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NBA Playoffs Betting: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks

By Bodog Sportsbook

Dwight Howard

If the Orlando Magic want to go deep in the post-season, Dwight Howard will have to stifle his embarrassing temper.

The Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks were two of the most frustrating, inconsistent teams in NBA Betting this year, and they’ll throw down in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Hawks won the regular-season series 3-1.

Orlando (52-30, 34-46-2 ATS) can certainly muck it up, as the club ranked among the Top 10 teams in both rebounding and defense. The offense is much more inconsistent, as a mid-season trade did nothing to improve the club’s roster. Jason Richardson is second on the team at about 14 points per game.

The leading scorer, of course, is Dwight Howard. Howard is the heart of the team at both ends of the floor, but he often lets his emotions get to him and hurts his team with his outbursts. The hulking center led the NBA in technical fouls this season and was suspended twice for his actions. Orlando certainly can’t afford to lose Howard for a game during the postseason.

Atlanta (44-38, 37-45 ATS) might be the most vanilla team in the NBA—at least among playoff teams. The Hawks win a few games here, lose a good handful there. They never really seemed “into” the season, which was evident in their April collapse. There’s simply no effort or will to win in Atlanta, and it’s hard to believe that will suddenly change in the playoffs.

Sub-par seasons from Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford killed Atlanta. Neither player lived up to expectations, with both playing wildly inconsistent and well below their previous numbers. Statistically, Josh Smith has been great for the Hawks, but there are rumors that he’s been a locker room cancer and has contributed to the unevenness of Atlanta’s season. Either way, we’re now 82 games into the season and Atlanta is still looking for a spark or identity.

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