The Orlando Magic (12-8) and Philadelphia 76ers (14-6) are set to face off in an Eastern Conference showdown Monday night inside the Wells Fargo Center.
Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers
Orlando will look to snap a three-game losing streak and get its offense going in the process, failing to score more than 85 points during its recent troubles. The Magic scored 100 or more points in eight of their first 13 games, but have managed to average just 81.1 points over their last seven contests. “We’re in a real tough stretch and guys are playing poorly,” commented Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. Star center Dwight Howard is averaging 20.1 points and 15.5 rebounds per game, as he’s the team’s only legitimate option inside the paint. Orlando is 10-10 ATS on the season.
The Magic have compiled a decent 6-4 record on the road this season, which includes a 3-2 mark versus Eastern Conference teams. Orlando is 59-27 all-time versus Philadelphia during the regular season, winning 11 of the last 12 meetings overall. Howard should anticipate having a big game, averaging 24.0 points on 62.2 percent shooting in his last three visits to the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia is certainly one of the biggest surprises of the 2011-12 season, as its continues a seven-game homestand and looks to push its current win streak to three games. The 76ers have been doing great things on the defensive end, holding their last two opponents to fewer than 75 points, while giving up just 82.2 points a game in front of the home fans. The team has registered a 10-2 home mark this season, which includes a 9-1 record versus Eastern Conference rivals. Philadelphia is 6-16 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus campaigns.
The 76ers have not won more than one game in any of the past six season series with the Magic, averaging just 93.8 points in the four games during the 2010-11 campaign. Philadelphia will have to improve upon its perimeter defense in order to pull off the win Monday night, allowing Orlando to averaging eight three-point makes a game during last year’s season series. It’s important to note that the team’s 10 home wins have all been by double digits, marking the first time that’s happened in franchise history.
Bettors will likely back the Magic due to their 5-0 ATS mark in Philadelphia, while the 76ers are 2-8 ATS in the last 10 meetings in this series overall.
Recommendation: Orlando Magic +7
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