NBA Betting: Can Magic conjure victory in Florida derby? (By Betfair)


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Dec 2, 2008
NBA Betting Preview: Can Magic conjure victory in Florida derby?


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After the Celtics winning streak was finally brought to an end by their bitter rivals, the NBA has a much more competitive look to it. Nick Shiambouros of Betfair Canada Blog picks the best bets on a weekend full of important matches, including a hot Florida derby...

The 19 game winning streak by the Celtics was finally broken by the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas day in a thrilling contest at the Staples Center in LA.
The game could have gone either way but the Lakers came up big in the last few minutes to finally put the Celtics away. It meant a lot more to the Lakers to try and heal some of the scars left from last year's thrashing in the finals. Once again the Lakers look impressive when Kobe Bryant involves more of his team in the scoring. Pau Gasol scored 20 very important points as he dominated inside the paint.

The Celtics reacted to the defeat by losing another two games and finished their road trip 1-3. This allowed Cleveland and Orlando to close the gap to one and 2.5 games in the Eastern Conference.

There was no play on New Years Day but plenty of important matches take place this weekend in the NBA.
On Friday night the Orlando Magic host state rivals the Miami Heat . The Magic have exceeded my expectations this season and are only 2.5 games behind Boston with a record of 21-4 since mid-November.
It is not only Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkolu who are playing well for the Magic. Rashard Lewis scored an amazing 21 points in only 30 minutes of play against the Bulls on the last day of 2008.

I will be taking the Magic and the points in this game to continue this great run. I think the Magic can go all the way to the play-offs. I do not think they will finish any worse than third in the Eastern Conference .

The Miami Heat come in to Friday's game boasting a huge win over the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-95 but they face a very tall order against this in form team.

Also on Friday night, I will be taking a chance on the Los Angeles Clippers who travel to Phoenix in the Western Conference. Pheonix are in eighth place in the west and are still in the play-off picture after a recent good run.
My issue with this team is that they do not appear to have a clear game plan. With Shaquille O'Neal in the line up they tend to play more of a half-court game as opposed to their normal frenetic paced est coast offence. Terry Porter has some serious strategic thinking to do with this rotation.

The Clippers come in to this game on a five game losing streak but this team is more than capable of giving the Suns plenty to think about. Zach Randolph and new signing Marcus Camby will ensure both ends of the court are covered well. Camby is a superb defensive player and he is a welcome addition to "Clipper Nation".

Recommended wagers:
Friday: Orlando back with advertised handicap
Los Angeles Clippers back with advertised handicap

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