The Orlando Magic (21-26) head to play the Miami Heat (31-14) on Monday night. Both of these teams are looking for a win, mainly Orlando, which has lost three straight games.
The Magic will be playing back-to-back games after losing to the LA Clippers on Sunday. A pretty tough task if you ask me, playing one of the best teams in the Western Conference, and then playing the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat are also coming off a loss to the same Clippers team on Friday night. With injuries piling up on the sidelines, the Heat will look to get back on track and reclaim their number two spot in the East.
Miami comes in as a 4.5-point favorite, but will it be able to cover against a struggling Magic team?
Trying To Create Some Magic
Although the Magic are longshots to win this game, it’s hard to count out a team that has actually beaten the Lakers this season. Considering the Magic have lost four of their last five games, I’d say this game is a must-win for Orlando. Winning won’t be easy, though, as the Magic will have to beat one of the league’s best offenses, the only good news being all the injuries piled up on the Miami sideline.
Speaking of injuries, the Magic will still be missing DJ Augustin, a key player to be missing from the lineup in a game that they’ll need tons of help on offense.
The spread hasn’t been kind to the Magic, especially in their last five games. With an overall record of 21-24-2 ATS and a 1-5 ATS record in their last six games, trusting this Magic team with such a small spread is difficult.
Can Miami Bring The Heat?
The Heat have struggled recently. After a tough loss to the Clippers and potentially losing three players for this game against the Magic, the Heat will look to get back on track. After Miami fell on Friday night, the Toronto Raptors were able to claim the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, usurping the Heat.
If Miami wants to reclaim that spot, it will need to get another winning streak going. If the Heat can get a couple of players back for this game against the Magic, hopefully, they can start winning again. The good news for Miami is it will be playing at home, making it four straight games and one of the best opportunities for them to capture a win.
Something that I think is strange is that when the Heat played both the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings, they needed overtime to beat them. Unfortunately, that’s not bringing me much confidence in them covering the spread.
Considering the Heat could be without Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn, it could be a tough outing for the Miami offense.
Against the spread, the Heat have still been one of the league’s better teams, with an overall record of 24-19-2 and a home record of 14-7-1. The Heat have faltered recently when needing to cover, but for the most part, Miami is a trustworthy team against the spread.
Pick and Prediction
The Magic are clearly a long shot to win this game straight up, but even with the point spread, I don’t believe the Magic will be able to cover. Missing Augustin and playing in one of the toughest arenas to visit, I can’t take Orlando in this one.
The importance of this game for Miami is paramount, as they’ve already lost the number two spot to the Toronto Raptors, and another loss allows the Boston Celtics to creep closer. Although there is a chance that Miami could be missing some key players, I’ve got to go with the better team against the spread. Give me Miami – 4.5.