NBA Basketball: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks - Magic Favored

Team Page: Orlando :: Atlanta

88% of Bets Placed on Orlando -4.5 | Matchup | NBA Picks
The Orlando Magic are struggling, and they'll be trying to avoid a fifth consecutive loss at Atlanta when they face the Hawks on Monday night for the second time in four days.

Oddsmakers have made Orlando -4.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 181 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

Orlando (23-21) has not won at Philips Arena since a 117-99 victory Nov. 26, 2004 - the Magic's third straight there.

The Magic will try to snap that slide and get things turned around after winning only once in their last eight games. They're 9-16 since starting the season 14-5.

Orlando fell 93-90 at home to the Hawks on Friday, as Atlanta's Joe Johnson scored 26 of his season-high 39 points in the second half to help his team overcome a 14-point deficit at the break.

"I consider this a very bad loss," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I'm very disappointed in our first- and third-quarter defense and that's all I have to say."

The Hawks (15-27), though, failed to build on the victory and were defeated 104-89 at home by Philadelphia on Saturday.

"It's very frustrating," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "When you come home and play in front of your fans, you want to play well. For some reason, from the beginning to the end, we just didn't have it. ... I thought their energy level was a lot higher than ours.

"When we got tired, we became very individual players offensively. I don't think we had any effort defensively at all."

Johnson, who leads Atlanta with 24.9 points per game, had just 16 in the loss. He's averaging 29.4 points in the Hawks' victories, but 22.3 in their defeats. Atlanta went 1-3 earlier this season when Johnson was sidelined with a calf injury.

Johnson should be happy to see Orlando again as he looks to help his team bounce back. He's averaging 31.8 points in Atlanta's last five victories over the Magic, although he's managed only 13.3 per game against Orlando in the previous six losses.

While the Hawks have won four in a row at home against the Magic, Orlando has taken three of the last five meetings overall.

The Magic hope to contain Johnson in their first of six consecutive games against teams under .500. They return home to face Milwaukee on Wednesday, New Jersey on Friday and New York on Saturday before visiting the Bucks on Feb. 6 and Toronto the following night.

Orlando hopes it can regain its early season form during that stretch after scoring only 93.4 points per game in its last eight contests, while allowing 99.8.

Despite their recent defensive struggles, though, the Magic still lead the East with just 92.8 points per game.

Strong defensive play is critical to the Magic's success. Orlando is scoring only 93.5 points per game - second-lowest in the East to Atlanta's 91.5.

Magic forward and Atlanta native Dwight Howard had 19 points Friday. He's averaging 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds in five games against the Hawks.

The 21-year-old forward-center leads the Magic with a career-best 17.1 points and 12.3 boards per game.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

 

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics vs. Cavs Game 4 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers bounce back after an embarrassing loss when they host the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 4 at...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 4 Pick Will the Golden State Warriors continue their dominance of the San Antonio Spurs when they meet up in Game...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Cavs Game 3 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers show any mercy to the Boston Celtics when the two meet in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 3 Pick As the Western Conference Finals shift to the home of the San Antonio Spurs, will they be able to hang with the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the series tonight...
Thumbnail Cavs vs. Celtics Game 2 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers cruise to another big win when they face the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...

NBA Headlines

  • ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks have hired Travis Schlenk as general manager and head of basketball operations, giving the Golden State assistant GM control of personnel decisions.
    Schlenk suc...
  • BOSTON (AP) It took 10 games and halfway through the third round of the NBA playoffs before the Cleveland Cavaliers finally encountered their first true dose of resistance this postseason.
    Af...
  • DUBLIN, Calif. (AP) Hal Childs, a former assistant general manager for the New York Knicks and public relations director for the Golden State Warriors and Seattle Mariners, has died of complicatio...
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) A celebrity trainer known for getting the Kardashian clan into shape is going to work for the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Gunnar Peterson is the Lakers' new director of strength and ...
  • A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Milwaukee Bucks are opening up their search for a new general manager after John Hammond left to join the Orlando Magic....

NBA Team Pages