NBA Betting – Thursday Picks – Orlando Magic vs Miami Heat
Before nba betting fans turn their attention to more sports betting events this weekend, we have the NBA doubleheader on Thursday night. It’s time for our weekly hoops picks for NBA gambling action.
Hard to figure the Miami Heat, don’t you think?
The slow (12-8) start, that nice stretch where they beat up a lot of bad teams, the inability to compete with real good teams, freaked out by the Celtics.
They are on a pace to win 59 games, which in normal circumstances would get the job done. But the predictions of 70-plus victories still ring in everyone’s ears, and anyone objective observer would include the words “Yeah, but” when analyzing the Heat’s season. What is certain, with 20 games remaining, is that the next 10 games will go a long way toward determining whether the Heat enter the playoffs as the No. 1, 2 or 3 playoff seed.
Miami is 43-17, two back of the Celtics in the loss column, and tonight is the second game of an 11-game stretch (9 of them at home) against teams with winning records. All of their opponents will be battling for either a spot in the playoffs or playoff position, and just about all of them would consider a victory over the Heat as their best win of the season. [Aside here: Boston is entering the softest part of its schedule over the next several weeks.]
First things first – putting away Orlando tonight would just about end any puncher’s chance that the Magic have of catching the Heat in the division. It would also force Orlando into a 1-on-1 battle with the Hawks for the Eastern Conference 4 seed a home-court edge in the first round of the playoffs.
Orlando heads into this game with a little bit of momentum, having put away Oklahoma City, Charlotte and New York in its last three games. The Magic have nice offensive balance (7 different players averaging in double figures), but their spotty play before the All-Star break forced them off the list of teams given a legitimate chance of getting to the NBA Finals. A win tonight over the Heat would restore a little street cred.
Under is 9-2 in ORL last 11 overall.
ORL are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Thu. games.
Over is 9-4-1 in MIA last 14 home games.
Over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
ORL are 13-6-1 ATS in the last 20 meetings.
Best bets: It’s doubtful that Miami is interested in running up and down the floor with Orlando, even at home. Controlling tempo makes more sense than a full-throttle game in which the deeper Magic would have an advantage. Betting here is that Miami declines to run and the game goes under at 197.
Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.