Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic - 10/29/13
Orlando Magic (20-62) at Indiana Pacers (49-32)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Line: Indiana Pacers -10.5 -- Over/Under: 188.5 See the Latest Odds
Expectations in Indiana are high this season as the Pacers open their 2013-14 campaign with a visit from the Orlando Magic on opening night.
Having come so close to knocking off the Miami Heat in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers are back and better equipped to take down Lebron James and company this season. After taking the eventual champions to a hard-fought Game 7, the Pacers sought after upgrading their bench play, which was a sore spot for them the most of last season. Coming in are veterans C.J Watson, Chris Copeland, Luis Scola and most importantly of all, Danny Granger, who missed nearly all of the previous season with knee troubles. They join one of the best starting fives in all of basketball, which includes young forward Paul George, who is on the way to super stardom.
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While the playoffs might be a stretch for the Orlando Magic this season, there is still plenty to like about this young up-and-coming team, which wasn’t the case this time a season ago. Things looked bleak for this franchise after Dwight Howard virtually forced his way out of Orlando, the team that drafted him with the number one overall pick back in 2004. However, as it turns out, the Magic have managed to turn things around in the space of a season thanks to some shrewd trading and solid drafting. While they are still projected to be one of the bottom teams in the East this season, they have one of the better young squads in the league and it won’t be that long until the find themselves back in the playoff picture.
I might be in the minority here, but I quite like this Magic team, especially when it comes to covering large spreads on the road. Despite the injuries, they were rock solid away from home last season when it came to covering the spread as they went 22-17-2, compared to just 14-27 at home. The Pacers on the other hand had a breakout season last year, however, it took them well into December to really get things going, which could be the case again this season, who knows.
Indiana was one of the elite home teams last season, but I still like Orlando and the points in this one. I could be wrong, but something tells me the Magic keep this one within single digits when it’s all said and done….