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Spurs vs. Magic Free NBA Pick (Dec. 18)

NBA Sports Betting Spurs @ Magic

The San Antonio Spurs (15-9 SU, 12-12 ATS) are hurting from a sudden meltdown last night in New Orleans. On Thursday night they will try to rebound as they take on the Orlando Magic (19-6 SU, 15-9-1 ATS), which is generating a lot of heat in the Sunshine State in NBA pro basketball sports betting action that is scheduled to get underway at 8 PM ET at Amway Arena in Orlando.  

BetUS NBA Basketball Betting Odds: ORLANDO -3.5, Total 192.5

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* SA has won six of its last seven games SU
* SA has won six of its last eight road games SU
* ORL has covered its last five games
* ORL has won six of its last seven games SU
* ORL has played five of its last seven games UNDER the total
* ORL has won five of its last six home games SU
* ORL has played five of its last seven home games OVER the total

Also….

* SA has covered four of the last six meetings
* SA has won 11 of the last 14 meetings SU
* Four of the last six meetings have gone OVER the total
* SA has won six of the last eight meetings SU as the road team
* Eight of the last nine meetings in Orlando have gone OVER the total
* SA has had the rebounding edge in nine of the last ten meetings
* SA has made more three-pointers in nine of the last ten meetings

The Spurs looked really good for three quarters on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets, then fell victim to a furious 13-0 run in the final period as they lost, and failed to cover, in a 90-83 defeat. It was the first loss in San Antonio’s last seven games. Gregg Popovich has bemoaned his team’s lack of toughness, especially late in the game, and on Thursday they will most likely have to deal with one of the toughest players in the NBA.

Orlando has been playing without Dwight Howard who has a sore knee. On Monday night at the Oracle Arena they sank ten three-point shots as they beat the Golden State Warriors 109-98. In three of their last four games they have shot 48% or better. Over that four-game period they are averaging slightly above 108 points a game. This Orlando team is second in the league in three-pointers (9.3 per contest) and they are stepping that activity up of late, as they move a little more to the outside for their offense in Howard’s absence.

Howard has been fitted with a brace, and there are plans to reduce his practice time in order to reducing the stress on that knee. Stan Van Gundy told a reporter from Florida Today, “There will be some days that he doesn’t practice at all and there will be some days he does a little stuff. And there may be some days he does everything. It will depend on how he feels and what we’ve done on the previous days.” By the way, Howard, who leads the NBA with 14.1 rebounds per game, has every intention of playing in Thursday night’s game.

One guy who may not play for Orlando is Mickael Pietrus, the shooting guard who offers some size in the backcourt. Pietrus, who was averaging 13 points a game, has missed nine games in a row with a torn ligament in his right thumb.

But you know, Van Gundy has done a good job of adapting to these injuries. The Magic is a point away from having a string of 11 wins in 12 games, and they have covered five games in a row. They bring a scheduling advantage into this game with two days off since they flew back from the west coast, while San Antonio extended itself last night. We’ll lay the points with Orlando, the 3.5-point favorite in the BetUS NBA pro basketball sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: ORLANDO -3.5 ***

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