It’s a short but sweet slate of games in the National Basketball Association on Monday, but there are a pair of NBA games which really stick out for sports betting.
One team has given me fits, as they are significantly better than their opponent, but seem to always play down to their competition and make their side bettors really sweat on a nightly basis.
Orlando Magic (+2.5) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are the aforementioned team which really seem to struggle when facing a lesser team. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic is playing very well lately, and the Magic are fighting and clawing for that final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Maybe that will pique the interest of the Sixers and have them playing at their best. Hopefully not, though. Philly won 114-106 on their home court back on March 5 to cover a four-point number against the Magic in the City of Brotherly Love. However, the Magic protected their home court on Nov. 14, winning outright as six-point ‘dogs, and they also cashed in the first meeting back in October, easily covering a 12.5-point line.
Philly has won six of the past seven overall, but they’re just 2-4 against the spread (ATS) across the past six, and 3-6 ATS over the past nine outings. Orlando, on the other hand, has covered the spread in eight of their past 11 games at home, and they’re 5-1 ATS in the past six against teams with a winning overall mark. That makes them attractive short ‘dogs at home.
Memphis Grizzlies (+5.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The boys from Grind City looked to be in tank mode in the middle of the season, and it looked like they were throwing in the towel once they parted with Marc Gasol at the trade deadline. But the deal of the veteran seems to have galvanized this group of young players and misfits, and Memphis is not an easy out these days. Just ask the Houston Rockets, who left with a 126-125 overtime loss back on March 20, or ask the Magic, Utah Jazz or Portland Trail Blazers who headed home with L’s courtesy of the Grizz. Sure, Memphis was listless in their most recent outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they also seem to get up for OKC. They played tough at Chesapeake on March, losing 99-95 as 10-point ‘dogs to cover, and the home team is 13-5 ATS in the past 18 in this series. OKC is also just 1-4 ATS in the past five games overall, too. Perhaps Russ and the boys get a win, but look for the home team to cover in a close one.