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We split Tuesday's contests on a light six-game NBA slate, but two injuries to players on
struggling teams leave plenty of value on the table for Wednesday. Here are our favorite bets for the night.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz (-4.5, 225)
The Grizzlies entered the eight-game seeding schedule in a prime position to stave off their pursuers for the No. 8 seed in the West, but things have gone from bad to worse in a hurry. Memphis is one of just three teams yet to win a game in the bubble, and it lost rising star Jaren Jackson Jr. to a season-ending injury Monday.
Jackson was among the best performers thus far in Orlando, averaging 25.3 points and 1.7 blocks to anchor the Grizzlies' frontcourt. Before the injury, Memphis led the league in percentage of points in the paint (49.9%), but it'll have to adjust its offense on the fly - especially in a matchup against defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert.
The Jazz haven't looked great in the restart, but they traded blows with the Lakers on Monday before losing steam in the third quarter. Conversely, the Grizzlies have been miserable in the first half of games and will struggle to keep this one close if they can't match wits with Utah early.
Pick: Jazz -4.5
Toronto Raptors (-6, 224.5) vs. Orlando Magic
These teams are plenty familiar with one another, with Toronto going 7-1-1 against the spread against Orlando dating back to last April. And in recent years, this pairing would also have under bettors rejoicing.
This matchup has gone 9-3 to the under since the start of the 2018 season, highlighted by a 90-83 Raptors win in November that went under by 35.5 points. Toronto's defense has been suffocating in the bubble, yet oddsmakers are still settling in the mid-220s for this one.
Here's the catch: After a strong under run to start the year, the Magic have gone over in a ridiculous 15 consecutive games dating back to February. That's a hard trend to fade. So is trusting Orlando's defense - which just lost star defender Jonathan Isaac for the season - against a Raptors attack that dropped 107 points on two of the league's best defenses in the Lakers and Heat.
Toronto has 140-point potential on Wednesday, especially given how little the Magic have to play for to preserve the 8-seed in the East. After losing a franchise cornerstone this week, don't expect too much physicality from Orlando's defense, which should be enough to swing the over and an easy Raptors win.
Pick: Over 224.5, Raptors -6
Fred VanVleet over 17.5 points (+100)
VanVleet blew up for 36 points in Monday's win over Miami, but it didn't come out of nowhere - the fourth-year guard chipped in 13 points against the Lakers on Saturday and is averaging 17.9 points on the season, with a 20-point average in three games versus Orlando.
The Magic's defense is ripe for attacking after losing Isaac in the middle, and VanVleet is the perfect man for the job. He went to the line 13 times in Monday's game and hit seven 3-pointers - just two more than he made in his last game against Orlando in November.
The Raptors have spread the wealth in the restart, but VanVleet isn't getting enough love here with a manageable number at a low price. Bet high in a great spot against a vulnerable defense.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.