Jan 26 NBA Action: Picking a Winner (ATS) on Orlando Magic @ Memphis Grizzlies
Orlando Magic +12.5 (-118) @ Memphis Grizzlies
Our simulation work makes the Grizzlies 8-9 points better than the Magic tonight at FedExForum in Memphis. Our power-rankings based approach gives Memphis a seven point advantage. As such, we are betting Orlando +12.5.
Our preferred power rankings hierarchy pits the Grizz as ninth in the league, and Orlando 18 slots lower. Accordingly, we think it unlikely that the Magic steal an outright win. However, we note that Memphis is 1-3 against the spread this season when laying a double-digit figure. The Grizzlies were 2-5 last year from this position.
Further, consider that, after tonight's game, Memphis must make their way to Dallas for tomorrow's matchup with the Mavericks -- a rival contender in the Southwest division, and fellow 30-game winner. SportsBookReview.com makes the case that Memphis might, as a result, be inclined to look past the lowly Magic this afternoon -- in anticipation of bigger fish just ahead.
On the other hand, Orlando has dropped their last five -- both absolutely and versus the number. However, the Magic have covered their last five road games where they were dogs of five points of better, and are 16-6 this season when receiving four points or more. The Magic are 5-2 this season as underdogs of ten points or more, covering against the Bulls (twice), Blazers, Warriors and Raptors, and losing big only to the Clippers and the Cavaliers from this spot.
Thus, given the output from our handicapping approach, and the noted the propensities for the Grizzlies to play down to inferior competition and the Magic to play up, we are taking the 12.5 points and Orlando here.