NBA Picks: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic will feature in their third consecutive home matchup on Monday as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Kia Center, Orlando. Points Bet currently have the hosts as narrow 1.5-point underdogs (-110) and the Magic are +100 on the moneyline. The total is set at O/U 216.
Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. ET for the Eastern Conference clash, and the in-form Cavaliers (25-15) are looking for their eighth straight victory. The Magic (23-20) bounced back on Sunday as they beat the Miami Heat 105-87, earning just their second win in seven games.
Orlando have suffered a drop off of late, but remain in eighth-place in the conference standings. Meanwhile, the Cavs sit in fourth and have won two more games than their opponents. They have also played three games less than the Magic. Our best bet is coming up so make sure that you continue reading to find out our pick!
Last Time Out
Cleveland are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, and boast the best record in the Eastern Conference over the last ten games (8-2). They comfortably defeated the Atlanta Hawks on the road on Saturday, securing a 116-95 win. Points were spread around the team, but the likes of guards Donovan Mitchell and Sam Merill put in solid displays.
After last playing on Sunday afternoon, Orlando will be at a slight rest disadvantage here. Nonetheless, they will be hoping to find a bit of consistency and build on their comfortable 105-87 triumph against the Heat. They managed to welcome back forward Franz Wagner for that one, and the German put up 19 points, two rebounds and five assists in the win.
The visitors are dealing with a couple of key injuries to their roster, and forward Evan Mobley and guard Darius Garland are expected to remain out for tonight’s game. Garland has been missing since the middle of December due to a broken jaw, whilst Mobley has been dealing with a knee injury.
Even without their key point guard in Garland, the Cavs have lost just three of their last 15 outings. Mobley has been out for some time now himself, but Cleveland have rallied without their star players, making their seven-game win streak even more impressive. Guard Ty Jerome will also be absent tonight, with forward Caris LeVert questionable as well.
The Magic would have been ecstatic to have Wagner back on the court for Sunday’s victory against the Heat, and it’s no surprise that his return has coincided with them getting back to winning ways. Guard Gary Harris remains out, however, with a calf problem. Point guard Cole Anthony is questionable due to an ankle issue.
Having squared off twice already this season, both teams have picked up one win each. The Cavs won the first meeting 121-111 on December 6th as Mitchell put up 35 points in the victory. However, the Magic responded just five days later and secured a 104-94 triumph. Cleveland have won five of their last six games against Orlando, but are just 2-3 over their last five visits to Kia Center.
Against the Spread Stats
Ranking inside the top-10 ATS this season, the Cavs have covered in 55.3% of all their games so far (21-17-2). They have been fairly solid ATS in their road games too (9-7-1), covering 56.3% of the time. That percentage drops to 50% when they are away favorites, however (3-3-1). Typically, Cleveland has been excellent with a rest advantage and boasts an ATS record of 6-2 (75%).
Orlando has actually been one of the best ATS teams across the NBA this season and are covering 65.1% of the time (28-15-0). That is the third-best record in the league. The Magic cover extremely well in home games (13-6-0), and cover 66.7% of the time as home underdogs. The rest disadvantage could be a factor, though, as they have an ATS record of just 7-6. They are covering in just 50% of games with no rest.
The Cavs have been excellent without their key players in Garland and Mobley. Mitchell has been stepping up offensively, and leads the team in terms of points per game (27.8). He is also averaging the same number of assists as Garland (5.9), but is exceeding him in steals per game (1.9). Center Jarrett Allen has been performing well too, and leads the teams’ average for rebounds (10.2) and blocks (1.1), outside of Mobley.
Now that the Magic have Wagner back, they will receive a big boost on offense. He put up 19 points in his return against the Heat, and has averaged 20.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists this season. Of course, forward Paolo Banchero will be key as well. He recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds and two assists against the Heat, and was also the leading points scorer for the Magic when they beat the Cavs in their last meeting.
After losing to the Magic in Orlando even with Garland, it may be a slight surprise that the Cavs are 1.5-point favorites on the road again here. However, we can’t ignore Cleveland’s hot streak and they are playing excellently at the moment. Mitchell will be hard to stop and he is averaging 28 points per game since the injury to Garland.
The hosts have struggled for the majority of 2024 and are playing without a rest day for this one. Even now that Wagner is back in the side for the Magic, he is still getting back up to full speed, and we can see the Cavs covering such a small spread.
Cleveland Cavaliers -1.5 (-110 with Points Bet)