The Magic and Lakers meet this afternoon after each team having a night off. The Magic are coming off a 112-87 loss in Denver and the Lakers won their last home game against the Jazz 90-83. The Lakers are currently on a 3 game winning streak, their last loss came in Orlando to the Magic. They are expected to win today’s game and are listed as 7.5 point favorites. This line is high because of the Lakers win streak, and being a very public team with LeBron James. This is also one of the highest betting weekends of the year with Thanksgiving. I am going to fade the public in this game though and take the Magic.
In their first matchup the Magic took control of the game in the second and third quarter. In this time frame they outscored the Lakers by 25 points and were able to ride that to an easy 13 point victory. The Magic are not a very good rebounding team which is one reason they got beat by the Nuggets so handedly. What they do well though is assist each other and not turn the ball over. The combination of these attributes gave the Lakers issues in their last matchup. They are also very athletic so they are able to run with the Lakers if needed. Steve Clifford is a good coach and I expect him to have the Magic well prepared after their most recent losses. The Lakers offense did not play very well in their last game with only 10 assists on their 36 made baskets. They cannot play that way against a team like the Magic and be successful.
The only thing that worries me is the visiting team being hungover and not ready to play. Otherwise the Magic should cover this game easily and maybe win outright.