Orlando Magic ATS is the NBA Pick in Houston vs. Rockets

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 8:03 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Tuesday.

 



It could be a closer game than the double-digit point spread implies Tuesday night when the Orlando Magic (21-47, 10-25 away) pay a visit to the Houston Rockets (44-22, 24-9 home) at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX at 8:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Florida.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Orlando as a large underdog for this contest with the current line at +11 with odds of -108.


Rockets Looking to Move Up
The Rockets come off of a huge 100-98 road win over the Clippers Sunday despite Blake Griffin making his return for Los Angeles and nearly notching a triple-double in his first game back, leaving Houston as the fourth seed in the Western Conference and second in the Southwest Division, 2½ games behind the first place Memphis Grizzlies. The Rockets are also just one-half game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the three-seed in the conference.

The Magic have no playoff aspirations as they are in last place in the Southeast Division, although they continue to give a string effort under interim coach James Borrego, who took over for the fired Jacque Vaughn. Unfortunately that effort has not resulted in many wins on the court as Orlando has been the losing NBA pick in eight of its last 10 games including the last four in a row.


Magic Playing Harder Under Borrego
Most recently the Magic were routed at home by LeBron James and the Cavaliers 123-108 on Sunday, although to their credit, blowout losses like that have become rarer since Borrego took over and besides the Cavaliers are doing that to a lot of teams these days. In fact, Orlando is actually a commendable 10-7-1 ATS in the last 18 games despite being 6-12 straight up in those contests.

Furthermore Sunday’s result marked just the fourth time in this span that the Magic have lost by double-digits, so they would be 14-4 ATS vs. this posted line tonight. And it is not as if Orlando is only playing well vs. the dregs of the league either, as six of the 10 ATS covers the last 18 games have come against teams currently in the playoffs.


Possible Letdown Spot
Meanwhile, while the Rockets certainly have a realistic chance to win their division and move up to second in the conference, this particular game is not the best of spots for them. This is Houston’s first home game in 11 days as they are returning from a four-game road trip, and teams can oftentimes be flat in their first home game back following road trips of over a week, especially during the first half or so.

That would be the case under normal circumstances, and now there is yet another reason for the Rockets coming out a bit lethargic as they come off of a huge road win that had playoff implications vs. a marquee opponent on national television two days ago, and now must face an obviously inferior team and in a non-conference game to boot! That does not mean that Houston will lose this game, but we can certainly see a sleepwalking effort allowing the Magic to hang.


Orlando Won First Meeting
And let us not forget that the Magic upset the Rockets in Orlando in the first meeting between these teams this season 120-113 on January 14th. Yes that could put Houston in a revenge spot, but it is not as if Orlando is some big rival or anything and we think the other factors mentioned that could lead to a letdown here supersede the revenge angle.

With all of this in mind, we recommend taking the double-digit points with Orlando when it visits Houston on Tuesday.

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NBA Pick: Magic +11 (-108)