Heat, Magic tip TNT NBA betting twinbill

By: David Schwab | Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Miami Heat will be looking to extend their lead in the Southeast Division this Thursday night when they take on the second-place Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.

Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT with the Spurs, Lakers contest capping the evening's doubleheader.

All is good once again in South Beach as Miami’s big three are back in the starting lineup after each missed some time recently due to injury. This has led to three straight wins after losing five of its previous six games.

The Heat turned in an impressive 108-103 victory over Oklahoma City this past Sunday as a one-point road underdog. They followed this up with a 117-90 rout of Cleveland as a 17 ½-point home favorite on Monday night. Miami is now 34-14 straight-up on the year and 23-24-1 against the spread. It has a 3 ½-game lead over Orlando in the division and is three games in
back of Boston in the Eastern Conference.

Jameer NelsonLeBron James and Dwyane Wade continue to account for the bulk of the Heats’ points as each are averaging around 26 a game. James leads the team in assists with 7.3 a game and is third in rebounds with 7.2. Chris Bosh rounds out the trio with 18.5 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds a game.

Miami is averaging 101.7 points a game while holding its opponents to just 93.9 which is the best point differential in the league at plus 7.7. The Heat have the third-best shooting percentage in the NBA at 47.1 and are seventh from three-point range; hitting 37.9 percent of their attempts. They are also plus 2.5 in rebounds, which is sixth-best in the league.

Orlando continues to fight the good fight in its uphill battle against Miami, but is just 2-3 SU in its last five games. The Magic are coming off a 100-97 loss to Memphis on Monday night as a 1 ½-point road favorite. Last Friday they were a 1 ½-point road favorite against Chicago, but fell 99-90. The last time they beat a team with a winning record was a 117-107 victory over Dallas as a 5 ½-point road favorite on Jan.8. Orlando finds itself at 31-18 SU and 21-27-1 ATS. It is currently in fourth-place in the East.

Dwight Howard remains the heart and soul of this team and the only reason it remains competitive night after night. He is averaging 22.4 points and is second in the NBA in rebounds with 13.6 per game. Jason Richardson is the second leading scorer with 14.1 points a game, while Jameer Nelson leads the team in assists with 6.5 a game.

The Magic are just below Miami in average points a game with 100.3 and almost as stingy on defense; giving up an average of 94.7. They are ranked fifth in the league in rebounds with 43.1 per game and have a plus 3.34 advantage over their opponents. Orlando is shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Miami is 2-3-1 in its last six games on the road and 3-2 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last five games.

Orlando is 1-3 ATS in its last four home games and 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of its last six games.

Head-to-head, they split their first two meetings this season with the Heat winning 96-70 on Oct. 29 as a four-point home favorite and the Magic returning the favor with a 104-95 victory as a four-point home favorite on Nov. 24. The total split as well on identical 188 ½ point lines.

Orlando should open as a 2-3 point favorite but it really will not matter as Miami comes away with the straight-up win on the road this time around.

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