Believe it or not the Orlando Magic are the top team against the NBA odds so far this season, with seven covers in eight games. But they've done that mostly as underdogs; tonight the Magic are solid favorites for their home bout with the Lakers.
Lakers-Magic Betting Odds
Wednesday's NBA odds market opened Orlando at -7.5 and -8 over Los Angeles, with a total of 201; in the early betting most books bumped the Magic to -8.
Los Angeles is 1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS this season, with two losses in a row, after falling at Miami Tuesday night 101-88 without Kobe Bryant. The Lakers only trailed by a point at the half, but faded in the second half, scoring just 39 points, and just missed on the cover as 11-point dogs.
LA hit 11 of 22 shots from 3-point land Tuesday night, but got outrebounded 57-42 and lost the turnover battle 18-12.
Sunday the Lakers lost to the Knicks in New York 99-95 but covered as five-point dogs. LA's only victory so far came two days prior, a 104-98 decision at winless Brooklyn.
Orlando, meanwhile, is 3-5 SU but 7-1 ATS, and had won two in a row, before losing at Indiana Monday night 97-84. The Magic actually led that game by three points midway through the fourth quarter, but went dry from there, giving up a 19-3 Pacers run to not only lose, but miss on the cover as four-point dogs.
On the night Orlando only shot 40 percent from the floor, hit just 10 of 33 shots from long range and committed 22 turnovers.
However, just prior to that the Magic won at Philly 105-97, and just prior to that they upset Toronto 92-87 as six-point home dogs. Also, Orlando's first four defeats came by a total of 14 points, and two came in overtime.
Lakers-Magic Recent History
These two teams have split their season series each of the last four years. Last season both teams won and covered at home, LA taking the first meeting 101-84, Orlando taking the second 103-97 in overtime.
The Magic outshot the Lakers in those two games combined 46 percent to 40 percent.
Also, those games played UNDER totals of 199 and 201, even with the overtime period in that second meeting.
LA is 4-3 on the UNDERS this season, even as Lakers games have averaged 211 points.
Orlando is 5-3 on the UNDERS, even as Magic games have averaged 203 points.
Orlando C Nikola Vucevic (16 points, eight boards per game) has missed recent action with a sore knee, and is questionable for tonight. On the other side of the scorers' table Kobe is dealing with a sore back, and is doubtful. Our guess is the Magic will miss Vucevic more than the Lakers will miss Bryant.
Lakers-Magic NBA Picks
Orlando is the better team at the moment, working on a brighter future, and has been a great bet so far, going 7-1 ATS, 6-1 as an underdog. But the Magic are favorites here, and inflated ones at that; the last time Orlando was favored by this much, last April, it lost outright to the Knicks. Meanwhile, the Lakers might be better off without Kobe. We'll take LA and the points. Also, with just enough help from free-throw time near the end this game should play OVER.
NBA Picks: Lakers +8.5 and OVER 201 at Heritage