Jordan’s NBA Picks: 61-41 (Playoffs 7-3)
Toronto (59-25 SU & 39-43 ATS) at Orlando (43-41 SU & 45-36 ATS)
Friday, 7:00 PM EST, ESPN
Free NBA Pick: Magic ATS and ML
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The Raptors and Kawhi Leonard are probably hungry for another go at the Magic after they paid them back for the Game 1 loss. However, the Magic have been a different team at home this season, which could make them a nice valuable wager as two possession underdogs.
Don’t Discount Orlando
I get it if you didn’t watch a lot of the Magic this season. They weren’t on national TV that much and outside of Nikola Vucevic, they didn’t have anyone on the All Star team. However, this team has been playing some of the best basketball of any Eastern Conference team since the All Star Break.
If you isolate just their games after the break, the Magic finished the regular season with an offensive rating of 112.1 over their final 23 games. That ranked them 9th-best in the league after the break and just barely behind the Raptors during that stretch.
So, this game should in theory be closer than what the books are suggesting. Orlando was 10-7-1 ATS as a home dog during the regular season and 22-17-1 ATS as a home team in general. They were also 13-10 ATS during their final 23 games and 7-3 ATS over their last 10 home games of the regular season.
With several offensive weapons that can hurt the Raptors, Toronto might not be able to stop all of them. Add in the defense of Jonathan Isaac on Kawhi Leonard and if the Magic can frustrate and limit Leonard in any way, they will cover this spread.
The Sharp Pick
The Raptors were only 19-24 ATS during the regular season as road favorites. They also struggled in some of those instances against Eastern Conference opponents. Toronto was just 11-15 ATS when playing on the road against an Eastern Conference opponent and 6-11 ATS when playing as road favorites against the East.
All it takes is a couple of Magic players to get hot and for Leonard or the other Raptors to struggle some. Considering how the Raptors have played on the road this season and against the East, it makes the Magic taking points at home a must play.
I’d also recommend the moneyline, even though it should probably be a smaller play. With odds approaching 2/1 for the Magic to win outright, it’s worth a shot considering they have already beaten Toronto at home.
If Orlando can come out with the same defensive intensity as Game 1 and actually hit some shots unlike Game 2, I think they get the win and cover ta home in Game 3.