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The Orlando Magic will travel to the TD Garden on Sunday afternoon to take on the Boston Celtics in an Eastern Conference matchup. These teams faced off one time this season early in the season where the Celtics picked up a 124-97 home win back on Jan 15. The Magic are 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 14-27 record and are coming off a 121-113 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. The Boston Celtics are eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 20-21 record. They are on a three-game losing streak after dropping a 107-96 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
These teams are almost identical on the defensive side of the floor so it will be interesting to figure out which team can get going offensively and go on a run. Let’s take a closer look into the matchup to decide where we should place our wagers.
Center of the Offense
The Orlando Magic have been dependent on center Nikola Vucevic to carry the offensive load this season. He is averaging 24.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.6 blocks, and a steal in 34 minutes on the court. He is shooting the ball well as he is 48.3 percent from the floor, 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 83.8 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Nets, Vucevic played 39 minutes and finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, a block, two steals, and four turnovers. If he can figure out how to cut down on the sloppy play while staying aggressive, the Magic will be in a better position here.
The Orlando Magic have been an average defense to begin the year as they are giving up just 111.3 points per game, which is 14th in the league. In their last game against the Brooklyn Nets, they allowed 113 points on 43-of-91 (47.3 percent) from the floor, 10-of-37 (27 percent) from beyond the arc, and 23 free-throw attempts. If they can figure out how to defend without fouling, they can start up a winning streak here.
Tatum Bouncing Back
Small forward Jayson Tatum has been leading the offense for the Boston Celtics so far this season. He is averaging 25 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 35.7 minutes on the court. He is shooting around his career numbers as he is 44.5 percent from the floor, 37.4 percent from the three-point line, and 85.2 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Kings, Tatum played 36 minutes and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four turnovers. If he can figure out how to cut down on the sloppy play here, it will do wonders for the Celtics.
Despite our 3Q surge, the Kings closed out with a 107-96 victory. pic.twitter.com/LgTpqiKkXu
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 20, 2021
The Boston Celtics have an above-average defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 111.2 points per game, which is 13th in the NBA. In their last game against the Sacramento Kings, they allowed 107 points on 37-of-81 (45.7 percent) from the floor, 12-of-30 (40 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 26 free-throws. It’s hard to win a game where you are continuously sending your opponent to the free-throw line.
Found on Covers.com
- Boston: 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- Boston: 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games vs a team with a losing record
- Orlando: 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog
- Orlando: 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing 100+ points in the previous game
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The adjusted defensive ratings can tell us where we should be looking for the spread. The Magic are 21st with a 112.7 defensive rating while the Celtics are right there with a 112.7 defensive rating, which is 20th in the league. Assists per game can also tell us a lot as more assists mean the ball is going to the open man instead of contested iso-ball. Orlando is 25th in the league with 22.7 assists per game while Boston is 27th in the league with 22.6 assists per game. The Magic are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games while the Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last six games. Go with the hotter team on the road to cover an 8.5-point spread here.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
These adjusted offensive ratings show us that we should be leaning towards the under here. The Magic are 28th with a 105.4 offensive rating while the Celtics are 12th with a 113.3 offensive rating. Looking at the totals for these teams from the last handful of games, it can tell us a lot about what we should be expecting in this game. Orlando is averaging 203 total points in their last five games while Boston is just a smidge over what we are looking at as they are averaging 218.7 total points in their last three games. The under has hit in four of the last five Magic road games while it also had the under hit in four of the last five Celtics home games against teams with a sub-.400 road winning percentage. The numbers and trends are all pointing towards UNDER 216.5 points in this game.