NBA Betting Preview & Pick – Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic
Pointspread: Orlando -8.5
Total Line: 176
The Boston Celtics will look to complete the home-and-home sweep of the Orlando Magic when the two face-off this Thursday night at the Amway Center. Tip-off for this Eastern Conference clash is set for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Boston’s season has not gone as expected with a 7-9 straight-up start (8-8 against the spread) but it has to be happy with Monday’s 87-56 rout over Orlando as a seven-point home underdog. The Celtics now get a shot at the same team on the road, where they are 2-4 SU, but 4-2 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 10 of their 16 games overall, but has gone ‘over’ in four of six on the road.
Age and injury are starting to take their toll on Boston as it has had major struggles with consistency from one game to the next. Ray Allen remains doubtful for Thursday with an ankle injury, Jermaine O’Neil is questionable with a twisted knee, and Rajon Rondo will be a game time decision with a sore wrist.
Other than Monday night’s debacle, which was the lowest point total in franchise history, Orlando is off to a solid 12-5 start SU and is 10-7 ATS. It is 6-2 SU at home this season and 4-4 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of its eight home games.
The Magic continue to play under a cloud of uncertainty concerning Dwight Howard’s future with team, but the effect so far have been minimal on their actual performance on the court. Howard remains the primary reason for the team’s success with 19.7 points and 15.6 rebounds a game, but there are four other players scoring in double figures to add some balance to the lineup.
The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Southeast Division and 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games played with two day’s rest. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of their last seven games against the Southeast.
The Magic are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a losing record on the road. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 12 of their last 15 games in the conference.
Head-to-head including Monday’s win, Boston is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 12 of the last 16 games in Orlando. Stick with the Magic to put forth a much better effort this time against the banged-up Celtics.
The Pick: Orlando 88 Boston 75
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