 percent shooting. The Magic haven't been quite as bad, yet they've still surrendered 108.6 PPG over their previous five.
Why would anything change tonight? We're thinking an extremely high final score is on the cards and will therefore recommend the OVER.
Pick: OVER 213.5
The Pacers are doing everything in their power to hold on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but they have to keep winning, considering how well the Heat are playing at the moment.
Indiana's gotten the job done lately, winning four straight games, albeit against very weak competition. They beat the Bucks twice and also got the better of the Lakers and Celtics, three of the worst teams in the NBA.
Tonight they take on another seemingly weak squad in Utah, a team that was just beaten by 20 by the Cavaliers on Friday.
However, the Jazz have actually been playing much better than many probably think. They're 5-4 SU over their last nine, with standout wins over Miami and Phoenix and they've posted a similar 5-4 record against the spread in that span.
We understand how amazing Indiana has been at home this season, but we see value in taking the visiting Jazz tonight. They're still playing hard each and every game and are going to get up for this occasion against one of the best teams in the association.
The Pacers haven't exactly dominated during this winning streak. They barely got past Boston and Milwaukee, so perhaps they'll have trouble pulling away from the Jazz as well. It should also be noted that Indiana is just 8-7 SU and 6-9 ATS in the second games of back-to-backs in 2013/14.
There's also a good chance George Hill won't be able to play again tonight. He missed last night's game in Beantown and the Pacers had to turn to Paul George and Lance Stephenson to handle the ball more. That's not entirely a bad thing, but it's never easy to shake the chemistry up like that.
Pick: Jazz +12.5