Magic vs. Mavericks – NBA Pick For January 9th
The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t bother to show up in Minnesota on Monday night, as LeBron James and company got absolutely rocked by the Timberwolves.
It was a truly woeful performance, as LeBron James took just 8 shots in 26 minutes and he ended the game as the only Cavs starter in double figures for scoring. Isaiah Thomas also got tossed in the third quarter with Cleveland down big and the Cavaliers ultimately lost by 28.
It was a horrifying effort across the board, which naturally made my Cavs pick at +1 look horrid. That snapped a nice three-game winning streak I had going and dropped my season NBA picks record to 37-21-2.
I was secretly hoping to reach 40 wins before I notched that 21st defeat, but my record is still blistering on the year. Suffice to say, if you’ve been going along with my daily basketball picks, you’re very much in the green at the moment.
My sights are on bouncing right back tonight, but it’s worth noting that Tuesday does not produce a very palatable NBA betting schedule.
There are only four games to work with and all of them could be traps.
Orlando and Dallas give bettors two terrible teams facing off, the Heat and Raptors are both riding 4+ game winning streaks, Portland is a big underdog in OKC and the Lakers will shoot for win #2 in a row at home against the Kings.
The most troubling bet on this slate is in Toronto. Normally I’d be all over them at -5 on their home floor, but they just finished a brutal OT thriller in Brooklyn last night. They will understandably be a bit tired, while top point guard Kyle Lowry has a back issue and is questionable to suit up.
Maybe that gets you on Miami, who have won four in a row. For me, it simply makes this a game to avoid. I also never trust the Thunder, so eating 8 points against a decent Blazers squad feels like a pretty big reach.
The Lakers winning two in a row these days feels like a gamble, too, but on the other side, you’re being asked to back the Kings? Please. As awful as it sounds, the Magic vs. Mavs game in Dallas looks like the best overall game to me.
To be frank, this is the only game on a small slate that I have real interest in, so if you’re not down for this one, taking a break and not even betting on NBA action tonight may not be the worst idea.
There is logic behind a solid bet here, though, and it largely centers around the Magic. Orlando has been one of the worst teams in the league since a surprisingly hot start at the beginning of the year, but they still have a lot of talent and will be facing a similarly bad Dallas team.
Orlando isn’t normally easy to trust on the road (5-16 outside of the Amway Center), while they leave a lot to be desired against the spread (14-25-1). The same can be said for the Mavs, though.
Dallas has just one more win than Orlando on the year and while bettors probably want to take solace in this being a home game, the Mavs are a suspect 8-14 on their home floor.
Dallas doesn’t make you feel good ATS, either. The Mavericks have been respectable (20-21) against the spread overall, but they haven’t really lived up to the hype (3-6) when Vegas backs them.
To put it simply, neither team can be trusted against the spread, but betting on Dallas to win by 8 points and covering here feels like a pretty big reach.
The Magic are notorious for getting housed and not performing well on the road, but they have some nice offensive talent and should have little trouble scoring on a Dallas defense that grades out as the NBA’s 22nd most efficient unit.
Ultimately, I think bettors can anticipate a lot of points in this spot and with virtually no defense, I think Orlando can hang in this one. Picking the Magic straight up (+245 at 5Dimes) offers some fun value, but it’s important to note that they’re far from reliable.
In a game that should be a bit faster than expected, I’ll bet the Magic can at least keep this one close and get bettors some value by beating this spread. Just make sure you shop for this +7 point spread, as some other NBA betting sites feature a +5 line.