Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors Pick
Orlando Magic (42-40 SU, 45-36-1 ATS) vs. Toronto Raptors (58-24 SU, 38-44 ATS)
When: Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 5:00PM ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ORL +8.5 / TOR -8.5
Power Rankings: Toronto -4
Takeaways From Orlando and Toronto’s Most Recent Games
The Magic are riding a four-game winning streak. Orlando had to perform at such a high level to come from the back and secure a playoff berth that seemingly was going to legend Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat. The Southeast Division Champions were last in action on Wednesday where they solidified their seven seed with a win over divisional rival Charlotte. The Magic staged an upset in the Queen City as they defeated the Hornets 122-114 despite closing as a four-point underdog.
The Raptors extended their winning streak to two games after they made quick work of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. The Raptors covered as an eight-point favorite after they thumped the T-Wolves 120-100 in the Twin Cities. The Raptors come in as the Atlantic Division Champions.
How the Public is Betting the Orlando-Toronto Game
54% of the betting public fancy the Raptors here as the home favorite. Despite this minor lean on Toronto, the line has gone in the opposite direction. Toronto opened as a nine-point favorite but early action on the Raptors caused the line to fall by half of a point to where Toronto is spotting 8.5 points presently.
The Raptors hosted the Magic in the Great White North on April 1st and defeated Orlando by a score of 121-109. Toronto closed as a 6.5-point favorite and as a result generated a cover to end the Magic’s streak of three consecutive covers in this series.
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Neither team has expressed injury concerns to key personnel heading into Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The Raptors have had an extra day to prepare for this match-up. This is advantageous for the Raptors given the fact that the Magic are more susceptible to road rust of the two teams, given the fact this is their third consecutive road game. Toronto will host Game Two in the Great White North on Tuesday before the series moves to Orlando, next Friday.
Can Orlando’s Defense Get the Magic Off To A Good Start?
Defense was the name of Orlando’s game this season. The Magic are owners of a top-five scoring defense that gives up just 106.6 points per contest (5th in the NBA). The Magic’s defense gives up 1.8 less points per game compared to their Toronto counterparts that also own a top-10 defense at 108.4 points per match (9th overall). Combining the defensive advantage along with their edge in the turnover department, the Magic will look to make the most of their possessions and slow down the Raptors eighth-ranked scoring offense (114.4 points per game) to put them in position to get a win. The Magic own two wins this season over the Raptors and in each of these victories, they held Toronto to under 100 points. The Magic will look to replicate this success again here to potentially stage an opening game upset.
Can Toronto’s Shooting Acumen Be The Difference Maker?
The Raptors are more proficient in field goal shooting and they are the stronger side in limiting their opponents’ shooting operations. The Raptors finished fifth in field goal efficiency (47.4%) while also antagonizing their opposition’s field goal efficiency to a fifth-ranked 44.9%. The Magic normally shoot 45.4% from the field (18th in the NBA) while opponents hit 45.6% of their attempts from the field against them (11th in the NBA). In their April 1st victory over Orlando, the Magic shot well against the Raptors hitting 46.2% of their attempts. However, Toronto was able to hit an incredible 50% of their field goals which served as the difference maker. Toronto utilizing its shooting game is the path to a Game One victory and second consecutive cover against the Magic.
The Magic are 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two sides. Another trend worth noting is the Under is 5-2 ATS in the last seven contests between these two foes.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Orlando +8.5
According to other betting sites, the Raptors may be supremely overvalued here as some would claim that they should be spotting over double the amount they should be to the Magic. Why is this happening? It’s simple, because bettors can expect to pay a premium to back the Raptors in their own stead. The Great White North is a fabled environment where Toronto enjoys a unique blend of home court advantage. On the year, Toronto finished 32-9 SU on their own hardwood but it is worth noting that they are 18-23 ATS in home games this season. This narrative in itself showcases how prone the Raptors are to being overvalued in their own barn. Moreover, Toronto outscores opponents on average of 7.6 points per game in home contests which once again subjects the Raptors to an overlay should their churn out a routine performance. However, many will see Orlando’s grisly 17-24 SU record on the road and look the other way. Nevertheless, Orlando won four of their last five road games to help earn the playoff bid and they are outscored by opponents on the road by an average of just .9 points. No matter how you slice it, the Magic are primed to be far more competitive than the line suggests. Oh and there is one other thing…Orlando beat Toronto in the Great White North in February by 15 points despite closing as a seven-point underdog. This Magic team knows how to win in Toronto and they will show no timidity as a result. My money is on Orlando with the points but I would not be shocked if they actually pulled an upset.