Orlando Magic (23-24) at Toronto Raptors (27-31)
Game Info: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. EST (Scotiabank Arena)
Betting Odds: Raptors (-6) / Over/Under (TBD)
Pick: Raptors (-6)
Tuesday night gives us an intriguing matchup between two Eastern Conference teams that are playing much better than their records have shown of late, when the Orlando Magic cross the border to take on the Raptors inside of Scotiabank Arena
If you were to look at the Magic's record and place in the standings by face value, you'd think this is one of the worst teams in the league right now, but that could not be further from the truth as of late. They are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games, one of the best in the NBA in that stretch, and are a solid 8-8 SU in those games. As their young squad continues to get healthy and develop an understanding of each other's games on the court, they have managed to play great basketball because of it. In their last 5 games, they have secured wins over the Nuggets and Timberwolves, and have played down-the-wire games with the Heat and Knicks on their home court, showing much improvement over their form earlier in the season. Although they are still 3.5 games back of the Raptors for the last play-in spot in the East, they will have a chance to close that gap on Monday night when they face the Bulls in Chicago and then Toronto the following night.
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Toronto shocked many around the league when they didn't deal highly touted forward O.G. Anunoby. There were several reports that Raptors President Masai Ujiri denied multiple deals including 3 first-round picks in each package, signaling to the Raptors that he still thinks they can turn their season around. I too, am one of the believers that think they can flip the script post trade-deadline day. Having won 4 out of their last 5 games straight up, they will look to inch closer to the .500 mark in this game, and ultimately climb up the East standings as we head closer to the end of the year. They are too talented of a roster to be in the situation that they are currently in, but only time will tell if they can punch back and get on the right track again. With Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., and Precious Achiuwa all out/doubtful for this clash, the bulk of the load will fall on Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and Pascal Siakam's shoulders to get them over the line against the Magic, something they are more than capable of doing against an inferior opponent on their home floor.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The under is 22-11-2 ATS in Conference games for the Magic
- The over has only hit in 11 of 28 games that the Magic have played on the road
- Toronto is 14-10 ATS as a home favorite
I have been extremely high on the Magic of late, and for good reason. In spite of this, this game is a big let down spot for them. On a back-to-back, coming in late to Toronto, I question how much legs they'll have late in the second half. The Raptors will be waiting at home for them to come into town, and they are as hungry as ever. The Magic may keep this close for a half, but this is a perfect chance for the Raps to pounce on them in the later stages of the game as they will be the more rested team. Give me Toronto by a handful of buckets in Scotiabank.
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