NBA Playoffs Betting Preview
Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers
Thursday, 8:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Cleveland -7.5, 190 O/U
Orlando leads series 3-1
The Orlando Magic have surprised the world after capturing two straight victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and now have a chance to win the series this Thursday night in Cleveland. The Magic pulled off two straight victories at home to put some distance over the Cavaliers who were favorites to win the series. The two teams participated in a classic battle in Game 4 which needed extra minutes outside of regulation to decide the contest. Lebron James had another stellar effort scoring 44 points in the match-up. However, James missed a last second shot in overtime which handed them their 3rd loss of the series and really dampened their chances at the NBA Finals. King James and the Cavaliers return home this Thursday night in a must win scenario. Cleveland’s back is now against the wall and there is no room for mistake when they host the Magic this Thursday. Calculating how well the Cavaliers have played at home this season and the fact they must come out playing their best, the sports books have Cleveland listed as a 7.5 point favorite this Thursday night in Game 5. However, Dwight Howard and the rest of the Magic will try to play the spoiler role again and earn a trip to the NBA Finals.
Orlando’s winning efforts came from yet another strong shooting effort on Tuesday night. Orlando shot 50% from the field as a team for the 2nd time for the series. Dwight Howard had another solid effort against the glass pulling down 14 rebounds while leading the team with 27 points. However, Howard did pick up his 6th technical foul of the post-season during Tuesday night’s affair. Howard now can not afford to give up another technical as a 7th would result in a one game suspension and it would be safe to say that would be devastating for Orlando. Rafer Alston had a huge performance that likely was the difference maker in Game 4. Alston drained six 3 pointers on the night and tallied up 26 points in the breakout performance. The Magic drained 17 3 pointers on the night shooting a lucrative 45% from behind the arc. If not for the constant ability to knock down the 3 ball, the game likely would have had a different outcome. However, Orlando found a way to make it happen and now are a mere one game away to take down the Eastern Conference Championship.
The Cavaliers would have loved for Lebron James’ last second shot to have similar results as his last second effort in Game 2, but that was not to be the case. James still had an extraordinary performance with 44 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists on the night. However, Cleveland as a team just could not stop the Magic from raining 3 pointers for much of the second half. Delonte West and Mo Williams were both effective in the game as they combined for 35 points. It was a step in the right direction for West who had been rather quiet over the last few match-ups. Williams has played well throughout the playoffs and he continues to be the biggest threat on Cleveland’s side of the court outside of James. However, the difference was Orlando’s ability to knock down the long shots. Cleveland shot a poor 27% from behind the arc and only one person outside of Lebron James was able to knock down a 3 pointer. The Cavaliers who were a perfect 8-0 in the postseason just a short time ago are now staring elimination in the face. The Cavaliers will look for some confidence when they head back home Thursday night where they have been dominate all season and attempt to keep their Championship hopes alive.
Pick – Over 190