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Can Orlando Create Some Magic On The Road Against Indiana?

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/17/2013 7:04:48 PM

The Orlando Magic are not as bad on the road as you might think, but it is still going to be tough for Dwight Howard's former team to dig out a victory in Indianapolis against the Pacers.

Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers – Tuesday, March 19
Sport betting line:

Why Orlando Will Win

No bet on this game should ignore the centrality and primacy of the fact that the Magic have not always been a tomato can on the road. They have the results to prove it. No, this team is not a consistent winner, but it should not be discounted simply because it's playing away from North Florida. That's anything but the case.
A few months ago, Orlando won on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers. Earlier in March, the Magic came back from a 20-point deficit on the road in Miami against the Heat before losing by one point on a LeBron James layup in the final five seconds. This team puts up a good fight in a lot of road games; it is actually better on the road (8-22) than at home (10-25) by half a game.

Couple Orlando's feisty identity on the road with the fact that Indiana - generally a good home team - has lost each of its two home games against the Toronto Raptors this season. If Indiana can snooze and lose twice against Toronto, it can lose once at home against Orlando. The Pacers also lost at home to the Boston Celtics on March 6, scoring only 81 points in a very disappointing performance. Indiana has lost hold of its home-court momentum and confidence in Indianapolis. This is a beatable team, regardless of the location.

Why Indiana Will Win

Even mma betting experts know that it's going to be extremely hard for Orlando to win this game, given the ruggedness of the Pacers' defense and the size Indiana can bring to the table every night in the NBA. With Dwight Howard and now J.J. Redick out of the mix in Orlando, the Magic have Jameer Nelson as a legitimate scoring threat... and very little else with which to threaten opposing defenses. The absence of Howard is important against Roy Hibbert and David West. Orlando is not likely to get high-quality shots near the rim, and it will be equally difficult for the Magic to do damage on the boards.

The other obvious fact that bears mentioning in this game is that Indiana has a 26-7 home record, easily the second-best mark in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat. The Pacers defend their floor better than most teams in the NBA, and that's going to come in handy late in the season, when legs get a little weary and familiar shooting environment can keep a team settled. Speaking of the Heat, they're the only Eastern Conference team other than the Boston Celtics that has defeated Indiana in the Pacers' past nine Eastern Conference games. This is not a team that's struggling on a larger level, only in small pockets. This is very much the Pacers' game to lose.

Who Will Win

This is going to be a fairly lopsided game, precisely because Indiana is so good at home and because the Magic just can't summon forth much of any high-level consistency.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Indiana

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