The Orlando Magic Are An Open Book Against The Spread

Orlando is only a viable betting option against the worst NBA teams

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  • The Orlando Magic are one of the least exciting teams in the NBA. They play with the fourth slowest pace in the league. The Magic’s roster is not filled with many household names, either. However, savvy sports investors are ecstatic anytime the Magic play because a dominant betting trend has followed Orlando the entire season.

  • The Magic are 15-5 ATS against teams with a winning percentage of under .400 (at the time of their matchup). By contrast, the Magic are 11-26 ATS against teams with a winning percentage of over .400 (at the time of their matchup).

  • When facing a team with a winning percentage of under .400, the Magic score on average 108.7 points per game and give up on average 102.1 points per game. When facing a team with a winning percentage of over .400, the Magic score on average 102.4 points per game and give up on average 108.1 points per game.

  • Nine teams in the NBA carry the dubious distinction of having a winning percentage of under .400 at this point in the season. These nine teams are the Wizards, Hornets, Bulls, Pistons, Knicks, Cavaliers, Hawks, Timberwolves, and Warriors. Orlando has played every one of these teams at least once except for the Timberwolves. The Magic play the Timberwolves for the first time Friday night in Orlando.

  • For the rest of the season, bettors should lean towards backing the Magic ATS against the bottom-feeders and should consider fading the Magic ATS against any credible opponent.

The Magic Dominate Weak Opposition

The Magic currently have the eighth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 26-32. They made the playoffs last year after a six-year absence from the postseason. Orlando is a strong favorite to make the playoffs again this season given the weakness of the Eastern Conference. They are a solid team defensively and surrender 106.1 points per game, which is the fewest points allowed per game by a team in the NBA. Orlando’s defensive rating is the 10th-best in the league.

The Magic’s Achilles heel is their offense. They score 104.6 points per game, which is the second-lowest average in the NBA. Orlando’s field goal percentage is the third-lowest in the league and they rank in the bottom 10 in terms of three-pointers made and assists per game. No player on the Magic averages 20-plus points per game, either.

The Magic are 15-5 ATS when they have faced an opponent with a winning percentage of under .400. Orlando’s ATS dominance against weaker competition can be attributed to their improvement offensively in these games. In the 20 games that they have played against such subpar competition, the Magic have scored an average of 108.7 points per game, four points higher than their season average. The Magic’s stout defense has also held up well against opponents with a winning percentage of less than .400. In these same 20 games, the Magic have only given up an average of 102.1 points per game.

The Magic Struggle Mightily Against Credible Opposition

The Magic have not been able to hold their own against stronger competition. They are  11-26 ATS against teams with a winning percentage of over .400. The respectable offensive numbers that Orlando produces against horrible teams vanishes against decent teams. In the 38 games that they have played against teams with a winning percentage of over .400, the Magic have scored an average of 102.4 points per game, over two points lower than their season average. Their defense has also not played as well against teams with a winning percentage of over .400. In these same 38 games, the Magic have allowed their opponents to score 108.1 points per game.

The Magic’s already pedestrian offense screeches to a halt against any team with a pulse. Part of the problem for the Magic against credible opponents is that their starting backcourt plays worse against decent teams. Evan Fournier is Orlando’s starting shooting guard and Markelle Fultz is Orlando’s starting point guard. Fournier is in his eighth year in the NBA and is arguably the Magic’s best offensive player. Fultz was top college basketball picks of the 2017 NBA Draft. In the Magic’s 20 games against teams with a winning percentage of under .400, Fournier has averaged 20.6 points per game while Fultz has averaged 13.2 points per game. In the Magic’s 38 games against teams with a winning percentage of over .400, Fournier’s scoring dips to 18.1 points per game while Fultz’s average falls to 10.9 points per game. The rest of the Magic’s roster does not pack enough punch offensively to make up for the drop in output from their starting backcourt in games against better competition.

Looking Ahead

Orlando’s ATS trend is even stronger upon closer examination. In their 15 covers against teams with a winning percentage of less than .400, the Magic won 11 of those games by a margin of seven points or more. In the 26 times that they failed to cover against a team with a winning percentage of more than .400, the Magic lost 22 of those games by a margin of seven points or more.

Orlando’s average point differential is currently -1.5. However, the reality is that they do not play very many close games. Magic games that end in a score that is within two possessions have been outliers this season. Bettors can comfortably wager on Magic games with the knowledge that the Magic are unlikely to complete a backdoor cover as an underdog and have not been susceptible to backdoor covers as a favorite.

The Magic have nine games remaining against teams with a current winning percentage of under .400 and 15 games remaining against teams with a winning percentage of over .400. Sports bettors should apply the ATS trend that has continued through the Magic’s first 58 games to their final 24 games. Orlando is clearly a team that should only be bet on when facing the absolute worst competition and are a team that should be faded when facing credible opposition.