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NBA Playoffs Betting: Hawks vs. Magic Game 1

Orlando is – 8 point favorite at SBG and the total for the game is 179.5.The Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic open up their best-of-seven game series on Saturday night in Orlando.  The Hawks are the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference while the Magic are the #4 seed.  This is a rematch of last year’s playoff series in the second round that saw the Magic sweep the Hawks in four straight games.

Orlando is – 8 point favorite at SBG and the total for the game is 179.5.

The Hawks had some success this season against the Magic as they won three of the four meetings.  Both Atlanta and Orlando are different than they were last year so this series could be interesting.  The Hawks added Kirk Hinrich and he gives them a veteran point guard.  Orlando also has a much different roster with Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu playing prominent roles.

The big matchup in this series is in the middle as Orlando’s Dwight Howard goes up against Atlanta’s Jason Collins.  The Hawks held Howard in check this season and it was because of Collins.  If Collins can keep Howard under control then it forces Orlando to find other reliable scoring options and far too often this season the Magic didn’t have other consistent scoring options.

Another interesting matchup is at the point as Kirk Hinrich will try and keep up with Orlando’s Jameer Nelson. There have been times this season when Hinrich has been very good but there are other times when he looks slow. The Magic will win this series if Nelson dominates Hinrich in this matchup.

The Hawks were just 26th in the league in scoring at 95 points per game while their defense was 9th best, allowing just over 95 points per game. The Hawks were 21-20 ATS on the road this season while the Magic were 19-22 ATS at home. Orlando averaged 99.2 points per game this season which was 16th in the league while they gave up just 93.7 points per game, good for fourth-best in the NBA.

The Hawks won three of four this season against the Magic and covered all four.  All four games were low scoring and went under the total.  In fact, nine of the last ten in this series have gone under the total.

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