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Celtics vs Magic Betting Odds – Defense and More Defense

Posted by Craig Parsons on 1/27/2010 1:29:32 PM

NBA Odds: Pick Magic

The online betting aspect of this Thursday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic will be fascinating. Kevin Garnett has proven himself as a defender, but can the star post player produce enough offense to win what figures to be a defense-dominated matchup? Everyone in the NBA will intently watch this game as a barometer of where these two rivals stand.

What: NBA Betting
When: Thursday, January 29th, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Amway Arena – Orlando, FL
Key Stat: Celtics are 16-6 on the road this year; Magic are 16-4 at home

The Storyline – Celtics vs Magic betting odds breakdown
Sportsbook odds are sometimes easy to figure out, but when the Boston Celtics visit the Orlando Magic this Thursday night for a bigger than normal NBA tilt, it's going to be hard to assess two of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.

Boston has been struggling for much of the past three weeks, but that's because Paul Pierce hasn't been whole and Kevin Garnett missed 10 games with a hyperextended right knee. When Garnett got injured in a Dec. 28 loss at Golden State, the Celtics stood at 23-7 on the season. In the 10 games they played without K.G., the C's went 4-6 and looked quite ordinary.

Orlando's season progress is decipherable, but only in the sense that the Magic display different personalities in road games and home games. Orlando has played 10 road games in January and lost seven of them, but the defending Eastern Conference champions should not be losing to Indiana (Jan. 5) or Washington (Jan. 8). This is a team in search of an identity, which makes Orlando a mystery.

Offensive Matchups – Celtics vs Magic betting odds breakdown
The Celtics average 99.7 points per game, which isn’t that bad when one considers the fact that their horses (Pierce and Garnett) have not enjoyed prime health for most of the season. It will be interesting to see how efficient Garnett is in his first week back (he returned last Friday, Jan. 22, against Portland).

The Magic average 101.1 points per contest. Newly-acquired wing Vince Carter has had an up-and-down (mostly down) season for an inconsistent Orlando club, but with perimeter shooters such as Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick, plus the ballhandling of point guard Jameer Nelson and the interior presence of Dwight Howard, this is a balanced team that can beat opponents in many different ways.

Betting Edge: Magic

Defensive Matchups – Celtics vs Magic betting odds breakdown
The Celtics give up only 93.7 points a game, and in games when Kevin Garnett has played, that number sits at just under 92 points per contest. The Celtics, under coach Doc Rivers and assistant Tom Thibodeau, make great defensive rotations, and that’s why they were able to hold Orlando to 33 percent shooting in an 86-77 win over the Magic on Christmas Day.

The Magic, for their part, are very solid at the defensive end, conceding just 96.3 points per game. Orlando might have tripped at home against the Celtics this season, but a month earlier, on Nov. 20, coach Stan Van Gundy’s group went to Boston and held the C’s to 35 percent shooting in an 83-78 win. These teams know each other well after their seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinal series in last spring’s NBA Playoffs; it’s always smart to expect a defense-dominated game when Boston and Orlando collide.

Betting Edge: Even

Notable Injuries – Celtics vs Magic betting odds breakdown

There are no notable injuries to report in terms of players who will be out of the lineup. Boston guard Marquis Daniels is out for this game, and backup forward Brian Scalabrine is listed as questionable. Orlando backup center Adonal Foyle is out for this game. The key, though, is how Boston’s less than fully healthy stars – especially Garnett – fare at Amway Arena.

Betting Edge: Magic

Betting Prediction – Celtics vs Magic betting odds breakdown

These teams have won on each other’s home court, so logic suggests that Orlando should win in its own building. The fact that the Celtics are still learning how to re-integrate Garnett into their rotation should also give the Magic an extra degree of flow and continuity. Dwight Howard should be able to do enough in the low post against Garnett to make a difference for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Craig’s Pick: Magic

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge daily.



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