The final game of the night on the NBA betting schedule for Saturday, April 21st pits the Orlando Magic against the Utah Jazz in a crucial tilt for both teams.
Fortunately for the Magic, they have had a few days off to prepare for this very odd trip to the West Coast in the final week of the regular season. Unfortunately, that’s about all that we can say positive about the team right now. Dwight Howard has reportedly said that he will never play for Head Coach Stan Van Gundy again, and that’s all fine and dandy knowing that he is out for the rest of the season now with a back injury. It is very suspect to determine whether Howard really is that hurt, or whether he is just crying about still being in Orlando at this point. The level of drama that this team has had to go through this year because of Howard has been insane, and we are amazed that over the course of the last three games, the team has a 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS record and has been surprisingly consistent on both sides of the court, even without Superman out there. Of course, this might be just the thing that gets Orlando going as well. The team still has a chance at the No. 4 seed in the East, though we know that No. 6 is the likely finishing position, meaning a date with the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.
The Jazz are going to be scoreboard watching, paying attention very closely to what the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets are up to. Two of those four teams are going to get into the postseason in the West, while the others will be left home. Utah is probably in the best spot right now, as it has just three games left, all of which are here at Energy Solutions Arena. The team will be heavily favored in games against the Magic and the Portland Trail Blazers, while the game against the Phoenix Suns comes at a great time, as the team will have played just one game in the previous six days. With the Houston Rockets sliding out of the picture in a hurry with six straight losses and Phoenix and Denver squaring off earlier in the day, it is clear that Saturday is moving day for the Jazz if they are going to get into the playoffs. Let this one go though, and there is a real question if this team is going to have a shot to get back into the discussion in the second season or not.
The Final Word: Odds have it, the Magic are going to be getting a heck of a lot of points in this one. That being said, look at what the starting five did the last time out against Boston. Jason Richardson had 11, Ryan Anderson scored 12, Glen Davis was good for 27, Jameer Nelson had 21 (and nine assists), and JJ Redick scored 13. This team still has talent and ability. It won’t win this one, but it will stick inside of the number.
Orlando Magic @ Utah Jazz Free Pick: Orlando Magic
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.