Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers
Wednesday, 1/26/10, 7:00 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread: Orlando -5
Current Betting Line: Orlando -5.5
Opening Total: 200
Current Total: 202.5
Orlando had won three straight coming into Monday’s home game against Detroit only to drop a disappointing contest by allowing 103 points to a team that averaged a league-worst 89.0 points on the road coming in. “Guys got to guard the perimeter,” said center Dwight Howard. “Got to do a better job, it just can’t be one dribble to the basket.” The Magic are 29-16 overall on the season and have compiled an 8-4 mark on the road against Eastern Conference competition. The team is tied for fourth place in the conference standings, which means they are close to not even having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. “I think our focus is a big problem,” said head coach Stan Van Gundy. “We aren’t focusing on the game plan or on personnel.” Orlando is 18-13 ATS as a road favorite over the past three years and currently in that are on the NBA lines page tonight.
The Magic are 38-41 all-time versus the Pacers during regular season action, including a 3-1 record last year in the series. Orlando has won eight of the last 10 match-ups at home and four of the last seven meetings in Indiana. A key for the team down the stretch is to make sure Howard gets his touches, as the team is 13-3 when scoring 44 or more points in the paint, while only being 16-13 when they score 42 points or fewer. He scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in an earlier 90-86 win at Conseco Fieldhouse on November 20.
Indiana is suffering through a season-high losing streak and its likely not going to end tonight against a superior opponent. The Pacers have struggled all season in defending the paint, especially in giving up 43.6 points on average in the paint during their losing streak, which hit five games with a 121-107 defeat Sunday night in Denver. “It was a long, long road trip, not a good one,” said Danny Granger. “The losing is taking a toll on everybody.” The team went 0-4 on its Western road trip and now heads back East in hopes of turning around a disastrous month. Indiana is 18-20 ATS on the season and 9-12 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points the past three seasons.
The Pacers will need a big performance out of Granger to possibly pull off the upset, as the squad is 0-11 when its leading scorer has 16 points or fewer this season. Point guard Darren Collison will also need to continue his strong play against Orlando, as he averaged 21.5 points and 8.0 assists in two starts against them as a rookie with New Orleans during the 2009-10 campaign. One bright spot for the team recently is the play of forward Tyler Hansbrough, who scored a career-high 27 points last time out against the Nuggets.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Magic due to their 5-0 ATS mark as a road favorite of 5.0 to 10.5 points, while the Pacers are 5-12-1 ATS as an underdog.
The NBA handicappers at Maddux Sports are enjoying a huge season and can’t wait for you to join them tonight!