Orlando Magic vs San Antonio Spurs

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The San Antonio Spurs host the Orlando Magic Friday night at 9 pm EST at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs are currently favored by 7-points, down from 7.5 at the opening, while the total stands at 219.5-points, also down from 220.5-points.

The Magic seek their 1st win in the month of March as they enter this contest losers of 5-straight after falling by 3-points at home versus the Atlanta Hawks just before the All-Star Break as they relinquished a 19-point halftime lead only to be outscored by a margin of 73-51 in the 2nd en route to their 23rd loss on the year. And while the team was able to get 20+ points from 3 players, including 29 and 9 from Nikola Vucevic, Orlando shot just 43% for the contest while giving up a total of 21 treys to the Hawks. The Magic are struggling versus the spread as of late with their outing versus the Hawks ending in a push (+3) and are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games.

The Spurs are certainly in need of a win as they have dropped 3 of 4, overall, including 2-straight after falling by double-digits on the road versus the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night as they were blitzed in the 2nd and currently find themselves in a battle for 1st in the division. San Antonio shot a solid 46% from the floor along with 43% from long-range as DeMar DeRozan posted 30 points and 11 boards on an efficient shooting night; However, they allowed over 50% shooting to Dallas while also being heavily outrebounded by a margin of 51-30 in the loss. The team also failed to cover as 4.5-point dogs for the contest and are only 1-3 ATS in their last 4, overall.

The Spurs hold a slight edge in terms of wins and losses versus the Magic in recent outings (6-4 SU), including going 3-2 outright in their last 5 at the AT&T Center. However, the Magic are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings while being an outstanding 4-1 on the road versus the Spurs.

Magic seek to right their ship in 2nd-half of season

Vucevic continues to put up big numbers for Orlando as he has posted at least 28 points in 6 of his last 7 starts while shooting an outstanding 48% from the floor. Furthermore, the center has caused huge matchup problems for opposing defenses landing a solid 41% of his shots from 3-point range this season. However, with injuries continuing to be an issue for the team, the Magic must rely more on Terrence Ross, who posted 28 versus Atlanta, along with Michael Carter-Williams, who recently re-joined the lineup after injury while scoring 20 points versus the Hawks in his last outing.

James Ennis III (calf), Evan Fournier (groin), Cole Anthony (ribs, along with Aaron Gordon (ankle), are each out of the lineup for a couple of games to deal with various injuries. Of course, with the Magic dropping 5-straight, their ailments could not have come at a worse time. Furthermore, with the way in which the team has performed in recent meetings versus the Spurs, one can expect that the road team will certainly struggled Friday night.

However, in their last outing versus San Antonio in February of last year, a late Magic rally fell short as they endured the 1-point home loss as the team shot 49% while nailing 15 treys, 4 by Ross who went 6-12 FG while posting 21 points. Vucevic had 5 turnovers, yet, was able to contribute 16 and 9 to the losing effort as Orlando committed a total of 18 turnovers as a team.

Spurs sit Aldridge in lieu of trade

After a string of players being out due to illness as the Spurs wrapped up the 1st-half of the season, many of those players are back in the lineup which means that the Spurs are just about at full strength. DeRozan posted 30+ points for the 2nd time in 5 games versus the Mavericks while the bench received huge performances from Patty Mills (14 points), Rudy Gay (13 points), along with Lonnie Walker IV (12 points) as the Spurs were efficient from the floor for only 24 of the game’s 48 minutes.

However, it was the defense that slipped in the 2nd-half as the Mavericks went on a tear during this time with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis making them pay with their play on the offensive end. The loss was their 15th on the year as they now need a win to remain 1st in the division or be overtaken by Dallas, who has picked up wins in 5-straight games.

On player that will not be on the court for the Spurs in this contest will be LaMarcus Aldridge, who has been given permission to pursue trades to another team, this stated by coach Gregg Popovich. “He’s been a great teammate. No problem there,” Popovich said to ESPN during his virtual pregame media availability. “We just think this is a win-win for both LaMarcus and the club. When an opportunity arises, that’ll be up to management, his agent and that sort of thing, and we’ll all move forward.”

The Spurs have had some big offensive nights versus the Magic in recent outings posting an average of 115 points in their last 5 matchups. In their last meeting, the team boasted 7 double-digit scorers (3 off the bench) with Trey Lyles leading the way with 20 points while DeRozan went 6-13 FG for 16 points as the Spurs shot over 50% while connecting on 14 treys.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Spurs have covered in 3 of the last 5 meetings between these 2 teams while the Magic have dropped 2 of 3 road outings.  Orlando is beaten up at this time missing some critical pieces due to injury and I expect them to struggle for the next few games.  And while the Spurs will be without Aldridge moving forward, they continue to possess a legit scorer in DeRozan, who can certainly put the ball in the hoop, along with a bench that is one of the best in the league.  In all, look for the home team to cover in this contest.

Prediction:
San Antonio Spurs -7

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The under has been the play in 3 of the last 5 in San Antonio between these squads in addition to being 4-2 in the last 6 homers for San Antonio.  Furthermore, it has been the result in 2 of the last 3 road games for the Magic.  Expect a scoring drop-off for the Magic as they are very shorthanded during this time as I do not see the final score surpassing 219.5-points.

Prediction:
Under 219.5