|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAThe Orlando Magic depart the warm lands of Disney for a long journey north to face the Raptors in Toronto's Air Canada Centre tonight at 7:00ET.
With the Dwight Howard saga behind them, the Magic did not respond well competing against one of the leagues better teams, Chicago last week. They were held to a remarkably low 59 points in an 85-59 thumping by the Derrick Roseless Bulls. Going into the contest, Orlando had fared well against Chicago and could have taken the season series with a win.
However, the Magic have come back by winning their last two in a row. On Friday, they beat the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers 93-80. Ryan Anderson led the effort with a game high 17 points, while Superman contributed 16 points and 13 boards. Orlando and Howard have had success against the Raptors. The team has won four of the last five and Howard has averaged 30.4 points and 11.7 rebounds in his last seven trips to Toronto.
An unusual two days off in this strike shortened, compressed, schedule could be of benefit to Orlando, especially for Howard who has appeared tired of late. The Magic have a firm hold on the third Eastern Conference playoff spot with an overall record of 31-18. They are 13-10 on the road.
While the Magic were being annihilated by Chicago, Toronto played them tough twice in the past week, albeit, losing both efforts. The last one was particularly tough, coming in overtime 102-101 on Saturday. In that one, James Johnson stepped up scoring 20 points and blocking 4 shots. Jose Calderon and Gary Forbes, starting for an injured DeMar DeRozan, both had double, doubles. The Raptors out rebounded the league leaders in that statistic 58-44. They did, however, commit 18 turnovers while forcing only 9 by the Bulls. Even with its improved play of late, the Raptors are 16-33 and sitting in the twelve spot of the standings, having gone 1 and 4 in its last 5. They're just 8-15 at home.
With that, Orlando is a 5.5 point road favorite in the sportsbook for a $110 wager to win $100. The same $110 will be needed to bet the over/under of 183.