Free NBA Picks: Magic at Nets Odds
by Alan Matthews - 1/20/2014
Are the Brooklyn Nets actual contenders after all? If you had asked that question three weeks ago, the answer would have been a resounding “no”. However, 2014 has been good to Brooklyn as it has won seven of eight games, including over title favorites Oklahoma City and Miami. Can the Nets really beat the Heat or Pacers in the playoffs with all-star center Brook Lopez done for the season? Highly doubtful, but reaching the conference semifinals seems doable in the weak East. Orlando, meanwhile, is thinking playoffs as well: in 2015-16. It probably takes at least that long for the franchise to reboot into a contender following the Dwight Howard era. Tuesday's matchup is the second of four meetings this season between these teams.
Magic at Nets Betting Story Lines
Orlando had been 0-for-2014 (the only team without a win in the New Year) before beating visiting Boston 93-91 on Sunday to end a 10-game losing streak. Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and I'll be shocked if he's still a member of the team on Feb. 21, which is the day after the trade deadline. Supposedly the Magic won't consider it without getting a first-round pick in return. Afflalo leads the Magic in scoring at 20.9 per game and has a pretty team-friendly contract. Orlando played against Boston without center Nikola Vucevic. He has missed seven straight games with a concussion and won't be back Tuesday. He was having a nice season, averaging 13.0 points and 11.0 rebounds. The Magic don't have much in the frontcourt without him and are very weak defensively. Boston was the first team Orlando held under 101 pints since Jan. 2. The thin Magic played only seven guys against the Celtics.
The Nets played a matinee on Martin Luther King Jr. day and crushed the Knicks 103-80. Star point guard Deron Williams returned to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 4 due to ankle issues. He came off the bench for the first time since Feb. 22, 2006, and had 13 points and three assists in 27 minutes. Apparently Jason Kidd liked his starting five of Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as it's now 5-0 with that group. I highly doubt Williams continues coming off the bench much longer. Brooklyn held the Knicks to 33.8 percent shooting and is now 6-0 this season when holding teams under 40 percent from the field. The Nets have surged by going small. Garnett has replaced Lopez as the starting center, and Pierce is playing power forward. Andray Blatche also has come on as an anchor among the reserves. He's totaled 39 points (on 19-for-30 shooting) and 26 rebounds in the past two games.
Brooklyn visited Orlando on Nov. 3 and lost 107-86 as Vucevic and Magic rookie Victor Oladipo each had 19 points. Lopez had 21 to lead the Nets and Pierce 16. They were the only players in double figures. Williams and Johnson were a combined 5-for-17 from the field for 11 points. Brooklyn swept Orlando last season, winning the four games by an average of 19.8 points..
Magic at Nets NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Brooklyn opened as a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 191.5. Orlando is 17-24 against the spread (9-11 on road) and 18-23 "over/under" (6-14 on road). Brooklyn is 19-20 ATS (10-9 at home) and 20-17-2 O/U (11-8 at home). The Magic are 0-6 ATS in their past six road games. They are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 playing on one day of rest. Brooklyn has covered five straight at home. The Nets are 6-2 ATS in their past eight Tuesday games. The under is 10-1 in Orlando's past 11 road games. The under is 5-0-1 in Brooklyn's past six against teams with a losing record. The favorite is 6-1-1 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Free NBA Picks: Magic at Nets Betting Predictions
Orlando has the worst road record in the NBA at 3-17. The wins came at Atlanta (Nov. 26), Charlotte (Dec. 11) and Chicago (Dec. 16). The Magic have lost six straight away games since that Bulls victory, and only one of those losses was even close. Obviously, it's the second of a back-to-back from Brooklyn but at least the Nets didn't have to travel. The starters didn't play heavy minutes Monday with the game being a blowout. This does shape up as a possible trap game for the Nets after getting amped up for the rival Knicks, but I think they have figured things out and should keep rolling. Give the points and take the under.
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