Magic vs. Heat: Dwight Howard and LeBron James Face Off in South Beach
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
Sunday, 2/19/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV: ABC
Opening Point Spread: Miami -9.5
Current Betting Line: Miami -9
Opening Total: 194
Current Total: 191.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Orlando has won four consecutive games and will be looking to win its third-straight game in this particular series. The Magic tallied an impressive 102-89 victory over the Miami Heat as 3.5-point home underdogs on Feb. 8. All-Star center Dwight Howard is also coming off one of his best games of the 2011-12 campaign, scoring 26 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in a 94-85 win over the Milwaukee Bucks as 7.5-point home favorites. Orlando is 9-4 ATS on the road and the “under” is 7-6 in those contests.
The Magic enter Sunday’s action with a solid 8-5 mark on the road, which includes a 5-3 record versus Eastern Conference opponents. During its four-plus seasons under current head coach Stan Van Gundy, the franchise has garnered a solid 110-67 mark away from the Amway Center. Howard is averaging 20.3 points and 15.3 rebounds on the season, scoring in double figures 29 times. Orlando is 43-45 all-time against Miami, including an 18-25 record on the road.
Miami is arguably playing its best basketball of the season in winning and covering its last five games, which includes a dominating 111-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers as 9.5-point road favorites. “I think this is the best we’ve been playing all year,” commented Heat guard Dwyane Wade. He has scored 20-plus points in a season-high nine consecutive games, while shooting 50 percent or better from the field in seven straight contests. Miami is 0-4 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points this season.
The Heat are 12-2 at home this season, which includes a 9-2 mark versus Eastern Conference foes. Miami’s offense has managed to score at least 100 points in each of the last five games, while doing so in 19 of 31 games overall this season. A victory in this high-profile matchup would give the squad a 25-7 record, tying its best 32-game start in franchise history. Miami has won five consecutive games by 10-plus points, which ties the third longest streak in club history.
Bettors will likely back the Magic due to their 7-0 ATS mark on the road against winning home teams, while the Heat are 5-12 ATS at home when returning from a road trip of seven or more days.
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