Karpuc: My Favorite Bet On Monday’s MLK Day NBA Slate

This bet is standing out to me for many reasons

The Pick: Trail Blazers at Magic OVER 215

The Magic are terrible. Just terrible. At 8-36, they hold the worst record in the NBA and are the only team left with single-digit wins. To make matters even worse for them, they’ve gone 2-15 SU (4-13 ATS) at home, where they’ve lost seven in a row and failed to cover in six of their last seven games. I’m going to most likely bet the Blazers ATS/ML in this spot, but it’s not the bet I’m primarily targeting in this game. 

The Trail Blazers enter this game at 17-25 (10th in the West) and will get back star shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who recovered from a collapsed lung. Portland could also get Norman Powell (COVID protocols) back for this matchup while starting Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring) will be out. 

Despite the 215-point total, this game has shootout potential in my opinion.

The Magic have allowed an NBA-worst 38.5% three-point percentage at home this season. Considering that the Blazers ranked 7th in the NBA in long-range shooting (36.9%) over the last 10 games (without McCollum and without Damian Lillard for all but three), the visitors should be able to take advantage with McCollum and breakout point guard Anfernee Simons running the offense.

Meanwhile, the Blazers have allowed an NBA-worst 38.9% three-point percentage on the road this season, so Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner and the Magic should have an opportunity to make things happen beyond the arc.

Additionally, Orlando has allowed 112.4 points per game at home (5th-worst) while the Blazers have allowed 117.0 points per game on the road (3rd-worst) this year. Five of the last six Magic home games have gone over the total, as have three Blazers road games in a row.

Here’s the icing on the cake: over their last 10 road games, the Blazers rank 5th in pace (compared to 23rd at home) and over their last 10 home games, the Magic rank 9th in pace (compared to 19th on the road). That makes this pick even sweeter because this should be a back-and-forth, up-tempo contest with shootout potential. I wouldn't be shocked if this finishes in the mid-to-high 220s.

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Previous Picks (6-2)

❌ Friday 1/14: Raptors ML & Grizzlies ML Parlay

☑️ Thursday 1/13: Grizzlies -4.5 vs. Timberwolves

❌ Wednesday 1/12: Spurs -6 vs. Rockets  

☑️ Tuesday 1/11: Grizzlies +100 ML vs. Warriors 

☑️ Monday 1/10: Bucks-Hornets Under 237.5

☑️ Friday 1/7: Raptors -11.5 vs. Jazz

☑️ Thursday 1/6: Pistons-Grizzlies Under 220

☑️ Wednesday 1/5: Hornets -9.5 vs. Pistons