NBA Eastern Conference Picks: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic

Thaddeus Young-sixers-2013Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic
Time: 6 PM ET, Mar 2, 2014
Spread: ORL -11
Total: 214

Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost its past 13 contests to fall to 15-44 on the season. The Sixers are 7-21 on the road this season and will face the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center in Orlando. The Magic are 14-15 at home this season and enter the game as 11 point favorites over the Sixers.

Orlando fell 112-98 to the Miami Heat on Saturday night despite 20 points from Tobias Harris. Harris hooked up with Jameer Nelson for a nice alley oop in the first half and with Glen Davis no longer on the roster, Harris now has a glut of more shot opportunities. Arron Afflalo is also out with an ankle injury and he is listed as doubtful for this afternoon’s contest.

With Afflalo unable to go, Harris becomes the de facto No. 1 option, and it is a role he thrived in during the stretch of the 2012-13 season. Harris is averaging 14.5 points per game this season but over his last 10 games he has averaged 17.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Expect his role to grow as the Magic attempt to discern whether he is capable of full-time duties at power forward.

The Sixers have the worst defense in the NBA, surrendering 111.1 points per game while scoring just 100.3 per game. Trading Evan Turner further crippled the Sixers and now there is even more pressure on Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams, saddled with a D-league quality level of support. Even so, Carter-Williams has impressed and is averaging 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. He’s likely to win Rookie of the Year, despite Victor Oladipo’s strong challenge. With both the Magic and Sixers at the bottom, Oladipo’s slightly better win total is not necessarily going to make a difference.

PHI Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records; UNDER 8-0 in last 8 playing on 0 days rest; 1-7 ATS in last 8 when opponent allows 100 or more in previous game.

ORL Trends: 5-0 ATS in last 5 home games vs teams with road winning percentage below .400; 6-0 ATS in last 6 home games vs teams with losing road records; OVER 4-0 in last 4 home games following road trip of 7 or more days.

Head-to-head: 76ers 0-4 ATS in last 4 meetings in Orlando; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 meetings; 76ers 7-21 ATS in last 28 meetings.

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