December 26, 2016
There is one NBA pick tonight.
Take Orlando Magic +3 spread against Memphis Grizzlies for 3% of the bankroll.
Orlando is flying under the radar but is only 1.5 games behind a playoff spot at the moment. This squad has some ambitious players like newcomers Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo they have set their sights on a post-season spot even if the media doesn't see that as likely. We don't necessarily see that happening either in what is only Frank Vogel's first year in charge with his new team but we do believe they have potential and can surprise teams on certain nights.
Not only do the Magic present some matchup problems for the Grizzlies with their size and athleticism, they also have revenge in mind. That's because back on the first day of December, they travelled to Memphis and put up a great performance before failing to close out the game in the final minutes. They ended up losing that contest by just a single point but no doubt learned some valuable lessons from it and will be looking for payback tonight!
As for the grit-and-grind squad from Tennessee, they are a solid team but they aren't as good as their current record suggests. The Grizzlies have been extremely fortunate in close games this year (those decided by a single possession) and that type of luck doesn't last forever. While it's true that they have some players that perform well in clutch moments, no other NBA team, even the elites ones have recorded as many 'clutch wins' this season as Memphis has. The fact that their net point differential is just 0.2, having averaged 97.4 points while giving up 97.2 points per game on average, is another indicator that this is not a dominant team by any means. They've found ways to win games so far and deserve credit for that but sooner or later they're going to lose some 'close' games as well and this could be one of them.
Casual NBA bettors are all over Memphis tonight as they see a team with a strong record going against a below average team but sharp money is on the underdogs. The Grizzlies are not in a good scheduling spot tonight as this is the first of a back-to-back set which sees them travel to Boston tomorrow night. That should be of note as it was Isaiah Thomas the Celtics that handed Memphis a rare home defeat, and a very rare 'close loss' less than a week ago on Dec 20th! The Grizzlies haven't forgotten that and will be keen to avenge that defeat. They were in control of that matchup before Thomas eruped in the 4th quarter and propelled the C's to a 3-point victory! It wouldn't surprise us if some Memphis players looked past the lowly Magic tonight in anticipation of facing the Celtics tomorrow. If that is the case, Orlando will have a great chance to upset the Grizzlies and pull off the outright win, but even if they fail to do so, the 3 points are a bonus here and we'll gladly take them knowing they may come into play.
Last but not least, it's worth mentioning that several Grizzlies are working their way back from lengthy injuries and are not yet in good game shape. It'll take the likes of Chandler Parsons a few more games before he gets back up to NBA game speed and may lead to sluggish or inefficient performances in the meantime. Orlando is a live underdog in this spot and has also been a great bet after 2 days of rest, as they have so far won all 3 games this season in this particular situation. Take the points with them as they battle for the 'W' and quite possibly upset the visitors.
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