Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Orlando Magic are currently possessors of the second-worst record in the NBA and will travel to face the No. 3 team in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland is 14-5 at home and will enter the game as 12.5-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada. Orlando is just 3-13 on the road this season and has lost its last four contests.
The Magic were not expected to be competitive this season, in just the second year of a complete overhaul and rebuild following the trading of franchise center Dwight Howard. The Magic have some nice young talent in center Nikola Vucevic, 2013 No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris and others, but the team has not even begun to take shape. At this point, Magic GM Rob Hennigan and coach Jacque Vaughn are just trying to see which players can be used to build with in the future.
One Magic player who has played very well and will draw significant interest at the trade deadline is shooting guard Arron Afflalo. He ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring with 21 points per game and is on a very reasonable $7.5 million contract. The Magic are asking a lot for his services, but not actively shopping him despite his all-time high value. On draft night, it was rumored the Magic could have dealt him for Eric Bledsoe, and it should be interesting to see how much the Magic can net if they do decide to part ways with their leading scorer.
Portland is a team driven by two very good young superstars: Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Kobe Bryant even endorsed Lillard as his pick for the All-Star starters, urging his fans “Don’t vote for me.” Aldridge is already a two-time veteran of the game and is definitely in the best three at his position in the NBA. The Blazers are 26-9 on the season but lost 123-119 to Sacramento on Tuesday despite 41 points from Lillard.
Portland ranks 1st in the NBA in scoring (109 points per game) and the team generates 24.4 assists per game (3rd). The talent is there, but the questions regarding the Blazers ability to defend and the concerns with frontcourt depth could prevent the Blazers from having a chance against the likes of San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
ORL Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 overall; 0-4 ATS in last 4 on 1 days rest; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with home winning pcts greater than .600
POR Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records; 1-9 ATS in last 10 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game; 1-8 ATS in last 9 after scoring 100 or more in previous game.