Tuesday, December 24

Orlando Magic vs Chicago Bulls, 11 am
Magic -4

The 12-17 Magic host the 12-19 Bulls here, currently laying 4 points. This Magic team has looked good with their starting 5 healthy and I think they win and cover here.

Orlando have been very respectable at home this season, going 8-6 compared to 6-9 on the road for Chicago. They’re also just 11-14 ATS, which is partially why I think they’re undervalued.

I think they’ve got a noticeable talent edge on the wing with guys like Fournier, Gordon, and Isaac. Chicago has been really injured in this area all season and I expect this matchup advantage to allow Orlando to control the game.

I also think the Magic have a very strong coaching edge, with Steve Clifford over Jim Boylen. He should be able to exploit these advantages and maximise their chances of winning, particularly against Boylen’s curious rotations.

While it isn’t an ideal spot for Orlando, both sides have a pretty sizeable break before their next game. I think their talent advantage wins out here and they cover a relatively modest 4-point spread.

Miami Heat vs Utah Jazz, 11:30 am
Heat -4.5

The 21-8 Heat host the 18-11 Jazz, currently laying 4.5 points. Miami have been the better team thus far and also have a favourable spot here, making this line seem appealing.

Utah are in their final game of a relatively successful road trip and fatigue could easily be an issue here. I can see them struggling to score against Miami’s stout defence, particularly with Mike Conley slated to miss this one.

The Heat have also been one of the best home sides in the NBA, compiling a 12-1 record thus far. They’ve covered in 11 of those 13 games, yet don’t appear to be too overvalued judging by this line.

They’ve also got the best player on the floor in this matchup in Jimmy Butler, who should enjoy some success against Utah’s poor defensive wings. Bam Adebayo has quietly emerged as one of the best bigs in the NBA and I’d expect him to contain counterpart Rudy Gobert here.

Miami is a versatile and well-coached team that has been outstanding at home this season. Given the injury to Conley and Utah’s road struggles so far, I don’t see them keeping it to 4 or less in this one.