Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz hope to stay in the playoff race with a win against the Orlando Magic tonight. The Jazz are -9 point favorites over the Magic with an over/under point total set at 191.5.
The Magic have been finding it tough to win with Dwight Howard on the sidelines, but they better get used to it because the news is that he will undergo surgery and is out of the rest of the season. As a team, the Magic are actually averaging 99.3 points, but their defense has been exposed without the size and presence of Howard in the paint. In their last outing, the Magic fell to the Celtics by 102-98 despite 27 points from Glen Davis and 21 points and nine assists from Jameer Nelson, but the Celtics shot 54.3 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, the Jazz have won their last two games and will need to keep winning if they want to steal the final playoff spot from the Suns. After scraping past the Mavs in triple overtime, the Jazz travelled to Portland and took apart the Blazers by 112-91 behind a game-high 27 points from Devin Harris and 23 points from Gordon Hayward. The Jazz are actually own an identical record to the Suns but are in ninth position because of the tiebreaker edge that the Suns own.
Head to head, the Jazz have won 11 of the last 15 home meetings with the Magic, but the Magic own a 6-2-1 ATS record in the last nine meetings in Utah.
This will be the first game that the Magic will play after hearing of Howard’s season ending surgery, so you should expect a strong effort from them. However, the Jazz looked fantastic in their last couple of games and with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap crashing the boards, I think the Magic will have a tough time keeping this game close against a desperate Jazz outfit.
Utah Jazz -9 Orlando Magic