Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Orlando Magic (33-17 24-23-3 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (32-16 19-29-1 ATS) TD Garden, Boston, MA 2:30 PM EST Sunday February 7, 2010 on ABC
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Magic +3/Celtics -3
Over/Under: 188

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In a marquee Eastern Conference match up this afternoon the Boston Celtics host the Orlando Magic. The Celtics have won 3 games in a row, but they are only 5-5 in their last 10 games, and only 9-11 since they beat Orlando on Christmas Day. The Magic are coming off a loss and only lead the Atlanta Hawks by game in the Southeast Division, but are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

This season Boston is 15-8 at home and Orlando is 14-12 at home.

The Magic are the defending Eastern Conference champions, but to get back to the finals they will need Vince Carter (15.7 ppg) to snap out of his shooting slump. In his last 11 games Carter is only averaging 10.8 ppg on 33.1% shooting.

Luckily for the Celtics they should get leading scorer Paul Pierce (18.9 ppg) back for today’s game after he missed 2 with an injury.

Kevin Garnett (14.6 ppg 7.3 rpg) is back from his knee injury, but he has not been putting up great numbers only averaging 13 ppg 6 rpg since returning to the starting lineup.

Both teams rank in the top 5 in the league on defense so don’t look for a high scoring game today.

Dwight Howard (17.8 ppg 13.4 rpg) has been playing well this season, but he will need some help from the Magic shooters of Rashard Lewis (14.9 ppg), and banged up PG Jameer Nelson (11.7 ppg), so the Celtics don’t pack the paint to defend him.

The Magic have won 4 of their last 6 games in Boston.

In their last game the Magic lost to the lowly Washington Wizards 92-91 on Friday night. The high scorer for the Magic in the game was Vince Carter going for 21 points, but he was only 5/17 from the floor. For the game the Magic struggled shooting the pill going 32/83 for a FG% of only 38.6%. On defense the Magic allowed the Wizards to shoot 34/79 for a FG% of 43%.

The Celtics won their last game beating the New jersey Nets 96-87 also on Friday night. The high scorer for Boston was Ray Allen going for 26 points on 9/17 shooting. For the game the Celtics shot 36/72 for a FG% of 50%. On D the Celtics allowed the Nets to shoot 30/68 for a FG% of 44.1%.

This season the Magic rank 15th in scoring (100.6 ppg) and the Celtics rank 17th (99.2 ppg). On defense both of these teams are solid, as the Celtics rank 1st in points allowed (93.7 ppg) and the Magic rank 5th (95.4 ppg). The Magic have been better on the glass this season, as they have a rebounding differential of +2.4 rpg while the Celtics are only at -0.5 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Magic rank 3rd (94.39) and the Celtics rank 4th (94.38).

Boston is 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games, 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 home games, and 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games against teams with a winning road record.

Boston has an Under record if 5-2 in their last 7 home games and has an Under record of 6-1 in their last 7 games against teams with a winning record.

Orlando is 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 road games and is 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 road games against teams with a winning home record.

Orlando has an Under record of 20-8 in their last 28 games on the road and has an Under record of 7-2 in their last 9 games against teams with a winning percentage greater than 60%.

In 5 of the last 6 games in Boston between these 2 teams the total has gone Under.

On the injury front SF Mickael Pietrus and PG Jameer Nelson are day-to-day for Orlando and SF Paul Pierce is day-to-day and SG Marquis Daniels is Out for Boston.

Jason’s Pick: This game doesn’t offer a ton of betting value. The most likely result is for the game to go over the posted total.