Orlando's Recent Offensive Explosion May Be A Mirage
The over has hit in seven-straight Magic games due to their sudden offensive surge
- Following the Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks game on February 8th, the OVER record in Magic games fell to 21-29. Since then, the OVER has been hit in seven consecutive Orlando contests.
- The Magic have averaged 121.5 points per game during this run of seven straight overs. Their offense has been much more perimeter-oriented in these seven games. They’ve hit 13.2 three-point field goals on 37.1 attempts per game in that span.
- Terrence Ross has been a factor in this run. In the last seven games, Ross has averaged 19.1 points per game and shot 42.8% from the three-point line on nine three-point attempts per game. He scored a season high 33 points in their win on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- However, much of Orlando’s offensive explosion can be attributed to the poor quality of defenses that they played over the last seven games. Six of those games were against opponents with below-average defenses. Five of those games were against opponents that play at an above-average pace.
- The Magic’s streak of overs is unlikely to continue against teams with more effective defenses.
- Orlando opened as seven-point home favorites in Monday night's matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers and the over/under opened at 223. VIEW LIVE ODDS
Recent Offensive Explosion
Bettors who have continued to place wagers on the over in Magic games are finally being rewarded. Right before Orlando’s meeting with the Atlanta Hawks on February 10th, the over/under record in Magic games was just 21-29. Since then, over bettors in Magic games have cashed seven straight tickets.
Orlando’s offense has been on fire in the last seven contests. They have averaged 121.5 points per game during this hot streak of overs. For context, on the season, the Magic average just 105.3 points per game, the third-worst scoring average in the league.
The biggest difference between Orlando’s last seven games and the rest of their season has been their performance beyond the three-point line. On the season, they rank in the bottom half of the NBA in terms of three-point field goals made and attempted. In the last seven games, the Magic have averaged 13.2 three-point field goals on 37.1 attempts per game. Those numbers would place Orlando in the top 10 in three-point field goals made and attempted when extrapolated to an entire season.
The play of Orlando’s sixth man, Terrence Ross, has been a key factor to the Magic’s offensive explosion. In the last seven games, Ross has averaged 19.1 points per game and shot 42.8% from the three-point line on 9.0 three-point attempts per game. Ross’ scoring average has increased every month this season. However, there’s little reason to believe that Ross’ recent play is anything more than a temporary heater. The eight-year veteran has never averaged more than 16.0 points per game and never shot 40% from the three-point line in any season of his career. Ross’ career averages are 10.9 points per game and 36.9% shooting from the three-point line on 5.1 three-point field goal attempts per game.
The Magic Have Played Bad Defenses
The primary reason why overs have been hit in seven straight Magic games is the poor quality of the defenses that Orlando has faced during this hot streak. Like Orlando’s dominant ATS trends, how well the Magic play largely depends on the capabilities of their opposition. During this hot streak of overs, the Magic have played bad defensive teams.
In the last seven games, the Magic have played the Atlanta Hawks twice, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, and San Antonio Spurs. Every team except for the Nets has a below-average defensive rating. The Hawks, Pistons, and Spurs rank in the bottom ten of the NBA in defensive efficiency while the Timberwolves have surrendered over 120 points in six of their last eight games.
Five of the Magic’s last seven games were against opponents that play at an above-average pace. The Hawks, Timberwolves, and Nets all rank in the top in the NBA in terms of pace. On the season, the Magic play at the fourth-slowest pace in the league. In five of their last seven games, Orlando has played at a faster pace than their season average.
However, the weight of the evidence is that the Magic will revert back to struggling offensively against competent defenses. Right before the start of this streak of overs, the Magic played in six games against above average defenses. The Magic scored an average of 95.1 points per game in those six games and only managed to score 100 points once.
It takes two to tango for an over to hit and the Magic have certainly been a competent dance partner in the last seven games. However, this run of overs in Magic games is unlikely to continue whenever the Magic play a credible defense. Stronger defensive teams will be able to exploit Orlando’s limitations on offense. Bettors should only consider wagering on an over in a Magic game if the Magic’s opponent is a subpar defense that plays at a decent pace.
On Monday, the Magic will play the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the NBA and play at an above-average pace. However, Portland will be without the services of Damian Lillard. Lillard scored 36 points in the Blazers’ 118-103 victory over the Magic in December.