The Orlando Magic are double-digit underdogs Tuesday as they try and stave off elimination against the Indiana Pacers
The Magic are shooting 39-percent from the field in this series and 33-percent from 3-point range, five-percent lower than regular season averages
Getting one win in this series is more than some people gave Orlando credit for but the Magic don’t want to consider tonight’s contest “borrowed time”. Orlando outscored the Pacers 28-16 in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game to force overtime but the team can’t sit back and wait for a club as talented as the Pacers to build a double-digit lead.
Glen Davis has been big, stepping into replace Dwight Howard and progressively scoring more points per game throughout the series. Davis has three double-doubles in this series and Jason Richardson put up 25 points in the Game 4 loss. Keeping David West in check early will be a big priority tonight.
NBA odds for the first two games of this series offered the Pacers as a 9.5-point favorite and tonight, online sportsbooks have upped the ante to Indiana -10.5. The Magic has a 6-2 ATS record in the playoffs getting nine points or more but covering the spread doesn’t do them a lot of good and we expect the first-half to go a long way towards settling this game.
The Magic have held Indiana to 44 first-half points per game in this series, 3.2 points below the Pacers’ season average. If the Magic can maintain a defensive edge in the early going and make the shots count, HC Van Gundy’s team may be able to put itself in a position to win straight-up.
Since 2008, the Magic are 6-3 ATS when facing playoff elimination and they’ve won six of the past seven games in Indiana straight-up. Those stats suggest road dog value but we want to target the first-half, where current lines show the Pacers -6 and 90.5. The Magic can’t let this game get away early and if they can keep their composure, this game should stay below the number.
Pick: Take the first-half Under
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