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Magic Lakers Betting Predictions – Howard Reintroduced To Former Team As Lakers Host Magic

Posted by Craig Parsons on 12/2/2012 5:47:50 PM

When Dwight Howard left the Orlando Magic, one of his reasons was because he wanted to play for a championship contender. It is still early, but right now it looks like Howard has that same problem. Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a blockbuster deal over the summer, but has struggled to get going with his new teammates despite the change in environment. Howard and the Lakers are back in action this Sunday, and it will be the big man’s former team, the Orlando Magic, that are in town.

Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday December 2, 2012 – 9:30 PM ET
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
NBA Sportsbook Line: Los Angeles Lakers – 5.5

The Magic hasn’t been any better this season without Howard, but they really haven’t been much worse either. Orlando battled to win five of its first seven games before letting the last two slip away, and won’t need a reminder from ownership that this is a big one.

NBA Betting Preview: Orlando Magic

While the Magic has struggled, it isn’t exactly in the area that most people would assume. Orlando is actually ranked in the top-10 in rebound and 12th in points allowed, the two areas that were expected to take the biggest hit without Howard. The real problem has been at the offensive end of the floor, where the Magic is ranked just 28th in points per game. Orlando has five scorers that have averaged over 10 points per game this season, but none of them more than Aaron Afflalo’s sports betting average of 15.4 points.

NBA Betting Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

It’s no surprise that the Lakers rank third in the NBA in rebounding, and it’s easy to dissect the problem once you realize they rank in the bottom half of the NBA in assists. With Steve Nash sidelined, Los Angeles has relied too heavily on leading scorer Kobe Bryant, and both Howard and Pau Gasol have struggled to get their open looks. The Lakers still have the pure talent to win games even if they aren’t moving the ball around the way they should, but it certainly makes it tougher when they are not creating the open looks that they need.

NBA Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

With Nash set to be back soon, the Lakers are simply biding their time and trying to get by with what they have, which is still pretty substantial. Los Angeles is still a top-five team in terms of overall talent, and a visit from the Magic may be just what this team needs to get back on track. The Lakers haven’t had a real statement online betting game all season, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if it came against Howard’s former team. The talent is certainly there, and the players know that everyone will be watching this one.

NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers

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