NBA Picks: Orlando Magic Travel To Charlotte Bobcats

Orlando Magic AT Charlotte Bobcats
April 6, 2011 at 7:35 PM EST
Opening Line:  Orl -7
Current Line:  Orl -6
Opening Total:  182
Current Total: 181.5
Opening Moneyline: Orl -290 / Cha +245
Current Moneyline:  Orl -285 / Cha +240

Gerald Wallace will no longer be between Jameer and the Charlotte Defense

For as bad as the Bobcats measured up against the Magic last year, this year it is even more prounounced and worse for a team no longer coached by Larry Brown.  Brown’s style wasn’t working and for a short while the team responded to Paul Silas, but a loss to Cleveland on Tuesday highlights a Bobcats team that is nearly eliminated mathematically from the playoffs and whose hopes of being anything more than a lottery team at this point looks very bleak.

The Magic just ended a skid of their own but have clinched the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference and can go neither up nor down in the playoff picture.  However, tonight will be a chance for Orlando to record its 3rd straight 50+ win season, though they will fall short of the marks set in 2009 and 2010.  Even so, Dwight Howard implored Magic fans to “believe in Magic,” as he and many others still do believe that the team as constructed could challenge for an NBA Title.  Turkoglu commented on the situation as it is, “We’re just playing as a group to get better as we’re getting close to the playoffs. When the time comes … we just have to be conditioned right and be at the highest level we can and try to do our best.”

Last season in the first round of the playoffs, the Magic swept the Bobcats in four decisive games, even with Dwight Howard battling foul trouble the entire series.  If he gets in foul trouble tonight, the situation won’t be quite as tenable without now-Phoenix star Marcin Gortat.

Some betting trends:

Orlando is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER in 9 of their last 12.  Orlando is 7-3 SU in their last 10 games and they are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 on the road.  Orlando is 5-0 SU in their last 5 against the Charlotte Bobcats and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of thel ast 6 games against Charlotte. The total has also gone UNDER in 7 of the last 9 Magic games in Charlotte.  Orlando is 5-0 SU in their last 5 road games against the Bobcats.

Charlotte is 6-13 SU in their last 19 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 games.  The total has gone OVER in 13 of their last 17 at home and Charlotte is 4-2 SU in their last 6 at home.  They are also 2-4 ATS in their last 6 against the Magic. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Charlotte’s last 6 against the Magic and they are 0-5 SU in their last 5 at home against the Magic.  Charlotte is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 at home against the Magic and the total has gone UNDER in 7 of their last 9 games at home against the Magic.

Key matchups:

Dwight Howard vs. Kwame Brown

There really isn’t much that needs to be said about this one.  For as bad as Brown has been, he was once a first overall pick, much like Howard.  He’s effective as a backup, a big body that can bang and grab some rebounds.  The problem for Charlotte, of course, is that they are starting a player who is truly backup quality at best.  He is experiencing his best year since 2007-08 when he played for the Lakers, but that isn’t really saying much.  Brown averages 7.3 points per game and 6.7 boards per game this year in 24 minutes.  It works out to respectable per-36 stats, but Howard is going to pulverize Brown and everyone, including Kwame, knows.  The only hope for the Bobcats is that they can somehow manage to get Howard into foul trouble and frustrate the MVP candidate.  For his career against the Bobcats, Howard has averaged 19.3 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game, but most of those games were played against Emeka Okafor, who is far better than Kwame Brown.

Jameer Nelson  Gilbert Arenas vs. D.J. Augustin

Augustin has superior stats to Nelson, but he also plays on a horrible team that gives him 11.6 shots per game.  He also plays 33 minutes a night to Nelson’s 30.  Don’t let the inflated Bobcats stats fool you into thinking Augustin will outscore the combo of Nelson and Arenas.  Arenas has struggled, but Jameer Nelson averages 13.1 points per game and 5.2 assists per game against the Bobcats, both figures higher than his career average.  Augustin can’t be left open, but there is no one on the Bobcats to demand double teams, meaning Jameer and Arenas can stay with Augustin and prevent open threes.

Truly one need look no further than the fact that the Magic have dominated the Bobcats to dissuade themselves from making any speculative bet on the Bobcats even covering the spread.  Also, given the trends, a bet on the ‘under’ for this one may prove to be lucrative.

Posted by Brett Roberts
on Apr 6 2011. Filed under Headlines, NBA.
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Apr 6th, 2011 | Posted in Travel
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