Orlando Magic (26-13 SU 19-18-2 ATS) vs. Portland Trailblazers (24-16 SU 20-18-2 ATS) Rose Garden Portland OR 10:30 PM EST Friday January 15, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Orlando -4.5/Portland +4.5
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Tonight the Portland Trailblazers host the Orlando Magic, who are not playing the bets basketball as of late. The Magic are coming off a loss, are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and they only lead the Atlanta Hawks by game in the Southeast Division. The Blazers have been beset by injuries this season, but are coming off a win, are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and only trail the Denver Nuggets by 1.5 games in the Northwest Division.
This season the Blazers are 15-7 at home and the Magic are 12-9 on the road.
Late last year the Magic were on an 8 game road winning streak, but they have fallen on hard times lately on the road, as they have lost 7 of their last 9 games away from the Sunshine State.
One of the reasons the Magic are struggling is the poor play of Jameer Nelson (11.7 ppg) and Rashard Lewis (14.2 ppg). Nelson has averaged 7.8 ppg in his last 4 games and Lewis has averaged 9.9 ppg in his last 7 games and in those spans both players are only shooting 34% from the floor.
The Magic have already beaten the Blazers this season and they have won 6 of their last 7 games against Portland.
The injury bug has bitten the Blazers hard this season and they lost C Greg Oden for the year due to a knee injury. That may really hurt them tonight facing Dwight Howard (16.9 ppg 13.2 rpg), who is the most dominant big man in the NBA. 36-year old Juwan Howard will guard him tonight and he will need help tonight, as he is not nearly as strong as the Magic C and he gives up 2 inches to him.
In their last game the Magic were killed by the Denver Nuggets 115-97 on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the game was Matt Barnes going for 28 points on 11/18 shooting. For the game the Magic shot 34/78 for a FG% of 43.6%. On defense the Magic forgot to play some, as they allowed the Nuggets to shoot 43/77 for a scorching FG% of 55.8%.
The Blazers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-108 in their last game also on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the Blazers in the game was Brandon Roy going for 22 points on 7/10 shooting. For the game the Blazers were on fire, as they shot 44/73 for a sensational FG% of 60.3%. On defense the Blazers allowed the Bucks to shoot 39/86 from the floor for a FG% of 45.3%.
This season the Magic rank 10th in scoring (101.6 ppg) and the Blazers rank 22nd (97.7 ppg). On defense both teams are legit, as the Blazers rank 4th in the league in points allowed (94.4 ppg) and the Magic rank 6th (96.3 ppg). The Blazers and Magic are pretty even on the glass, as Portland has a rebounding differential of +2.7 rpg and Orlando is at +2.5 rpg.
On the injury front SG Vince Carter is day-to-day for the Magic and SG Brandon Roy and SG Rudy Fernandez are day-to-day for the Blazers.
Since Oden is out look for Howard to have a big game on both ends of the floor.
Orlando is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall, 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS loss, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
Portland is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against teams in the Southeast Division, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against teams with a winning S.U. record, and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Jason’s Pick: Orlando has struggled lately lately on the road and have no business being favored in a matchup vs. a team with a good home record. Brandon Roy is questionable for this game which would usually have us pass here, but Portland has plenty of weapons to put points up on the board. Great value here with the Blazers being an underdog. Take Portland at +4.5 to cover the spread.