NBA Basketball Betting Preview
Dallas Mavericks (33-21) at Orlando Magic (37-18)
Friday February 19th, 8:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Orlando -6, 201 O/U
NBA action heats up Friday night when cross conference division leaders square off when the Orlando Magic host the Dallas Mavericks from Amway Arena at 8:00 eastern time. The Magic own one of the best home court records in the NBA at 21-5 and only two of those losses have fallen since the calendar rolled over to 2010. Needless to say the Mavericks will have a tough challenge awaiting them. However, the Magic were involved in a seven player trade deal that brought Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson to the lineup. Those new faces should make an immediate impact with the Mavericks and they proved those expectations with a 107-97 victory over the Suns on Wednesday night.
Butler was solid in his opening night against the Suns dropping 15 points and Haywood was just one rebound short of a double-double effort. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 28 points in the contests which is nothing out of the norm for the Mavericks. However, point guard Jason Kidd had a great night on the stat sheet ending with 18 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. The 18 points was just 3 points off of Kidd’s season high. For the Mavericks as a team, most expect they have the talent to turn into a solid contender after the trade. The question is how long it will take everything to come together. The Mavericks defensive play has been a bit inconsistent this season, but they definitely have the ability to keep the Magic to a low number. Dallas and Orlando split in their only two meetings last season while this will be both teams’ first meeting against each other this year.
Orlando is coming off an impressive win following the All-Star break as they blew out the Pistons on Wednesday night 116-91. Dwight Howard was outstanding dropping 33 points while pulling down 17 boards in a dominating performance. However, Howard has perhaps not been the most interesting player over the last few weeks for the Magic. Even more interesting is the re-emergence of Vince Carter. Carter struggled severely through the month of January averaging 8.7 points per game. However, Carter not only dropped 20 against the Pistons on Wednesday but he has also averaged 22.1 points per game during the month of February. With the talented lineup the Magic have in their rotation, if Carter continues to stay hot then Orlando could make another run at the NBA Finals. The big advantage Orlando has on Friday night is the home court advantage considering their superb record at Amway Arena and the Mavericks who are just 17-12 on the road. However, this is not the same Dallas team that earned their less than stellar road record as well.
Some key facts to know entering Friday night’s battle is that the Orlando Magic are only giving up 93 points per game on their home floor and also just 95 points overall. The Mavericks are not too shabby on the defensive side of the court as well giving up just 99 points per game. Defense will definitely be key and the Mavericks must keep Howard from posting any more ridiculous numbers to help their cause. I really believe this game has a good chance to post under the 201 total meaning their will be more emphasis on the rebounding/turnover numbers by each team. The Magic turned the ball over twice as much as the Cavaliers in their last loss and it will be another critical aspect to their success on Friday. The Magic will be trying to break a recent trend as they have dropping 5 of their last 6 meetings against the Mavericks. However, Orlando is also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against Dallas as well while winning 8 of their last 9 games SU at home. Dallas is just 1-4 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on the road while reaching the over in 4 of their last 6 games.
Pick – Under 201