The Valentine’s Day NBA schedule is light with a three game slate as teams prepare for the upcoming All-Star break. Two teams that will be in action on Thursday Night in Orlando will be the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic. Currently the Hornets who sit at 27-29 have ahold of the 7th seed in the NBA Eastern Conference while the Magic sit at 26-32 sitting just outside of the final playoff spot in the conference.
As you look at these two teams they are built very similar with both teams being built around there two All-Stars. The Hornets are built around All-Star point guard Kemba Walker while the Magic are built around All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. While the two players are just one of five who are on the floor at any time, their presence on the floor have a key impact on the performance of their teams.
Walker enters Thursday Night’s showdown leading the Hornets in scoring (25.2 points per game), assists (5.7 assists per game) and steals (1.2 steals per game) while adding over four rebounds per contest. Meanwhile Vucevic leads the Magic in scoring (20.6 points per game), rebounds (12.1 rebounds per game) and steals (.9 steals per game) while averaging just below four assists per contests.
Here are the keys to the NBA Valentines Night matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic at 7pm ET at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
NBA Keys to Game
Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Needs Some Help
The Hornets enter Thursday Night’s contest losers of three of their last four contests while dropping to below the .500 mark on the season. Over that stretch, the Hornets have received spectacular play from Walker who has posted at least 30 points in all four contests. Despite his strong performances, the Hornets could not find a way to get a win. In two of the three losses the team failed to top 93 points scored while holding their opponents in each of those contests to just 99 points. While the team has seen some production from Cody Zeller and Jeremy Lamb, the team will need guys like Nicholas Batum and Marvin Williams to put together strong offensive performances.
Orlando Magic – Continue to play Magic Basketball
Entering their matchup on Valentines Night, the Magic are red hot winners of four straight contests while seeing production on both sides of the floor. On the defensive side of the ball the Magic have been one of the better performing teams allowing the seventh fewest amount of points per contest this season. That success has shown up in their recent winning streak holding both the New Orleans Pelicans (88 points) and the Milwaukee Bucks (83 points) to under 90 points. On the offensive side of the floor the Magic continue to put points on the board posting at least 118 points in three of their last four contests.
NBA Betting Trends
Charlotte Hornets – The Hornets enter this contest struggling winning just one of their last four contests as well as three of four against the spread for sports handicappers. Overall on the year the Hornets are 28-28 against the spread while posting a 12-16 record against the spread on the road. Along with those struggles the Hornets have covered the spread in just five of their last 16 contests on the road this season. The struggles have also shown up for the Hornets on two days rest as the team has covered the spread in just three of their last ten games with rest.
Orlando Magic – The Magic continue to put wins on the board for sports handicappers while covering the spread in seven of their last ten overall contests and 32 of 58 contests on the season. Along with that success the magic have covered the spread in seven of their past 11 contests at home as well as in five straight contests with a day of rest between contests. The Magic have also covered the spread in four straight contests against teams in the Eastern Conference. Despite the success the Magic are just 13-15 against the spread at home this season.
Head 2 Head – The Hornets have dominated the series from both the betting side and standings side of the game. The Hornets have won 13 straight meetings against the Magic while posting a 16-5 record against the spread in their last 21 trips to Orlando. The team has also covered the spread in 21 of their last 29 overall meetings as well. Despite the success being in favor of the Hornets, the favorite has covered the spread in 10 of their last 11 overall meetings.