(8-6, 5-9 ATS)
(9-4, 4-9 ATS)
For the second time this season, the two bitter rivals from the Sunshine State will lock horns, as the Miami Heat try to tackle the Orlando Magic in an NBA betting battle that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Something is clearly wrong with the Heat this year, as they are a team that is just struggling to stay above .500. They have failed to cover eight of their L/9 overall on the NBA odds, and are coming off of a brutal 93-77 loss to the Indiana Pacers. What we proved that day was that Miami really is nothing special if one of the “Big Three” is misfiring. G Dwyane Wade shot just 1-for-13 from the field that day, and the Heat scored just 77 points, their worst offensive output of the season. We already know all about Wade, F LeBron James, and F Chris Bosh. The three are combining to score over 62 points per game on the average night, but there just aren’t enough shots to go around for the rest of the team. We know that virtually every single play runs through those three men, and guys like F James Jones and G Eddie House have been totally forgotten about. It really is a case where the Heat are playing 3-on-5 at times. C Erick Dampier might be making his Miami debut on Wednesday night against the Magic in place of the injured F Udonis Haslem, who might be finished for the season with a Lisfranc injury.
Give the Magic a ton of credit for the way that they have handled themselves this year. We knew that it was only a matter of time after three straight fantastic seasons against the basketball lines that things regulated themselves, but HC Stan Van Gundy doesn’t seem to mind the fact that his team is just 4-9 ATS due to the fact that it is still in first place in the Southeast Division. A 106-97 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night was merely a bump in the road, but it did end a four game winning streak that propelled the team to the head of the class in the division. Orlando is led by C Dwight Howard, who is averaging 21.8 points, 11.6 boards, 2.6 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game to stuff up the stat sheet. The health of G Vince Carter is key, as he has a knee bruise that could keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday. If he can’t go, both G Jameer Nelson (14.3 PPG) and F Rashard Lewis (11.6 PPG) are going to be asked to step up their game.
These two teams are polar opposites. Even without Carter, the Magic still have one of the deepest teams in the NBA, while the Heat are probably the thinnest. Remember that beat down that Orlando suffered back at the outset of the season in South Beach? It’s payback time. The Magic will make Miami disappear in NBA betting action on Wednesday night.
NBA Free Pick: Orlando Magic