MILWAUKEE BUCKS (13-19)
at ORLANDO MAGIC (22-12)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Orlando -11, Total: 186.5
Orlando aims to continue its impressive win streak (6-0 both SU and ATS) as it plays host to Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Magic have won their last six games in a row convincingly, while the Bucks hope to rebound from a tough loss to the Heat on Tuesday.
Milwaukee is counting on its defense to come through to pull out wins due to its offense not being able to put up points. The past five road games have seen the Bucks average a paltry 85.6 PPG, which hurts their already low 90.1 PPG and 40.7 FG% road average for the entire season. The good news is that their defensive efforts have improved recently as the Bucks have only allowed 100 points twice in 14 games and have limited their past six opponents to 88.5 PPG. Betting lines.
Much of the lack of scoring and increased emphasis on defense can be attributed to the injuries the Bucks have endured. Andrew Bogut’s 11.4 PPG and 11.2 RPG and John Salmons’ 17.4 PPG average over the past five games can’t make up for the loss of Brandon Jennings and Drew Gooden, both out with foot injuries. Keyon Dooling has filled in nicely for Jennings, averaging 11.6 PPG, 5.4 APG and 34.0 MPG in seven games without Jennings, which is a huge increase from 5.2 PPG, 2.0 APG in 17.3 MPG before Jennings went down.
Orlando, on the other hand, has been on an absolute tear since overhauling its roster recently. During the six-game winning streak, which began with a 123-101 thumping of the NBA’s best team San Antonio, Orlando has averaged 107.5 PPG. The Magic are shooting an impressive 49.5% from the field and grabbing 52.5 RPG, all while holding their opponents to 92.5 PPG on 41.5% FG during the six-game run.
Orlando has won by double figures in four of the six games, and except for one extremely off night, has shot over 50% from the field in each game. Dwight Howard has seen his scoring dip (16.6 PPG over the past five games) but has improved his rebounding (13.0), steals (1.4) and blocks (2.8) over this same stretch. It hasn’t hurt that the additions of Gilbert Arenas (11.4 PPG, 4.8 APG, 1.8 SPG), Jason Richardson (13.6 PPG) and Hedo Turkoglu (14.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 5.6 APG) have put up good numbers as well in the past five games. Turkoglu recorded a triple-double (10 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) in Monday’s 110-90 win over Golden State.
The Magic are looking to add to their 9-0 SU (7-2 ATS) record versus the Bucks in Orlando since 2005. Still, the Bucks hold the most recent victory the last time they met, a 96-85 victory on Dec. 4 in Milwaukee, two weeks before Orlando’s big trades. Expect the firepower of the Magic to pull out the victory and cover the spread against a tired and depleted Bucks team. This FoxSheets trend also likes Orlando to continue its win streak.
Play On – Home favorites (ORLANDO) – after 5 or more consecutive wins, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a marginal losing team (40% to 49%). (54-18 since 1996.) (75%, +34.2 units. Rating = 4*). Sports scores.
The FoxSheets also like the final score to finish Over the total:
Play Over – Road teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points (MILWAUKEE) – after one or more consecutive overs, a poor offensive team (88-92 PPG) against an average defensive team (92-98 PPG). (34-10 over the last 5 seasons.) (77.3%, +23 units. Rating = 3*).