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Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz - 12/19/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Utah Jazz (7-19) at Orlando Magic (10-18)

NBA Basketball: Friday, December 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Amway Center)

The Line: Orlando Magic -3 -- Over/Under: 189.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT, FSFL

The Orlando Magic host the Utah Jazz in an interconference clash on Friday night.

The Utah Jazz are off to a terrible start to the year sitting at 7-19 with a 3-10 record in road contests.  The Jazz don’t get the job done at either end of the floor as the offense averages just 96.6 points per game to rank 21st and the defense allows 101.7 per game to also rank 21st.   Gordon Hayward leads the team in scoring with 19.1 points per game and also chips in 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.46 steals.  Derrick Favors averages 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game but the big man has sat out two of the last four games and been unproductive by his own standards in the other two which could give pause to fantasy owners.  PG Trey Burke has been inconsistent in his second year out of Michigan with 11.3 points and 5.5 assists per game while struggling to shoot the ball at just 36.8%.  The Jazz are in the midst of a six game road swing, playing game four in Orlando after going 1-2 in the first three games of the trip.

Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz - 12/19/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic are 10-18 on the year with a 3-6 record at home but the young team is really meeting or even exceeding expectations at this point.  While it has to be disconcerting that the team has only won three games at home, it’s pretty impressive they’ve been able to stick together and gut out seven wins on the road.  The Magic have had plenty of trouble scoring over the course of the year with an offense that ranks 27th while averaging just 93.8 points per game, and the defense has been mediocre allowing 99.4 points per game to rank 14th.   Leading the Magic are SF Tobias Harris (18.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and C Nikola Vucevic (18.3 ppg, 11.4 rpg) who are 22 and 24 years old respectively, speaking to the youthful core of this squad.  Victor Oladipo has been showing continued improvement in the backcourt as well with 14.7 points per game while shooting 46.2% from the field and 45.5% from deep.  The Magic are opening up a four game holiday home stand here, with this contest being the first of three against sub-.500 competition and culminating with a date with the Cavaliers the day after Christmas. 

These teams met on December 5th in Utah and the Magic emerged victorious by a 98-93 score.   The Magic haven’t developed much of an edge at home but they’re the deeper and more impressive team to me thus far so I will take a chance that they can repeat their previous performance against the Jazz.

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Orlando Magic -3 (1 unit)

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