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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Bet of the Day – Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies, Jan. 31, 2011

Orlando Magic (-2) at Memphis Grizzlies (+2), Over/Under 196

Orlando has been up and down lately. They haven’t covered in their last two games. The Magic sit 2.5 games behind Miami in the Southeast division. Memphis has won two straight games and 7 of their last 10. They are now .500 for the season. The Magic beat Memphis in Orlando by 17 in mid-November.

The Magic (31-17) haven’t been a great road team. Their last win over a .500 or better team was January 8th in Dallas (Nowitzki was out). Orlando averages 46.5% shooting with 52 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 44.1% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Orlando has won the last two meetings in convincing fashion. They will need a big effort from a banged-up squad to win on the road tonight.

Memphis (24-24) is 3-0 since O.J. Mayo was suspended. They are 14-7 at home. The Grizzlies average 46.2% shooting with 50 rebounds and 9 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 45.7% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Memphis has played a tougher schedule than Orlando but their recent home competition has been weak. They are 13-7 against the spread at home. Can the Grizzlies keep their positive momentum moving against a top team?

The Sagarin Ratings have Orlando 94.17 and Memphis 90.79. With the 3.61 home advantage, the fair line is Memphis -0.23.

My NBA model has Memphis 97.45 and Orlando 96.02. The teams are similar on offense in shooting and efficiency. Orlando is a better 3-point shooting team. Orlando is a slightly better defensive team. The key variance contributor is the Grizzlies’ shooting percentage. Memphis has to shoot at or above their average to win tonight.

Tonight I am taking the home team plus the points. Here’s why. Memphis is playing better and shoots 1.9% better on average at home. Orlando isn’t a great home team; they also have some lingering injuries. I modeled the game at Memphis -1.43. Bet Memphis Grizzlies +2.

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Bet of the Day – Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls, Jan. 28, 2011

Orlando Magic (-1.5) at Chicago Bulls (+1.5), Over/Under 188

Sorry for the late post. No bet of the day yesterday. The Magic enter the game off a comfortable road win over the Pacers.  They are only 1.5 games behind the head in the Southeast division. The Bulls are comfortably atop the Central division. They have won 3 straight but were embarrassed by the Magic at home in December. Derrick Rose has had stomach ulcers but is probable tonight.

Orlando (30-16) is a decent road team. They have beaten the Bulls three straight times by 20 or more points. The Magic average 46.7% shooting with 52 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 44.1% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Orlando has owned the Bulls recently. If Derrick Rose is unable to play, that trend could continue.

Chicago (31-14) has won 8 of their last 10 games. If Derrick Rose is on the bench, it will be a tall order to win a 4th straight game. The Bulls average 45.9% shooting with 54 rebounds and 7 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 42.3% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  The Bulls are still without Joakim Noah, but Carlos Boozer is back in the lineup. The Bulls have been embarrassed in recent games by the Magic; expect a big effort tonight.

The Sagarin Ratings have Orlando 94.35 and Chicago 94.31. With the 3.51 home advantage, the fair line is Chicago -3.47.

My NBA model has Chicago 94.75 and Orlando 88.59 for 183.34 total points. The Magic are a better, more efficient offense. The Bulls are a better, more efficient defense. The key variance contributor is the Bulls offensive shooting percentage. The Bulls have to shoot at or above their average to win tonight.

Tonight I am taking the Bulls plus the points. Here’s why. Chicago is playing well and is an excellent home team. The Bulls are a home underdog and Rose will likely play. The Magic beat the Bulls in Chicago by 29 in December. I modeled the game at Chicago -6.16. Bet Chicago Bulls +1.5.

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Bet of the Day – Orlando Magic at New Orleans Hornets, Jan 12, 2011

Orlando Magic (-3.5) at New Orleans Hornets (+3.5), Over/Under 191.5

Sorry for the late post.  The Magic enter tonight’s game on a 9-game win streak.  They haven’t played since Saturday but play 4 straight road games in 6 days.  The Hornets are coming off a nice win in Denver and a 3 day break.

Orlando (25-12) sits 4 games behind the Heat in the Southeast division.  The Magic are a decent road team but face a very good defensive Hornets team.  Will their 9-game win streak end in New Orleans?  The Magic average 46.9% shooting with 52 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 43.9% shooting with 48 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  Like the Hornets, the Magic play good defense.  They hold opponents to 93.4 points per game. The Magic will need a big effort to win tonight; they could be rusty off a 4-day break.

New Orleans (22-16) started the season with 8 straight wins (also won 11 of their first 12).  They have flattened out since, but are playing excellent defense and may be on the verge of another hot streak.  The Hornets average 45.5% shooting with 49 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 44.4% with 47 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  New Orleans is playing well but needs to slow down Dwight Howard tonight to win.  Howard has played very well against New Orleans in the past.

The Sagarin Ratings have Orlando 94.49 and New Orleans 92.52.  With the 3.42 home advantage, the fair line is New Orleans -1.45.  According to pregame.com, 80% of spread bets are on Orlando and 66% of total bets are on the Over.  The lines haven’t fluctuated much since opening.

My NBA model predicts New Orleans 89.40 over Orlando 88.36.  Orlando is a better shooting and more efficient offense.  As long as Dwight Howard is playing, they won’t be shooting well from the free throw line.  The teams are very similar on defense.  Orlando allows a slightly lower shooting % but the Hornets allow fewer points (2nd lowest in the league).  The key variance contributor is New Orleans defensive shooting percentage allowed.  The Hornets have to keep Orlando below their average shooting percentage to win and cover.

Tonight I am taking the Under.  Here’s why.  Both teams are coming off a few days rest and could be rusty.  Both teams are very good defensive teams.  I modeled the game at 177.76 total points against a 191.5 over/under line.  Bet Orlando/New Orleans Under 191.5.

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