The Denver Nuggets (28-24) and Orlando Magic (32-20) will meet up for the first time during the 2011-12 campaign on Sunday night inside the Amway Center in Orlando
Denver Nuggets at Orlando Magic
Denver has tallied a 2-3 record in the first five games of a seven-game road trip, as it comes off a 99-88 win over the Charlotte Bobcats as 8.5-point favorites on Friday night. The Nuggets have gone “under” the total in consecutive games, which broke a streak of going “over” the number in five straight contests. The franchise has played well against Eastern Conference opponents this year, posting a 14-2 overall record, including a 7-1 mark on the road. Denver is 6-1 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points and the “over” is 6-1 in that situation.
The Nuggets are just 1-17 in their last 18 games played in Orlando, which includes an 85-82 loss in the last meeting in the series as 5.5-point road underdogs on March 18, 2011. Denver has been very inconsistent over the last month, failing to win consecutive games in its last six opportunities. The team’s last win streak came in four games from Feb. 29-March 5. Four of Sunday’s scheduled starters are averaging in double figures, with point guard Ty Lawson leading the way in scoring 15.6 points per game.
Orlando will look to snap a two-game losing streak and comes off a hard-fought 100-98 defeat to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks as five-point home favorites. The Magic have gone “over” the total in four of five games. Turnovers continue to be a problem for this squad, averaging 19 miscues over the last five games, while ranking 26th in that particular category for the entire year. “We keep doing it, doing it, and doing it,” commented Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy about the mistakes. Orlando is 21-17 ATS as a favorite this year and the “over” is 20-18 in that situation.
The Magic are 18-9 overall at home this season, including an even 4-4 mark versus Western Conference opponents. Orlando is currently in third place in the East standings, but will likely not be able to move up due to being six games behind the Miami Heat for the No. 2 spot in the upcoming playoffs. All-Star center Dwight Howard continues to lead the team on both ends, averaging 20.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
Bettors will likely back the Magic due to their 14-6 ATS mark following a straight-up loss, while the Nuggets are 0-7 ATS after winning a game.
Recommendation: Orlando Magic -5
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