February 3, 2011

Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic: NBA Expert Handicapper Pick



Miami Heat
(34-14, 23-24-1 ATS)

Orlando Magic
(31-18, 21-27-1 ATS)

Sunshine State rivals duke it out in a clash that NBA betting fans won’t be able to wait to sink their teeth into, as the Miami Heat face off with the Orlando Magic in a pivotal Southeast Division battle.

Miami is playing great ball right now and is up to 20 games over .500 for the first time this year thanks to this three game winning streak. Of course, the only team that even has the remotest potential of making the playoffs on this stretch is the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that 108-103 win on the road was one of the better triumphs of the season. It’s great to see the “Big Three” back together again, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are all healthy and ready to give it their all against the Magic. The three were off just a tad against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, but your big boys can take a back seat to your bench warmers when you’re playing the worst team that NBA betting action has seen in years. At this point, LeBron is averaging 26.0 points per game, while D-Wade is at 25.7 and Bosh is at 18.5. These are precisely the numbers that everyone was waiting for these three to put up on a regular basis, though the injuries have been scary and have produced some unforeseen results.

To say that this is one of the biggest games of the year for the Magic is an understatement, as there aren’t going to be many more chances like this to try to inch closer to the Heat in the Southeast Division. Orlando has had some very shoddy results of late, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies on the road and the Detroit Pistons at home since January 24th, but all in all, there have been a lot of solid results as well. This is a big, big stretch of four days, as both the Heat and the Boston Celtics show up on the schedule. Injuries are starting to creep up on the Magic as well, as they are likely without both JJ Redick and Brandon Bass in this one. Without Bass, Orlando is incredibly thin in the frontcourt, and if Dwight Howard gets into foul trouble, it is really going to lack the size to beat Miami in its weak underbelly in the paint. Ryan Anderson will be forced into the starting lineup, while Hedo Turkoglu is going to be asked to do more defending the big guys than he is acting as a point forward. Anderson does have double digit scoring and rebounding abilities for the Magic, but Head Coach Stan Van Gundy would prefer if he was on his bench, which now really only consists of three options.

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Somehow, the Magic will probably find a way to take this one down, though there is a great reason why this is a tossup game. Nothing would surprise us, but especially here in Orlando, this game is too big for the hosts to come up short on.

NBA Free Pick: Orlando Magic

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