NBA Finals Betting Preview
Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando Magic
Thursday, 9:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Orlando -2, 201 O/U
Lakers lead series 2-1
The Orlando Magic needed some motivation from the home crowd to get their swagger back and that is exactly what happened in Game 3 Tuesday night. The Magic down 2 games answered back with a strong offensive performance and was able to post 108 points to beat the Lakers by 4 points. Orlando impressively knocked down 62% as a team from the field marking their best all around effort thus far throughout the playoffs. Los Angeles played a solid game, but just didn’t have the spark they needed to capture the victory. The Lakers also were very strong from the floor knocking down 51% as a team. Neither team had over 30 rebounds in the game just to put on emphasis on how well both teams were shooting Tuesday night. However, now Orlando has some confidence back on their side and is hunger to grab another victory this Thursday night at home to even up the series.
Orlando really clicked in all aspects of their game Tuesday night. Dwight Howard was solid on the inside, despite not getting as many touches as expected. Rashard Lewis made some critical three point shots at important parts of the game. Lewis and Howard both had 21 points a piece to lead Orlando in scoring. However, Rafer Alston may have been the biggest difference maker on the floor in Game 3. Alston was consistently able to drive to the basket and make shots rattle in the cylinder. Alston finished with 20 points and also did a nice job of distributing the ball as well. Hedo Turkoglu added 18 points with a solid shooting effort going 7 of 12 from the floor meaning Orlando’s leading 4 combined for 80 points which is by far the best effort they have gotten from their starter in the NBA Finals. Perhaps it was the home crowd environment that sparked the strong play or it was simply Orlando had their back against the wall and could not afford another loss. Which ever it was, the Magic will need to do it again this Thursday night.
Los Angeles looked very strong despite a terrific performance from Orlando. Despite the Magic hitting nearly every shot, the Lakers still had a legitimate shot to come out victorious. Can Orlando really play that well 3 more games or do the Lakers just need to continue playing strong like they have been? Kobe Bryant had another big night despite growing cold in the 2nd half. Still Bryant managed to put together 31 points by the time the buzzer had sounded. Pau Gasol had another strong performance with 23 points going 9 for 11 from the field. However, the Lakers simply did have enough in the tank in the end to overcome Orlando. Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum both have uncharacteristically quiet nights as the two combined for only 13 points. The amazing observation from Game 3 is how well Orlando played and still how the Lakers could have won the ball game. Los Angeles matched Orlando’s intensity on the glass and shot the ball well. The Lakers had some foul concerns from the early on in the game and that could have taken some of the aggressiveness out of their defense. However, the Lakers still must do a better job at contending Orlando’s shots in Game 4. The Lakers will surprisingly be a two point underdog as many will jump on those odds.
Pick – Lakers +2