Winning NBA Picks: San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic

San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic
December 23rd, 2010 at 8:00 PM EST
Opening Line:  Orlando -2.5
Current Line: Orlando -2.5
Opening Total: 199.5
Current Total: 198
Opening Moneyline:  Orlando -140 / San Antonio +120
Current Moneyline:  Orlando -140 / San Antonio +120

How well will Arenas adjust to playing with a better team in Orlando?

Orlando (16-12) comes into tonight’s game as losers of eight of their past nine games, but much has changed throughout the losing streak, from starters being sick, to massive trades overhauling the entire team, and despite the recent loss to Dallas, Orlando fans are optimistic moving forward.  Apparently NBA Oddsmakers are, too, because despite being 25-3 and riding a 10 game winning streak, somehow the San Antonio Spurs are not favored in tonight’s game.  It seems implausible and improbable to favor the Magic who have yet to even begin to gel as a team given their roster additions and they have only had one practice shootaround together.

The new additions of Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu have yet to get going offensively.  “I don’t know if it’s being in a new situation or putting too much pressure on themselves,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “All three of them are struggling to shoot the ball.”  Jason Richardson came up with some late game heroics Tuesday night against Dallas, but struggled overall.  Hedo Turkoglu had a poor shooting game but 8 assists, and Arenas played but 17 minutes off the bench.  Rotations still have yet to be worked out and everyone is finding their way.

Howard rationalized, “We’re just in a tough stretch right now, but it’s December. It can’t get any worse, One thing I tell the guys is, ‘Don’t get frustrated with what’s going on right now. We all hate losing. But you know, we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and we have to stay together. We can’t allow games we lose to take us off our goal and keep us from each other.’”

The Spurs will certainly give the Magic no sympathy.  It took a late game rally to beat the Magic last meeting and San Antonio will try to avoid that tonight by taking charge early.

Some betting trends:  The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Antonio’s past 5 road games.  San Antonio has won 9 of their last 10 road games and the total hasg one OVER in 6 of San Antonio’s last 7 games when playing Orlando.  They have won 13 of the past 19 meetings between the teams and are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games when playing on the road in Orlando.  The total has gone OVER in 9 of San Antonio’s last 11 games in Orlando.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Orlando’s last 9 games.  Orlando is 18-7 over their last 25 home games, but are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.  Orlando has won 4 of their last 6 at home against San Antonio.

Tonight’s game should be an interesting one, but I’m having trouble understanding why Orlando is favored by NBA oddsmakers.  All things would point to the advantage being in San Antonio’s favor yet they are 2.5 point underdogs.

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