Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Hornets Preview and Pick

Orlando Magic (9-2) at New Orleans Hornets (9-2), 8 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of Predictem.com

Two teams off to very good starts this young NBA season meet Monday night when the Orlando Magic hit the Crescent City to take on the New Orleans Hornets.

Early NBA betting boards list New Orleans as one-point home favorites over Orlando, with a total of 189 .

Both Orlando and New Orleans have won nine of their first 11 games of this season. The Hornets have won five games in a row after beating Minnesota 100-82 Saturday, while the Magic have won four in a row after handing Boston its first loss of this season, 104-102 in Orlando on Sunday.

Over the last six days, the Magic have beaten the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, a pretty good (although slumping) New Jersey Nets team and the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference in Boston.

Orlando sits atop the Southeast Division, three games clear of the second-place Charlotte Bobcats, while New Orleans leads the Southwest Division by a half-game over the second-place San Antonio Spurs.

These two teams split their two meetings last season, each team winning at home. The Magic won in Orlando 86-83 in December, while the Hornets won in NO 84-78 in overtime in January. Both games stayed under their totals, and both road underdogs covered the spread. Neither team shot the ball worth a ****, with the Magic hitting 40% from the floor for the two games and New Orleans shooting 37%. And the rebounding stats were almost exactly even.

This season both these teams have been real money-makers for their financial backers. Orlando is 9-2 against the spread so far this year, and the Hornets are 7-3-1 vs. the numbers.

Also, the Magic are 6-0 both straight up and ATS on the road this season, while New Orleans is 3-1 both SU and against the spread at home.

Statistically speaking, Orlando is outscoring opponents this season on average 103-96, shooting 46% from the field, 38% from 3-point range and 73% from the free-throw line. Also, the Magic are holding foes to 43% FG shooting and own a 21/14 average assist-to-turnover ratio, but are getting out-rebounded on average by a -1.9 pg margin.

On the other side of this match-up, the Hornets are outscoring opponents 100-91, shooting 47% from the floor, a league-leading 46% from beyond the arc, and 78% from the line. Also, New Orleans is limiting foes to 44% FG shooting and owns both a +.6 rebounds-per-game margin and a 21/13 A/TO ratio.

Hornets PG Chris Paul missed Saturday’s win over the Timberwolves with an ankle injury, and is listed as doubtful/questionable for Monday night’s game. But G Jannero Pargo is proving himself very capable at that position; he scored 15 points and dished out seven assists while committing just one turnover in Paul’s absence Saturday.

The o/u is 6-5 in Orlando games this season, which are averaging 199 points per, while the totals are 4-7 in New Orleans games, which are averaging 191 points.

Zman’s Pick: We like Orlando here!