The NBA season takes center stage on Thursday night with a primetime double header on national television. The first game of the double header will be a game between the Washington Wizards and the Orlando Magic. The latest NBA betting odds released by Diamond Sportsbook International currently have the Magic as 13.5 point favorites for this game.
For the Wizards this will be the debut of rookie sensation point guard John Wall. The No. 1 draft pick will get his first taste of the regular season in this prime time matchup. He will be challenged in this game as the Magic have talent and depth at the point guard position. The Wizards may be shorthanded for this game as Gilbert Arenas is suffering from a sprained ankle that he hurt in practice. Head Coach Flip Saunders will use the next 48 hours to evaluate Arenas and if he is not able to go then veteran Kirk Hinrich will get the starting guard spot opposite of Wall.
The Magic had a very successful season and they will look to bring that success into the regular season. The Magic made it through the preseason with flawless play and excellent execution that led to a perfect record. Big Man Dwight Howard leads this team into the season with high expectations as they believe they can win an NBA title. Vince Carter has looked reborn in the preseason averaging 17.2 points per game, shooting 60.7 percent from the field and hitting 59.3 percent of his three-pointers. If Carter can maintain that stat line, the Magic will be a very deadly team in the East.
The Wizards are improving but they are not on the same level as the Magic. The Wizards are 8-26 against the spread (ATS) in their last 34 against the NBA Southeast and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 meetings with an Eastern Conference opponent The Magic are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 against the Eastern Conference and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 home games.
John Wall is a great building block for the Wizards as they prepare for the future, but the Magic are one of the best teams in the NBA and will make quick work of the Wizards.