The Orlando Magic are playing some of their best basketball of the season down the stretch, winning three straight and nine of their last ten games to pull away from both the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern conference.
Although it is unlikely that they will be able to catch the first-place Cavaliers who currently hold a six-game lead over Orlando, home court advantage throughout the first two rounds will be key, especially if they are to meet the team they face on Wednesday, Atlanta, in a potential second-round sports betting postseason rematch.
Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks
Wednesday March 23, 2010- 7:00 PM ET
US Sportsbook Reviews Odds: Hawks -180
The Hawks have played around .500 ball over their past ten games, going 6-4 to keep pace with the Celtics while the top two teams in the conference, the Cavaliers and Magic separated from the pack with 9-1 records over that span. Atlanta now trails Orlando by four and a half games for both the Southeast division lead, and the second spot in the conference. Look no further than their record within the division for the reason why, as the Hawks has gone just 6-7 in division play compared to the Magic’s mark of 9-5. In addition, while Orlando has managed to play well on the road, registering a record eight games above .500, Atlanta is one game below in games played away from Philips Arena.
Three of the four and a half games the Hawks trail the Magic by are a direct result of the season series between these teams. Atlanta has dropped all three decisions to Orlando heading in to their final regular season meeting, including a 96-73 home loss on Thanksgiving Day. The Magic enters this contest, winners of six straight over Atlanta, including four-straight at Philips Arena dating back to last season. Orlando’s All Star Dwight Howard grew up in the Atlanta area where he played high school ball with SW Atlanta Christian Academy, which makes every visit to the Georgia area a special one for the top center in the conference, especially with the alma matter excitement of the March Madness betting.
NBA Betting Lines: Over/Under 192
[adinserter block=”2″]In three meetings this season, the Magic and Hawks have failed to go over the 194-point mark combined. Atlanta is ranked eighth in the league in scoring, including tenth in field goal percentage and hold the lowest turnover per game average in the association, but have struggled mightily against Orlando with point totals of 76, 81, and 86 for an average of 81 points per game. Despite that the number has gotten higher in every game, the Hawks are still averaging 21.5 less points than there 102.5 average output. Orlando on the other hand has had no problem scoring against its division rival, dropping totals of 93, 113, and 104 on Atlanta this season, averaging just over 103 points per game. If the Magic can continue to put up the point totals they have, and the Hawks numbers continue to rise as they have, this game should go over the number, and carry on the excitement that we’ve been missing during this March Madness odds break.
Pick: Over 192
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