Mavericks End Sunshine State Swing At Orlando Magic

By: Adam Markowitz | Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks are going to have their work cut out for them when they take on the Miami Heat in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals. Though that is going to be a tough one, their task is going to be even harder on Friday when they have to head up I-95 to visit the Orlando Magic in NBA betting action.

The Sunshine State swing is always one of the hardest road trips that an NBA team has to make, and matters have been made even more difficult for the visitors with the condensed schedule. The Magic have hosted all four of the second halves of the back-to-back duels, and they are 3-1 SU and ATS in those games, with the lone loss coming to the San Antonio Spurs.

To make matters potentially worse for Dallas, the Magic are coming off of a brutal 108-86 loss to the New York Knicks. Since the start of February, Orlando has been beaten by at least 11 points four times prior to the defeat at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, and the Magic are a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS in their next game. Stan Van Gundy knows how to get the most out of his players in dire situations, and this is a spot where you would figure that the Magic would come out of the box throwing haymakers.

This 8:00 p.m. (ET) tip is the first game of a double dip on ESPN.

In the nightcap at 10:30 (ET), the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Since reports surfaced that head coach Vinny Del Negro could be in some hot water following a bad loss to the New Orleans Hornets, the Clips are 3-0 SU and ATS. They have plastered all three teams by at least a dozen points.

Portland probably isn't the best team in the world to try to stop such a streak. The squad has been relatively lifeless over the course of the last six games, going just 2-4 SU and ATS in that stretch. The team is just 7-18 SU and 9-16 ATS on the road this year, and it is going to be playing in the second game of a back-to-back. The Trail Blazers are just 5-11 SU and 7-9 ATS with no days of rest this year.

The night gets started at 7:00 (ET) on Friday with three games. The highlight of the trio pits the Miami Heat against the Toronto Raptors. The Heat aren't playing overly well at the moment, especially on the road. They are just 2-6 SU and ATS in their last eight played away from South Beach. This is a brutal turnaround as well, knowing that they have the Mavericks to contend with at home in a relatively late 8:00 (ET) tip on Thursday, and then have to take the long flight to Ontario for this early tip.

The other 7:00 (ET) games showcase the Denver Nuggets against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, while the Philadelphia 76ers face the Washington Wizards.

The New York Knicks, who are now 8-1 SU and ATS under interim coach Mike Woodson, travel south to meet the Atlanta Hawks in a 7:30 (ET) tip on Friday night. The Milwaukee Bucks will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game at the same time.

There are a total of four 8:00 (ET) tips on Friday. Aside from Dallas/Orlando, the best of the four is clearly the battle in the Bayou City between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets, both of which are trying to make headway towards the playoffs against each other in the Western Conference.

The Detroit Pistons visit the Chicago Bulls, while Kevin Love, who has averaged 37.3 PPG in his last four, leads the Minnesota Timberwolves into battle against the Boston Celtics.

At 9:00 (ET), the Utah Jazz will host the Sacramento Kings, who are just 4-22 SU and 12-14 ATS on the road this year. The night finishes off at 10:30 (ET) with the Golden State Warriors going to battle against the New Jersey Nets.

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