Defenses Won't Get Job Done, so Pick Over in Magic-Cavs Game

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:11 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 5:11 PM UTC

When the Cavaliers met the Magic earlier this month, Cleveland was coming off multiple days rest and a SU loss. How should bettors approach tonight's similar situation with their NBA picks?

Thursday NBA: Magic vs. Cavaliers

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Free NBA Pick: Over 227½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

The Magic have not been great on the road this season SU or ATS, but they are in a position tonight to keep their momentum after a nice win against the Wolves a couple of nights ago.

While I doubt the Magic pull off two upset wins in a row against a top-tier team, they could give the struggling Cavaliers a run for their money in this one.

The reason that’s true is the Cavs’ defense. Cleveland is allowing 120.4 points per game over their last five games, and even at home their defense has been pretty bad. The Cavs are giving up nearly 110 points per game at home this season and are 11-9 cashing the over when playing at Quicken Loans Arena.

Even though Cleveland could not cash the over against the Warriors on Monday, after two to three days off the Cavs are 8-5 cashing the over this season, and they have cashed the over in four of their last six home games.

The Magic have just as bad of a defense. Orlando is giving up 116.4 points per game over their last five games, and on the road this season they have allowed nearly 113 points per game. With the Magic’s offense starting to pull things together, I like their chances of staying with Cleveland despite being big underdogs on the NBA odds board.

In two games against the defending Eastern Conference champs this season, the Magic have scored 114 and 127 points. And even though this one is back on the road, I like Orlando’s chances of putting up 110-plus. As long as they can get close to or exceed 110 points, in my NBA picks I like our chances of cashing the over.

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