Bet of the Day – Miami Heat at Orlando Magic, Feb. 3, 2011

Miami Heat (+1) at Orlando Magic (-1), Over/Under 197

The Orlando Magic are apparently still on Lebron’s “list”. They were on his list in November when the Magic won by 9 at home. The Heat are 3.5 games ahead of Orlando in the division. Miami has won 3 straight. They are coming of an easy win over the lowly Cavaliers. Orlando lost last time out at Memphis. Both teams will be motivated tonight for a big game.

Miami (34-14) has played well on the road. They lost last time out in Orlando by 9 but won their first match up in Miami by 26. Miami averages 47.1% shooting with 51 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 42.6% with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Miami is playing well and relatively healthy. They will need a big game to win on the road tonight.

Orlando (31-18) has been very good at home. They haven’t been great in recent games though. The Magic average 46.5% shooting with 52 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 44.3% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game. The Magic are a bit banged up and have been inconsistent recently. Miami appears to be keyed in on this game; can Orlando put together a big game against a Miami team with momentum?

The Sagarin Ratings have Miami 95.83 and Orlando 93.99. With the 3.64 home advantage, the fair line is Orlando -1.8.

My NBA model has Orlando 96.02 and Miami 93.81 for 189.83 total points. Miami is a better shooting and more efficient offense. The teams are similar in defensive statistics but Miami is slightly more efficient. The key variance contributor is Orlando’s offensive shooting percentage. Orlando has to meet or beat their average shooting percentage against a good defense to win and cover tonight.

I don’t go against my line very often but tonight I am taking Miami plus the points. Here’s why. Orlando beat Miami by 9 in their last meeting. Miami is playing well and with momentum. Orlando isn’t playing consistently and has some nagging injuries. Miami seems to have this game circled. Both my line and the Sagarin line are very close to the actual line. Bet the Miami Heat +1.

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