Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Orlando Magic (36-17 24-25-3 ATS) at Cleveland Cavaliers (42-11 27-26 ATS) Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH 8 PM EST Thursday February 11, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Magic +6.5 / Cavaliers -6.5
Over/Under: 194

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Tonight in an Eastern Conference match up of 2 teams that are playing well the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Orlando Magic. To say the Cavs are playing well in an understatement, as they have won 12 in a row and look to tie franchise record with their 13th straight win tonight. The Magic have won 3 in a row, are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and lead the Atlanta Hawks by 2 games in the Southeast Division.

The Cavs are in 1st place in the Eastern Conference with a comfortable 6 game lead over the Magic.

This season Cleveland is a NBA best 23-3 at home and Orlando is 16-12 on the road.

The Cavs have won 21 of their last 22 home games.

Shaq (11.7 ppg) has stepped up his game lately, as in the Cavs’ winning streak he is averaging 15.3 ppg on 63.9% shooting. However, the reason Cleveland brought in the Diesel was to play D, especially on Dwight Howard, who killed the Cavs in last season’s Eastern Conference finals. Shaq played solid against Howard in the first meeting between these 2 teams this season holding Howard to only 11 points and 7 boards in a Cleveland win.

The Cavs have one of the best defenses in the league and they will have to show it tonight, as 2nd leading scorer Mo Williams (16.9 ppg) will not play in this game and Delonte West (7.4 ppg) is also likely to be out.

For most of the season Vince Carter (16.5 ppg) has been in a slump, but it looks as if he has snapped out of it, as of late, as he is averaging 24.2 ppg in his last 5 games.

With a slumping Celtics team it looks as if tonight’s match up may be a preview of the Eastern Conference finals for a 2nd straight season.

In their last game the Cavs beat the New Jersey Nets, big feat, 104-97 on Tuesday night. LeBron James was obviously the high scorer in the game going for 32 points on 13/21 shooting and he dished out 11 assists. For the game the Cavs shot well going 39/74 for a FG% of 52.7%. On D the Cavs kind of let down, as they allowed the Nets to shoot 38/74 for a FG% of 51.4%.

The Magic laid a beat down on the Chicago Bulls last night beating them 107-87 last night. Dwight Howard was the high scorer for Orlando in the game going for 18 points on 7/10 shooting and he grabbed 14 boards. For the game the Magic shot 37/79 for a FG% of 46.8%. On defense the Magic held the Bulls to only 32/87 for a paltry FG% of 36.8%.

This season the Cavs rank 11th in scoring (101.4 ppg) and the Magic rank 13th (101 ppg). On defense both teams are legit, as the Cavs rank 2nd in points allowed (94 ppg) and the Magic rank 6th (95.7 ppg). The Cavs have a rebounding differential of +4.3 rpg and the Magic are at +2.5 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Cavs rank 1st (97.04) and the Magic rank 3rd (96.64).

Orlando is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than 60%, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against teams in the Central Division.

Orlando has an Under record of 5-1 on their last 6 games and has an Under record of 7-1 in their last 8 games as the road underdog.

Cleveland is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games, 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games against teams with a winning percentage greater than 60%, and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.

Cleveland has an Over record of 3-1-1 in their last 5 games and has an Under record of 5-1-1 in their last 7 home games.

On the injury front SG Delonte West is day-to-day for Cleveland while Orlando is not reporting any significant injuries.

Jason’s Pick: I expect this game to fly over the total.