Magic in Sac-Town: Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings Betting Preview

Orlando Magic AT Sacramento Kings
Mar 9, 2011 at 10 PM EST
Opening Line:  Orlando -8.5
Current Line:  Orlando -9
Opening Total:  206
Current Total:  203.5
Opening Moneyline: Orl -475 / Sac +395
Current Moneyline: Orl -525 / Sac +425

Dwight Howard is coming back from his one game suspension tonight

Sacramento has been continuing to plod along without their best player, guard Tyreke Evans.  It hasn’t stopped DeMarcus Cousins from stepping up in his absense.  Over the last three games Cousins is averaging 22.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game.  He continues to struggle with efficiency and turnovers, but one would have to figure that will come in time.

Even with Cousins’ outstanding play over the last three games, Sacramento has lost all three of them and they are tied for the 2nd worst record in the league.  Their 8-24 home record attests to that, as many poor teams fail to even play well at home.

Dwight Howard will be returning after serving a one game suspension due to excessive technical fouls.  Orlando struggled in his absense, but has still won 4 of their last 6 games.  Orlando currently sits at 4th in the Eastern Conference and if the playoffs began today the Magic would be facing the Atlanta Hawks.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Orlando’s last 6 games and the Magic are 4-2 SU in their last 6.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Orlando’s last 6 road games and the Magic are 5-1 SU in their last 6 against the Kings.  Orlando is 3-12 SU in their last 15 road games against Sacramento.

The total has gone OVER in 10 of Sacramento’s last 11 games and they are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games.  Sacramento is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games and they are 1-7 SU in their last 8 at home.  The total has gone OVER in 5 of Sacramento’s last 7 games at home and they are 1-5 SU in their last 6 against the Orlando Magic.  Sacramento is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 against the Magic and they are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 at home against the Magic.  Sacramento is 12-3 SU in their last 15 games at home against the Magic.

Key Matchups:

Dwight Howard vs. DeMarcus Cousins

Rookies often struggle defensively and they struggle most against the best offensive players of course, of which Howard is one.  Last game against the Kings, Howard went for 31 points and 17 boards and it figures to be more of the same tonight.  Howard will be challenged defensively by Cousins, but given Dwight’s propensity to block shots and body up opposing bigs, Cousins may not have a big game tonight.  Cousins has been playing incredible basketball of late and has had a decent rookie season, but has a long way to go to improve his shot selection and decision making up to decent levels.  Last game against the Magic Cousins scored just 9 points and shot only 2 of 7 from the floor.  For the Kings to win without Tyreke Evans, they are going to need a monster game from Cousins and near perfection from everyone else.

Jameer Nelson & Gilbert Arenas vs. Beno Udrih

Udrih has quietly been a decent starting point guard over the last four seasons.  During that span he has averaged 12.7 points per game and he is putting up a career high 13.8 points per game this year.  His shooting percentages are very solid (49.5% FG, 35.9% threes) and he’s averaged 4.7 assists per game over the past three seasons, as well.  He’ll have trouble with Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas though, who are both shoot first point guards thta will challenge the slow footed Udrih on defense.  If Udrih can apply decent pressure and limit penetration, his problems may solve themselves.  Last game Nelson and Arenas combined for 11 turnovers, and if the Kings can push the Magic to make that many mistakes again they have a decent shot at winning this game.

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