The Orlando Magic have dropped three straight games, with a 0-3 ATS slide in that span’s betting tickets. Stan Van Gundy’s squad heads north for today’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, who have seen the ‘under’ collect at 5-1 in their last six contests.
NBA betting shops were slow to post NBA odds for this duel, with injuries on both sides making lineups uncertain. Orlando’s Dwight Howard (20.9 PPG, 14.5 RPG) and Ryan Anderson (16.1 PPG) are listed as “questionable” due to back and ankle wounds, respectively. Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey (16.1 PPG) and Ben Gordon (12.3 PPG) are also “questionable” with a sore hamstring and groin, respectively.
Once NBA lines were released, Orlando was opened at -5.5 and has since fallen to the 4.4 point favorite. The matchup’s total has been set at 183.
Magic fall short at home
Orlando ended a two-game homestand with Sunday’s 104-101 defeat as a five-point favorite against the Denver Nuggets. The Magic allowed Denver to connect 55.6 percent of its field buckets, including 8-of-19 beyond the arc.
Magic guard Jameer Nelson notched team-highs of 27 points and five assists. Nelson’s mate Glen Davis started at center in place of Howard, piling in a double-double with 18 points and 16 boards.
The contest’s combined 205 points jumped above the closing ‘total’ of 202, lifting the ‘over’ to 5-1 in Orlando’s last six games. Magic guard J.J. Redick logged 15 points off the bench, including a perfect 5-for-5 night at the foul line.
Pistons edge out Bobcats
Detroit notched its third win in four games with Saturday’s 110-107 overtime victory as a 7 ½-point favorite against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Pistons rallied from behind, outscoring Charlotte in the fourth quarter, 29-20, to send the battle into extra minutes.
Pistons mates Tayshaun Prince and Greg Monroe united for 40 points, while logging nine boards each. Detroit’s Brandon Knight recorded six of his squad’s 19 assists, while adding a pair of steals en route to finishing with 12 points.
The duel’s combined 217 points did not need overtime to leap above the ‘total’ of 182 ½. Detroit outrebounded the Bobcats, 46-33, while outscoring Charlotte in paint points, 62-42.
Back the ‘under’ in Detroit
This matchup is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. (ET), with both squads off for one day following the clash. Orlando returns home as part of Thursday’s league slate to host the New York Knicks, while Detroit remains at The Palace of Auburn Hills to meet the Washington Wizards.
I am adding the ‘under’ to my NBA picks in this affair, looking for a tight contest between these foes. January’s 89-78 win for Detroit as a five-point home dog against Orlando saw the combined 167 points plunge below the ‘total’ of 184 ½. The Magic held Stuckey to a 2-for-8 shooting night, while Orlando’s Nelson went 1-for-5 from the floor.
Orlando’s defense has been loosening up a bit, but Van Gundy’s crew should face some lower octane in Detroit. The ‘under’ is 8-3 in the Pistons’ last 11 games that followed an outing of putting up 100 points or more, while Prince and Co. rank 28th in the league for scoring at a meager 89.9 PPG.
Look for the ‘under’ to cash again here, with the Magic controlling a tighter tempo to keep from falling further in the Eastern Conference standings.
My Picks: Take the Under