Magic vs. Rockets Pick
Who Oddsmakers Like: Houston. According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Rockets are listed as a 12.5-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 222.5 points. Houston opened as a 13-point fave, while the total has gone down from 223.5.
Who the Public Likes: Houston. As of Tuesday morning, 76 percent of public bets have sided with the Rockets.
Injury Report: Magic shooting guard Evan Fournier has an ankle injury, but is probable to play tonight. Aaron Gordon has a strained hip flexor and is questionable. Nikola Vucevic is out until late February with a broken hand. Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Terrance Ross is out indefinitely with a sprained MCL and broken bone in his knee. For the Rockets, point guard Chris Paul is questionable with groin soreness. Trevor Ariza left the last game with a hamstring injury and will miss a second game tonight. Zhou Gi is out indefinitely with an injury elbow.
Who the Trends Like: Orlando is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in Houston and 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings overall.
Who We Like: If Paul is out, that will hurt the Rockets' offense considerably. While the Magic play an up-tempo style and not a lot of defense, the absence of Gordon if he misses this game would be massive. It would likely effectively slow down the pace of the Orlando attack, while also hurting efficiency. Houston is very much improved defensively and Orlando seems like the type of opponent it will manhandle. While the Rockets' offense gets all the storyline, their defense has surrendered 102 or less points in three of their last four games.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MAGIC/ROCKETS UNDER 222.5