Royal Blowout: Sacramento Kings at Orlando Magic Betting Predictions

Sacramento Kings AT Orlando Magic
Feb 23, 2011 at 7 PM EST
Opening Line:  Orlando -12.5
Current Line:  Orlando -14
Opening Total: 201
Current Total: 204.5
Opening Moneyline:  Orl -1300 / Sac +850
Current Moneyline:  Orl -1800 / +1100

Orlando finally found a way to get things going just before the All-Star break, struggling along at below a .500 pace for a stretch, the Magic rallied to win 4 of their last 5 heading into the break.  Continuing that success shouldn’t be much of a problem against the lowly Kings, who have been playing without their best player, combo guard Tyreke Evans.

Orlando has won 10 of their last 11 against teams under .500 and Sacramento easily falls into that category.  Taking care of business against the lowly teams in the league takes focus, something that veteran teams or Stan Van Gundy coached teams tend to exhibit.  “I’ll be anxious to see how we come out and play down the stretch,” Van Gundy said.

Whether or not the Magic are true contenders, they must play like they are down the stretch if they are going to continue going on with their current nucleus.  Without a deep run in the playoffs, Otis Smith may shake things up in an attempt to please Dwight Howard, who can opt out of his contract in 2012.

Some betting trends:

Sacramento is 1-8 SU in their last 9 games and 4-18 SU in their last 22 road games.  Sacramento is 0-5 SU in their last 5 against Orlando and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 against the Magic.  The total has gone UNDER in 6 of their last 9 against Orlando and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 5 road games against Orlando.  Sacramento is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games against Orlando on the road and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 when on the road against Orlando.

The total has gone UNDER In 5 of Orlando’s last 6 games and the Magic are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.  The total has gone UNDER in 9 of the Magic’s last 12 games at home and Orlando is 12-3 SU in their last 15 at home.  The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Magic’s last 9 against Sacramento and Orlando is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games against Sacramento.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Magic’s last 5 at home against Sacramento and Orlando is 5-1 SU in their last 6 at home against Sacramento.

Key Matchups:

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Dwight Howard

While Dwight Howard is certainly the better of these two, Cousins is going to be a premier big man, and could eventually eclipse Andrew Bynum as the most offensively talented big in the Western Conference.  Howard has had no problems with Sacramento over his career, averaging 20.3 points per game (2.3 above his career average) and 14.0 rebounds (1.2 above his career average).  If Howard gets Cousins into foul trouble, which is very possible, backup Samuel Dalembert will see extended minutes.  Dalembert has the athleticism to stay with Dwight, but lacks the strength to keep Dwight from powering in towards the goal.  Either way, it’s inexperience or ineptitude that will keep the Kings from keeping Howard in check.

Omri Casspi vs. Hedo Turkoglu

Casspi is almost a Hedo-like prodigy.  The similarities are certainly there.  Both are capable of making plays and are tall mismatches for most small forwards.  If Casspi continues to develop, he could eventually be as good as Hedo has been at his best.  Hedo has experienced a renaissance in his return to Orlando.  He’s not scoring a lot (under 11 a game), but he is getting 5.3 assists per game and 4.7 boards, and often facilitates easy shots for Dwight Howard.  Casspi is averaging 9.4 points per game, 1.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds.  He’ll have to learn to handle the ball better to ever be as good as Hedo, but the possibility is there.

Tonight’s game really shouldn’t be that close.  The Magic have the Kings out matched at every position and Sacramento already played last night in Miami.  Expect the Magic to be fresher and just flat out better and win this one by double digits.

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