March 5, 2018
There is one NBA pick tonight.
Take Orlando Magic +9.5 spread against Utah Jazz for 3% of the bankroll.
The Utah Jazz are a very good team in our opinion and could still make the playoffs despite currently sitting in the 10th spot in the West. They are just two games behind the 8th and final post-season spot and have a realistic chance of getting there in what is a bunched up conference all the way from 3rd to 10th! Only 4 games in the loss column separate the current 3rd placed team (Blazers) with the 10th seed in the West (Jazz) which shows just how competitive and tight the race for a playoff spot and home-court advantage in the first round is. We believe when it's all said and done, Utah might sneak in but that doesn't mean they'll be blowing teams out between now and the end of the season.
This is a matchup that looks easy on paper but could prove difficult. We do expect the hosts to find a way to secure a 'W' but we don't believe it'll come easily. To expect Utah, a defensive-minded team to win this by double-digits is a big ask! The Jazz are solid but Orlando is no pushover at its current state. They have all their key players back healthy and have been playing well. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic missed a lot of games right before the All-Star break and other injuries had also decimated this squad. Not only are Vucevic and Gordon back but they've now had a number of games to dust off the rust and get back in game shape. They are playing 30 plus minutes again with high usage and are a big frontcourt threat which nicely complements the guard play of the likes of Evan Fournier. This is a talented lineup that can hurt you on the inside or the outside and they're finally playing well as a group. The ball has been moving from side to side and Frank Vogel's group has upped its number of assists per game a good amount since the All-Star break.
Orlando has won consecutive games for the first time in a longwhile and although we believe they'll come back down to earth tonight at Salt Lake City, we do see them putting up a fight and making Utah 'earn' it. This is a matchup that could be decided in the final minutes and if that is the case, the 9 points should prove precious. The Magic are a live underdog in this spot and should cover the spread even if they fall short. They are capable of staying within this generous spread and could even cause an upset. We expect Donovan Mitchell and company to close the game out and give the hosts a victory but we don't anticipate it coming by double-digits. They did enough against Sacramento to secure a 'W' but couldn't cover the spread (-7.5) and now are being asked to beat a better team in Orlando by a bigger margin! Take the points with the visitors in this one as Orlando finds a way to keep it close.
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