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Boston vs. Orlando Free NBA Pick (Dec. 25)

NBA on Christmas Day – Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

Boston Celtics (22-5 SU, 12-15 ATS) at Orlando Magic (22-7, 15-12-2 ATS)
Friday, December 25: 2:30 p.m.

Here are some NBA betting trends which may impact this game:

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Boston : 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
Boston: 4-1 SU in their last 5 games
Boston: 7-6 ATS on the road

Orlando : 5-1 SU in their last 6 games
Orlando: 6-0 SU in their last 5 home games
Orlando: 12-2 SU at home

Last year, in a thrilling Eastern Conference Semi-Final, the Orlando Magic, edged the Boston Celtics in seven games. The Celtics will seek revenge, after already losing once to Orlando earlier this season.

Leading the way for the Celtics are the usual cast of characters, namely Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The three veterans were the core of the 2008 NBA Championship team, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they are this year’s backbone as well. However, as good as they’ve been, it was reported just Thursday morning that Pierce will be out the next two weeks with a knee injury. The loss of Pierce, the team’s second leading scorer, is a huge blow.

But despite the big three getting most of the headlines, a ton of credit needs to go to the development of point guard Rajon Rondo. The fourth-year player from Kentucky, has come into his own, and may even make his first All-Star game in 2010. He’s currently averaging 12 points, and almost 10 assists and three steals per game, while also shooting 55 percent from the floor. Needless to say, the Celtics aren’t 22-5 without him.

The Celtics also boast the NBA’s top defense, one that allows opponents just 92 points per game. In addition, the opposition shoots just 43 percent from the floor, which is the fourth best defensive field goal percentage in the league.

As for Orlando, they are atop the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division, despite getting some different production than last year. Gone is Hedu Turkoglu, and in his place has stepped a new leading scorer, Vince Carter, who was acquired in a trade with New Jersey. In addition to Carter, Dwight Howard averages 18 points per game, and Rashard Lewis averages 15, proving that Orlando has a pretty good “Big Three,” of their own.

On defense, everything is centered around Howard, the NBA’s premiere force down low. Howard currently leads the league in both rebounds (13.1) and blocks (2.48), and is someone you constantly have to account for.

If you plan on betting this game, expect it to be low scoring, as both these teams play absolutely exceptional defense. As we mentioned earlier, the Magic won this season’s earlier meeting, by the score of 83-78.

Expect this game to be in the 80’s as well, and expect the Magic to win again.

As well as the Celtics have been playing, it just seems impossible for them to beat a team of Orlando’s caliber without Pierce. He is not only a leader in the locker room, but on the floor as well. He will be sorely missed. And because of it, Orlando will get the win.

NBA Betting Pick: Orlando by six

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