Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Orlando Magic (26-12 18-17-2 ATS) vs. Denver Nuggets (24-14 17-21 ATS) Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 9 PM EST Wednesday January 13, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Magic +5/Nuggets -5
Over/Under: 210.5

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Tonight the Denver Nuggets host the Orlando Magic in a match up of two teams that are both 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Magic have won 2 in a row and have a slim 1.5 game lead over the Atlanta Hawks in the Southeast Division and the Nuggets are coming off a win and lead the Northwest Division by 1.5 games over the Portland Trailblazers. The Magic recently snapped a 4 game road losing streak in their last game while the Nuggets are finally healthy and look to go on a run since their next several games are at home.

This season the Nuggets are 16-3 at home and the Magic are 12-8 on the road.

This game is a match up of offense vs. defense, as the Nuggets rank 3rd in the league in scoring (106.8 ppg) and the Magic rank 6th in the league in points allowed (95.8 ppg). The Nuggets have been playing poor defense, as of late, as they have given up an average of 103.9 ppg in their last 10 games and in that span have averaged 16.6 turnovers.

In their last game the Nuggets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-94 on Monday
night. The high scorer in that game was Carmelo Anthony
going for 24 points on 9/17 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 38/72
for a FG% of 46.3%. On D the Nuggets finally played some in this game holding
the Bucks to 34/92 shooting for a weak FG% of only 37%.

The Magic had no problems beating the Sacramento Kings 109-88 last night. The high scorer for the Magic in that game was Dwight Howard going for 30 points on 9/15 shooting. For the game the Magic shot well going 39/77 for a FG% of 50.6%. On defense the Magic held Sacto to only 30/86 for a paltry FG% of 34.9%.

This season the Nuggets rank 3rd in the league in scoring (106.8 ppg) and the Magic rank 10th (101.7 ppg). On defense the Magic rank 6th in points allowed (95.8 ppg) and the Nuggets only rank 21st (101.9 ppg). The Magic have been a better team on the boards this season, as they have a rebounding differential of +2.3 rpg while the Nuggets are at -1.4 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Magic rank 4th (94.68) and the Nuggets rank 9th (93.03).

Denver is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 games, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 against teams in the Southeast Division.

Orlando is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against teams with a winning home record.

Nuggets’ centers Chris Anderson and Nene are banged up so Dwight Howard (17.2 ppg 13.2 rpg) will have a good game not only scoring, but rebounding as well. He has killed the Nuggets in his career averaging 19.2 ppg and 16.8 rpg against them while posting 5 straight double-doubles.

Vince Carter will miss his 3rd straight game tonight and J.J. Reddick (9.7 ppg) will start in his place. The long-range gunner is hitting on almost 43% of his 3-pt bombs this season and he will hit a few tonight, as the Nuggets will key on Howard in the lane.

The Nuggets like to get out and run, but the Magic are an athletic team, so look for them to slow the tempo and try to make this a half court game.

Chauncey Billups (17.7 ppg) will have a solid scoring game this evening, as he will be matched up with the smaller Magic PG’s of Jameer Nelson and Jayson Williams and Billups generally torches smaller guards on offense.

On the injury front SG Vince Carter is day-to-day for the Magic and PG Ty Lawson, C Chris Andersen, SF Carmelo Anthony, and C Nene are day-to-day-day for the Nuggets.

Jason’s Pick: Denver is not the ideal venue to be playing in after having a game the previous night and then having to board a plane. The Nugs are well rested and will separate from the Magic in the 2nd half to get the cover.