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Spurs vs Magic Picks - Orlando Looks to Edge San Antonio At Home

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/16/2010 2:06:24 PM

The number one team in the Southeast takes on the number two team in the Southwest on Wednesday, as Orlando hosts the San Antonio Spurs for what should be a spirited and fast-paced evening of midweek hoops.

  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:00PM EST
  • Where: Amway Arena, Orlando, FL
  • Key Stat: San Antonio sports a .500 record on the road

The Storyline - Spurs vs Magic Picks

Things seem to be back on track for Vince Carter. While January was what could only be termed a mensis horribilis for Orlando's 33-year-old star guard-forward, his situation has dramatically improved. As a team, Orlando sat at .500 during Carter's slump, but since January, Vince has been averaging 18.6 points on 52 percent shooting, and his team has shown their ability to focus and correct mistakes. They currently sit atop the standings in the Southeast division, and look to shut down the dangerous San Antonio spurs in their first meeting of the season.

For their part, San Antonio is a team overlooked by many. San Antonio are carrying confidence and momentum into this game, having won seven of their last eight games and sitting at 14 games above the .500 mark - a season high for the team. The Spurs, however, have shown a real flakiness on the road, often underperforming against teams they should beat. Against a team as dangerous as the Magic will prove a formidable challenge for the Spurs on Wednesday.

Offensive Matchups - Spurs vs Magic Picks

Vince Carter has stepped up into the team's leadership role, and Dwight Howard has been a beast in the Magic's most recent run, routinely leading the team in points and rebounds. Even in their recent loss to Charlotte, Orlando's stalwarts put on good performances, with Howard and Carter earning 27 points and 23 points, respectively. It is the rest of the team that must rise to the occasion now, if they are to beat a talented team like San Antonio.

San Antonio has shown real depth as of late, with coach Gregg Poppovich giving aging stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili more time to rest on the bench. Both Matt Bonner and Malik Hairston showcased that depth in their recent performances off the bench against the L.A. Clippers. Unfortunately for San Antonio, the Magic are not the Clippers, and Duncan and Ginobili won't be getting any rest time on Wednesday. Even with their big guns, the Spurs are outmatched by the Magic - Howard and a rejuvenated Vince Carter will prove too much for the team on Wednesday.

Betting Edge: Magic

Defensive Matchups - Spurs vs Magic Picks

While neither team is deficient in the defense department , neither team has a distinct advantage, either. Dwight Howard has continued to be solid on defense for the Magic, routinely leading the team in rebounds. If he can keep his turnovers in check, he could figure in as a big part of an Orlando victory at home.

For San Antonio, Richard Jefferson has continued to be solid under the basket, grabbing nine rebounds in their win against the Clippers. That blowout over the Clippers also saw reserve Cedric Jackson perform well, even stuffing Baron Davis at one point. Could the young, D-League rookie factor in to the matchup?

Betting Edge: Even

Notable Injuries - Spurs vs Magic Picks

Matt Barnes sat out the Magic's Sunday night game against the Charlotte Bobcats because of a sprained big toe on his left foot. While both Barnes and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy were optimistic that Sunday's game would be the only one the 30-year-old forward would miss, it is still unknown whether or not Barnes will be in the lineup against the Spurs.

Meanwhile, after what has already been a tough season in the injury department, San Antonio has been crippled with the loss of point guard Tony Parker. The 27-year-old broke a bone in his hand in a 102-92 victory over Memphis, and the player will be out at least six weeks - the remainder of the regular season. Assuming the prognosis does not change and Parker does not require surgery, the point guard could be back in time for the playoffs - provided San Antonio qualifies. Coach Gregg Poppovich called the injury "very deflating".

Betting Edge: Magic

Betting Prediction - Spurs vs Magic Picks

While it certainly won't be a blowout, the sportsbook will show Orlando out hustling San Antonio at home. The Spurs are without question a talented team, but they are flaky on the road, and the Magic have been on an absolute tear, minus that hiccup against Charlotte. There is a reason Orlando is the number two team in the East and San Antonio is the number seven team in the west. Provided the rest of the Magic don't leave the entire effort up to Carter, Howard and Pietrus, San Antonio is going to have their hands full on Wednesday night.

Craig’s Pick: Magic

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



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