2008 Season NBA Basketball Past Picks

June 07, 2009


Orlando at Los Angeles

Sunday 06/07 08:00 PM Eastern

4 units on Orlando PICK (-110) (risk 4 to return 4)  RESULT: win

3 units on Game Total UNDER 202 -110 (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: win

2 units on 1st ½ Total UNDER 101 -110 (risk 2 to return 2)  RESULT: win

Watching game one, it looked like Orlando had a hangover from their big series win against the Cavs. There was a lid on the basket for Orlando. They got tons of great looks - layups, mid-range shots and wide open 3-point looks. They simply couldn't hit. How bad was it for Orlando? They shot 29.9% from the field. That's over 25% worse than their worst playoff shooting performance in the playoffs (40% vs. Boston in game four). That was the worst shooting performance by the Magic all season! If the Magic shot even 40% they are in this game and certainly cover the spread. Instead, we got a 25-point blowout. Now, was that 29.9% shooting a fluke or a result of good defense by the Lakers? It was a fluke. Again, Orlando got plenty of wide open layups and looks. They were just off. The Magic shot 45.6% during the regular season and they have averaged 45.7% in the playoffs (even with this last game thrown in). If Orlando shot their average last game, they would have made 12 more shots so that 25-point deficit disappears. So while most saw an easy convincing Lakers victory, I saw a fluky shooting game for Orlando - one that is very likely not to repeat. Orlando has a very short memory. They are resilient and don't let a bad performance get them down. They were down 2-1 to Philadelphia and won the series. They were down 3-2 to Boston and won the series. After the 40% performance against Boston, they shot 45% the following night. They had a bad outing again after that shooting 37% and rebounded from that performance with a 51.4% performance in their next game. Their worst performance in the playoffs was an 18-point loss to Boston and they won the following game 117-96. Their second-worst performance was a 10-point loss to Cleveland. They won the next game by 13 points. When the games counted (excluding a couple end of the season losses when starters sat), the Magic have consistently come back big after a double-digit loss. They suffered eight such losses during the regular season and came back to outscore the next opponent by an average of nearly 10 points per game. Yes, the playoffs are different, facing the same team again, but the results have been the same. I look for the Lakers to be a bit overconfident after their big win. If the Magic get anywhere close to the same number of good looks at the basket, and they convert closer to their season average, this will be a very close game. The Magic are 14-3 ATS the past two seasons off a double-digit road loss and this season they are 15-3 ATS revenging a loss in which they allowed 100+ points. The Magic get the call here. I also like the UNDER again. We played that as a 5-unit play in game one noting that both teams are averaging less than 200 points in the playoffs yet we saw a total of 206. That was the easiest bet of the playoffs thus far as the teams went UNDER the total by 31 points. Now the oddsmakers are in a real quandary. They realize their total for game one was way off but how far can they adjust it? They've shaved four points off that total but just two baskets isn't enough! The total in this game should be under 200 again and yet it's over 200. The Magic and Lakers have both been playing to totals well under their season average. The 20 Magic playoff games have averaged just 190 points, while the Lakers have averaged 198 in their 19 games. The average of the two is 194. The Lakers have played eight of their last nine playoff games at home UNDER the total and 28 of their last 37 as a favorite UNDER the total. The last six times these two teams have met in Los Angeles, the total has gone UNDER in all but one. Orlando is 12-3 UNDER this season vs. teams that average 103+ ppg while the Lakers are 13-5 UNDER at home vs. teams that outscore their opponents by 3+ ppg. I like the Magic and the UNDER here.


2008-09 Recent Results

Wins Losses Units
38 31 +3.78

with detailed analysis