The Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic come into their matchup in Florida on very different paths. The hosting Magic have lost nine straight contests while their Brooklyn guests have triumphed in six straight games. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. Will both of these streaks come to an end on the Amway Center floor on Friday night, or will it be business as usual for both sides?
Free Picks: Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets
Nets Attempt To Push Magic’s Losing Streak To 10 (Season Betting Record: 64-68)
We would venture to guess that both streaks will be intact by the time of the final buzzer in Orlando. The Magic made a valiant effort to come back and nearly beat the New York Knicks on Thursday night in New York, but it fell one point short, which had to be a gut-punch for a team that had already lost eight straight.
The Nets, meanwhile, won their sixth straight in their last outing against the Indiana Pacers, winning the game as the underdog with Kyrie Irving out. Irving is listed as probable for Friday’s tilt so you can fully expect him to be back out there and at full go. In all honesty, his absence from the Pacers game was more-than-likely maintenance related.
Brooklyn will have the advantage of an extra day of rest while the Magic had to fly down the East Coast overnight to get back home to Orlando. The Magic are 2-4 against the spread when they’ve got a rest disadvantage this season and the Nets are 6-3 ATS when they’ve got the rest advantage, which is not a recipe for success for Orlando.
The Nets have also been especially good on the road lately, covering the spread in their last eight games as the away team. They’ve also been beating up more on the lesser teams in the NBA in recent weeks, going 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with losing straight up records. The NBA pick to make here seems clear.
It’s highly unlikely that the Magic will bust their losing streak against a team of Brooklyn’s caliber, which is why the Nets spread is one of our top picks. We don’t usually go for spreads that are over five points, but with the way both of these teams are trending, we think the -7.5 NBA point spread on -115 odds for the Nets is pretty reasonable.
We also like Kyrie’s running mate, James Harden, to keep up his strong play of late. The Beard’s scoring has been pretty high variance since arriving in Brooklyn, but his playmaking has been on point a lot more consistently. Beardo has dished out double-digit dimes in 21 of 28 games since joining the Nets, which is the kind of low-variance trend we love to see.
Harden’s assists prop is at 10.5, which is lovely, but we get it at -149 NBA odds, which is not nearly as lovely. A win’s a win, though, and this one is one of our best bets for today. Beardo has averaged 11.5 assists with the Nets, and he’s been especially potent in March, averaging 12.8 helpers, including topping the 10-assist threshold in five of seven outings.
- Brooklyn is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 road games
- Brooklyn is 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games
- Orlando is 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 home games
- James Harden is averaging 12.8 dimes in March
More NBA Free Pickssee more
The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.