Oddsmakers keep piling points on miserable Magic

Feb 21, 2013 |
Jameer Nelson's injury comes at the worst time for the slumping Magic.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Jameer Nelson's injury comes at the worst time for the slumping Magic.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
There’s nothing magical about what’s happening in Orlando these days.

The Orlando Magic have just one win in their last 16 games and have managed to cover the spread just twice during this extended slump, falling to 15-39 SU (22-31-1 ATS) and flirting with the NBA’s worst overall record.

Orlando showed promise early in the year, getting off to a 12-13 SU start while posting a 13-11-1 ATS mark. Ever since a four-game winning streak in mid-December, the Magic have floundered.

They’re 3-26 SU and 9-20 ATS in their past 29 games heading into Friday’s road date with the Memphis Grizzlies. Oddsmakers have Orlando tabbed as a 13.5-point underdog in Memphis - its highest spread of the season.

“You can see how bad they are, with all the injuries, and they’re just not competitive. But there is a breaking point,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service the Sports Club, told Covers. “You can’t make them 20-point dogs just to get action. There are certain teams that just can’t win but there is a breaking point for bettors.”

Orlando was providing some value when tabbed as a double-digit underdog this season. Before Wednesday, the Magic were 6-1 ATS when oddsmakers piled on the points. However, they may have hit the tipping point and failed to cover the 11.5 points given to them at Dallas Wednesday, losing 111-96.

The Magic were active at the trade deadline, shipping out guard J.J. Redick to the Bucks along with teammates Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith for two promising young players – Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb – and veteran point guard Beno Udrih. Orlando also shipped forward Josh McRoberts to Charlotte in exchange for forward Hakim Warrick and an undisclosed amount of cash. The team is expected to waive Warrick Friday prior to the game.

To make matters worse, the Magic may be without veteran point guard Jameer Nelson for a while after he suffered a strained patellar tendon in Wednesday’s loss. The team is already missing small forward Hedo Turkoglu (drug violation), big man Glen Davis (broken foot) and is still waiting for Al Harrington (staph infection) to debut.

“We’ll just keep shading them higher and higher until there is a breaking point,” says Korner. “(Nelson) is a good player and makes things run there. Especially with a team like Orlando, the worse they are the more valuable he is.”

The Magic are 6-13 ATS in the last 19 meetings with the Grizzlies, including a 2-8 ATS record in their last 10 trips to Memphis.
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