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NBA Playoffs Betting – Magic will put away Cavaliers on Saturday

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 6:52:17 AM

Online sports betting handicappers didn’t include the Orlando Magic in their NBA picks for the finals, but that’s what sports are all about: surprises. The Cavaliers are down 3-2 in their series with the Magic but that’s as close as they are going to get. If you’re making your NBA picks, don’t bank on a Game 7 in this series.

NBA picks: Magic -1.5 for Game 6

  • Cavaliers defense has been the key reason why they are trailing 3-2
  • Cavs have no answers for Dwight Howard, Magic bench
  • The pressure has shifted to the Magic

Everyone was expecting a Cavaliers-Lakers Finals, but those NBA picks will have to change. The Magic have crashed the party and are here to stay. The difference in this series has been the Magic’s scoring balance against the Cavaliers one-man band, LeBron James.

James is averaging 36.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 13 postseason games this season, but the problem in this series against the Magic has been his team’s lack of balance. James is doing everything he can, but until Game 5, he wasn’t receiving the support necessary from Mo Williams, Delonte West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

While some NBA playoffs betting handicappers feel that the Cavs have turned a corner and have put the pressure on Orlando, the reality is that they still haven’t figured out the Magic. The Magic still shot nearly 46% from the floor and still topped the 100-point mark against the Cavaliers, who were supposedly the best defensive team in the NBA. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Cavs opponents were averaging 78 points per game whereas the Magic are averaging more than 100. Those making their NBA picks should see the writing on the wall: the Cavs defense is the problem in this series and not their offense.

Dwight Howard was again dominant in Game 5 scoring 24 points on eight-of-10 shooting and once again the Cavs bench was outscored by the Magic’s reserves. The one wildcard in this series will be the pressure and handicappers making their NBA playoffs betting picks need to be aware of it. The Magic have been pressure-free to this point; they stole home court advantage early and managed to protect their court, so now they have to close out the Cavs. The pressure is definitely on their shoulders.

Sportsbook odds makers have made the Magic a cautious 1.5-point favorite, which indicates that they are a coin-flip to win at home. But Amway Arena will be excited and the Magic should be much better at home. For starters, the Cavs won’t shoot 50% from the floor away from home, which they did in Game 5. And they also won’t hit nine three-pointers.

The Magic just have their number. They have won 10 of the last 15 matchups between the teams and they know how to contain them. If James goes crazy in Game 6 just like he did in Game 5, they’ll tip their cap. But the reality is that he’s not likely to perform like that again on the road.

Craig Parsons’ Pick: Magic -1.5

For more news on sports betting lines and daily NBA picks, check out the betonline.com Betting Edge.

Craig Parsons is an avid sports fan, but his true love has always been basketball. Too short to realize his dream of playing in the NBA, he did the next best thing: sports betting and covering basketball for a living. Thoughts or questions?


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