Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Orlando +5 -101 over Washington
7:10 PM EST. We backed the Wizards a couple of games ago when they were a home underdog to the 76ers, but we can’t help but notice that a run of three wins in a row, including a 127-102 romp over the Suns last time out now has the Wiz showing more shine, as their curb appeal increases.
We aren’t taking away anything from the Wizard’s recent run of success, but we are going to point out that at no time in the last dozen games before tonight, home or away, were the Wiz being asked to spot points. In this case, it’s road points, which hasn’t happened since Washington's December 2 trip to Charlotte. Prior to that, you would have to go to the Wizards season opener in Indiana to find them in such a role. That makes this just the third time in 17 road games that Washington has been the chalk. If you're wondering how those games went, the Wiz knocked off the Pacers 114-107 way back on October 19, but they lost to Charlotte 117-116 on December 2. Regardless of the results, the Wizards have no business spotting points in this range on the road to anybody. Not even to the Magic.
Orlando might be dregs, but even dregs can provide opportunities from time to time. Orlando has lost two straight games both straight up and against the spread, but prior to that, they quietly went into the Christmas break on a nice run, winning eight of nine. Lucky for us, the Magic’s poor reputation comes with a market with the memory of a hamster.
For some perspective of just how inflated this line is, the Magic were favored by 2½ at home over the Lakers with LeBron in the lineup, and they were favored on the road in Detroit by the slimmest of margins. Now the Magic are taking back a significant price in a game they just might have been favored in if it were played before Christmas. That's value, friends.
Oh, if you’re looking for a cherry on top of this value sundae, the Wizards have back to back games in frigid Milwaukee against the mighty Bucks on New Year’s Day and January 3, which come after their two game home stand in freezing Washington. It’s not unreasonable to suggest the Wiz could overlook the lowly Magic here as they get a couple of days of sun before playing the class of the conference.
Orlando +5 -101 (Risking 2.01 units - To Win: 1.99)