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April 8, 2016 (4:05 PM ET)

Take Miami Heat +1 spread against Orlando Magic for 3% of the bankroll.

This is a crucial matchup for the Heat who are currently in fifth place of the Eastern Conference and only half a game behind Boston and Atlanta! Charlotte is also in that logjam between the 3rd-6th spot in the East, right behind Miami. Given the fact that both the Celtics and Hornets are substantial favorites in their respective matchups tonight, Miami will almost certainly need to win this game in order to keep pace. Wade and company hae made no secret of their desire to secure a top 4 seed which would guarantee home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs! They can match Atlanta's record (will sport identical ones) with a 'W' tonight which allows them to stay in the hunt for the Southeast division crown!

The Heat have been playing great basketball as of late having won 5 of their last 7 games. They are the better team in this contest, they play solid defense and unlike their opponents, have a lot to gain or lose in what is going to be a home and home series with Orlando. While the Magic would no doubt like to pick up a win against their Florida rivals tonight, they truly have nothing but pride to play for, having already been eliminated from postseason contention. Erik Spoelstra's squad has feasted on "lesser" competition since the All-Star Break having won 13 of 15 games against teams with losing records in the second half of the season!

Yes, Miami is on the second night of a back to back schedule having recently come away with a win over the Chicago Bulls but we believe that is the only reason the spread is so short in this contest. The short distance (trip) from Miami to Orlando also makes this a lot more manageable than most back-to-back road games. Had the Heat come into this contest with rest, the spread would have been significantly higher. Even though they will be the less rested team in this matchup, we don't believe that will be a factor as Miami has shown their dominance over the Magic in this series having won 9 of the last 10 meetings! They have a deep and experienced squad that knows what it takes to succeed in such situations. Orlando will also be without the services of the extremely athletic Aaron Gordon tonight, who is sidelined due to the concussion protocol program.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Miami is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. division opponents!
  • Orlando is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Friday games!
  • Miami is 16-5 ATS in their last 21 vs. the Eastern Conference!

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