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2-2 Thursday, 55-56-1 overall.
Sixers (-3) @ Magic (209)
Pick: Magic +3
If there’s ever a sandwich spot in the NBA, this would sure be it. The Sixers are off of an impressive throttling of the Bucks on Christmas Day, defeating Milwaukee at home 121-109 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Now they travel to Florida to begin a four-game road trip. They’ll stay in Florida tomorrow to play the Miami Heat, the team that handed them their first loss at home earlier this month. Right in between the Milwaukee and Miami games for the Sixers is tonight’s trip to Orlando against a Magic team that figures to be on the playoff bubble all season long. We discussed yesterday in our Nets-Knicks handicap how fringe playoff teams are often good bets as underdogs and bad bets as favorites. They get up for games against better teams but play down to inferior competition making them the mediocre teams we all know them to be. That’s Orlando and the game simply means more to the Magic tonight. The Sixers know what they’re capable of and showed it against Milwaukee and in Boston earlier this month as well. Nothing really changes for the Sixers win or lose tonight. There’s also a Markelle Fultz revenge angle to this pick as well which could provide even more motivation for Orlando.
Suns (-3) @ Warriors (224)
Pick: Warriors +3
Don’t look now but the Warriors have won three games in a row. We all know this isn’t the same Golden State team, but there’s a lot of role players attempting to prove themselves for 2020-2021 when Golden State figures to be at full health again. Any kind of motivation like that will always be a buy sign in the NBA regular season and Golden State’s opponent is going in the opposite direction. The Suns were one of the NBA’s pleasant surprises in the first month of the season, but reality quickly set in for Phoenix in the second month of the year and the Suns figure to be playing the lottery again in May. We think this one’s as easy as Golden State is hot, Phoenix is cold, and we get three points with the hot team.
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