Dwight Howard should be the sportsbetting favorite to win his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award, and he proved why by dominating Orlando’s Game 1 win over Charlotte. If the player they call “Superman” can avoid foul trouble and add a few more points on the offensive end, the Magic may rout the Bobcats in their Game 2 matchup on Wednesday.
Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic odds – Wednesday, April 21, 7:00 PM ET
The Bobcats held their own in a 98-89 loss in Game 1, but they failed to get out on Orlando’s three-point shooters, allowing the Magic to go 13-of-30 from beyond the arc. Gerald Wallace had a huge night with 25 points and 17 rebounds, while Stephen Jackson netted 18 points, but he played through a sore knee as he banged legs with Wallace in the second quarter, and coach Larry Brown sat an unhappy Jackson for the last few minutes of the game. An MRI revealed that Jackson had a bone bruise on his knee and while he’s sore, he expects to start in Game 2. Bringing Jackson to Charlotte ranks as one of the best moves of the season as he is a great two-way player, and his defensive ability (along with Wallace) allows the Bobcats to do a lot of different things.
Howard had just five points and seven rebounds, but four of those boards were on the offensive glass, and he swatted nine shots, including eight in the first half. Howard changes the way a team attacks, and you can bet that he was in the Bobcats’ heads. However, Howard got in foul trouble, which was how Charlotte managed to claw back from a 22-point deficit, but the Magic got 32 points from Jameer Nelson, who missed most of last year’s playoff run with a shoulder injury, and then he was clearly less than 100% for the Finals.
The Magic should be the NBA betting
favorites in this contest, and the Bobcats have now dropped 11 of their last 13 in Orlando. The Magic should be a little worried that they let such a big lead slip away, and Howard has to do a better job of being disciplined. If he stays on the floor, the Magic are a much more effective team at both ends of the floor. The Bobcats are also fouling Howard instantly as they know that he shot 61.2% from the free-throw line this season, and he either needs to start converting those chances, or getting to the hoop quicker. It’ll be interesting to see how healthy Jackson is, because he did a good job on Vince Carter, who was just 4-of-19 from the field.
NBA playoffs betting pick: Orlando
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