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NBA Wednesday Highlighted by a Battle of Los Angeles

Rivalries aren’t just for the college kids. Wednesday’s NBA basketball sports betting schedule has a few games ripe with bad intentions. Here’s a look at a few of these grudge matches:

Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic

No matter how much time passes, Vince Carter will always be an enemy of the Raptors. The team’s former superstar is settling into life in his native Florida, scoring more than 18 points and pulling in just under five rebounds a game in his first season with the Magic.

Carter burned Toronto for 24 points in a 104-96 win over the Raptors in November, then netted 12 points and six rebounds in a 118-99 victory over Toronto on December 16. Orlando comes into Wednesday’s game fresh off a meeting with the Indiana Pacers. The Magic have won six of their last seven home games, covering the NBA point spread in four of those contests.

The Raptors are one of the hottest bets in the NBA. Toronto has won six of its last seven games including an impressive 91-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. That improved the team to 12-5 at home. However, Toronto hasn’t carried that success over to the road, where it is a dismal 5-13 and has covered the spread just six times in those games.

Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs

The bad blood between these two teams goes back to the 2004-05 NBA Finals. The Spurs edged the Pistons in a knock ’em down, drag ’em out, seven-game series. Since then, Detroit has won five of the last eight meetings.

The Pistons are far from that 2004-05 Eastern Conference championship squad. The only three players remaining from that roster are Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince, who missed a good chunk of the season with injuries. With Hamilton and Prince back in the rotation, the Pistons have struggled to build chemistry with their new additions. Heading into Tuesday’s game in Dallas, they’d lost nine straight games, failing to cover in each of those outings.

San Antonio had a five-game winning streak snapped by the Raptors on Monday. The Spurs have won eight of their last 10 contests, covering the spread in seven of those games. Monday’s loss could have been due to the team-wide bug that has hit Manu Ginobili, Matt Bonner, Marcus Haislip, and star point guard Tony Parker. According to Ginobili, half the team is starting to come down with symptoms.

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

The battle of the STAPLES Center has been very one-sided in recent games. The Lakers have defeated their roommates in nine straight meetings, but the Clippers have covered as big underdogs in the past three games with the Lakers.

The Clippers are playing with more confidence in recent games. They have won three of their last four games, the most recent victory coming against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. That has them feeling good about snapping the Lakers’ dominance inside the STAPLES Center. The Clippers hope to have forward Al Thornton back at full strength. Thornton played just nine minutes against the Blazers while suffering through a stomach virus.

The Lakers host the Houston Rockets on Tuesday before taking on the Clippers. Heading into that game they had won three straight and eight of their last 10 outings. However, the team’s success and popularity among bettors has made it tough to profit off the Lakers. They’ve covered the NBA point spread just four times during that span.

The Lakers will be without star forward Pau Gasol, who strained his hamstring in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. Gasol missed 11 games with a similar injury at the start of the season, but the team doesn’t expect the injury to keep him out that long.

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