It’s Friday once again, which means it can only be time for another NBA Picks Battle between my self and Swinging Johnson! He has been killing it at 10-2 over the last six weeks, while I am just a meager 6-6. However I really like my plays tonight, so the comeback starts here!
Raptors vs. Magic
The Raptors need a win tonight to try and keep pace in the third seed race in the Eastern Conference, and the NBA odds recognize that here this evening, as they have the Raptors as -6 road favorites tonight in Orlando to play the Magic, with a total of 201. Toronto might not want the 3rd seed if it means a second round matchup with the Cavaliers, but I don’t think that means as much to them as a guaranteed home game in the first round. The Bulls and Wizards are close enough to force the Raptors to keep winning, and even though Kyle Lowry still looks on the doubtful side tonight, this could be a big offensive game for the Raptors.
That being said however, instead of risk anything on a late-season spread, I am looking towards the total for this one to give me value. The over might be one of the better early-evening plays tonight, and this game is ripe with value. The Magic offense has looked better recently, and Elfrid Payton has been a big reason why. His recent play has propelled the Orlando offense, and over their last 11 games the Magic are averaging 99 points per game.
The over has also been good to NBA Bettors with the Magic at home, as they’ve cashed eight of their last ten from the Amway Center. On top of that, the Raptors come into this game having cashed the over in 14 of their last 20 games overall, and in six of their last seven road games. The Raptors have also been great at cashing the over against losing teams, as the over is 21-7 in their last 28 games against teams with winning percentages of less than 40%.
NBA Pick: OVER 201 at BetOnline
Pacers vs. Pistons
The Pacers are fighting for their playoff lives tonight as they head into the Palace of Auburn Hills to play the Pistons. A loss here would almost certainly send the Pacers to the lottery, so the NBA Odds have the as -5 road favorites here this evening against Detroit, with a total of 197. However the Pistons would love to play the role of spoiler for their divisional rival, and at -5 the Pacers are slightly overvalued here.
The Pistons have been awful on the road lately which killed any chance of them making the playoffs, but they are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, and they are 5-1 ATS as home dogs as well. The Pistons have also cashed at 7-3 ATS in their last ten games, and with Greg Monroe back and Paul George still limited to only 15 minutes, I see the Pistons covering here. Indiana is only 10-24 in their last 34 games as road favorites, and while it may be a bit of a risk taking points with a team that has nothing to play for, pride may be the only thing the Pistons need to cover the spread tonight at home. I’m taking the points with my NBA pick.
NBA Pick: Pistons +5 at Bookmaker