Betting on the Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic Game
The Boston Celtics host the Orlando Magic on Friday night, tipping off at 7:30pm Eastern time (and don’t forget to check out our NBA lines!). The Celtics bring a four-game winning streak into the contest, while the Orlando Magic has had a dreadful January and is more than likely ecstatic about being able to turn the calendar to the next page.
Rivals Report: #Celtics like to run, and they stifle you on defense.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 29, 2016
Should you bet on the Celtics?
Boston has a scoring average of 104.4 points per game this season, their best since the 1991-92 season, when they averaged 106.6. However, their last 10 games have even been more point-filled, as the team is averaging 112.4 points over that stretch. If they can get over 100 against Orlando, they will break that barrier in 11 straight games — a feat they have not accomplished since 1995-96.
The Celtics have also been strong on defense. They lead the NBA with 17.1 forced turnovers per game; in their last four games (all wins), they have forced 20 or more turnovers in each games. The last time they forced 20+ turnovers in five straight games was in the 1997-98 season. As forward Amir Johnson said in the team’s press conference after beating Denver, “Really our main focus is defense. Once we get stops on defense we’re able to get out and get finishes and points.”
The Magic have really fallen off the table after getting off to a good start this season. They are 1-11 in January and are not part of the playoff conversation in the East. The Celtics are in fifth place in the conference standings right now.
Why should you take the Magic?
The teams last met in November 29 down in Orlando, and the Magic put on a rout, 110-91. The Magic won the battle of the boards, 54-34, shooting 48.4 percent from the field. However, Boston has not been a friendly place for the Magic, who have only averaged 88.7 points per game in their last nine road meetings, losing all of them.
Even in their current doldrums, the Magic have a lot of talent on their rosters. Nikola Vucevic has put up six consecutive double-doubles for the team, while guard Victor Oladipo is seen as a major figure in their rebuilding plans. If Vucevic commits to taking the ball inside instead of settling for jump shots, his shooting percentage will go up — as should his points.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like the Celtics to extend two streaks Friday night — their home winning streak over the Magic to 10 straight and their overall winning streak to five straight. I don’t think the Magic will have much resistance to offer. They did hang tough in Milwaukee on Tuesday night but fell, 107-100, a day after losing in Memphis, 108-102. They are in the middle of a long road trip that is taking them through several time zones, and each loss keeps draining their confidence further. I’m picking Boston to win, 115-95.