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Orlando Magic Odds - Carter brings Magic tricks, but Orlando will fall short

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 7:00:14 AM

Some NBA betting players rode Orlando all the way to the Finals last year, where they fell in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic will be out to prove last year was no fluke, and added a couple of pieces they hope will guide them back to the Finals, but with a healthy Boston and an inspired Cleveland team in the way, the Magic will take a small step back.

Orlando Magic Odds: +800 to win NBA Championship

  • Carter brings scoring to Magic lineup
  • Can “Superman” continue development?
  • Healthy Nelson makes a difference

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
Howard anchors the starting five in the middle, and it’s scary to think he’ll be only 24 in December. Carter will step in as the starting shooting guard, although he can play the three as well. Jameer Nelson is 100% healthy and returns to run the point after last year’s shoulder injury, while Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus round out the starting five, but the onus is on Carter to make up for the loss of Hedo Turkoglu, who left for Toronto.

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: BENCH
It’ll be interesting to see how center Marcin Gortat plays after the Magic matched Dallas’ offer sheet for the “Polish Hammer”. Gortat would have probably started in Dallas, but now he’s relegated to the bench again. Brandon Bass joined the team from Dallas to give Orlando depth at power forward, and Pietrus can always go back to the bench to give the Magic subs a spark.

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
Three-point shooting was the key to Orlando’s betting online odds last year, as they were seventh in the NBA. Carter brings a slashing presence to the floor, but there are two things that need to happen: Carter has to stop settling for jumpers, and he has to stay healthy. Howard continues to expand his offensive repertoire, and the Magic will run more smoothly with Nelson at the point. Lewis also needs to assert himself more.

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
No worries here, as the Magic are led by Howard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Howard snatches boards, blocks shots, alters even more, and forces teams to change their gameplan. The rest of the Magic has bought into Stan Van Gundy’s plan to funnel everything into Howard, and this system fuels their sportsbook odds.

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Van Gundy made a couple of bad decisions last year, but all in all, you don’t lead your team to the NBA Finals if you’re a bad coach. Van Gundy uses the parts he has, and he’s created a solid if unspectacular system for the Magic to play in. If he could get Howard to be mean, he’d be Coach of the Year.

Orlando Magic odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
It was only a matter of time before Orlando’s perimeter game let them down, and it did in the Finals. Carter isn’t the explosive slasher he used to be, and he’ll happily join Orlando’s group of three-point shooters around Howard. Defensively, he’ll have to buy into the system as well, and we’re not too confident about that, but it’s not like Turkoglu locked players down. The Magic are, by default, the third-best team in the East, and got some breaks along the way last year. That won’t happen this year.

For more sports betting tips and analysis on the upcoming hoops season, check out Craig Parsons in’s The Betting Edge.

Craig Parsons is's college basketball expert.



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