Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/11/23)

The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-9) travel to face the Orlando Magic (15-7) this Monday (12/11/23). Get Cavaliers vs. Magic moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Prediction

The Magic have won the first half in 16 of 22 games, and they are outscoring opponents by 11.7 points per 100 possessions in the first half – good for second best across the NBA. However, they unfortunately often fall apart and subsequently rank 21st in second half net rating. Therefore, backing Orlando early is the best bet here.

Because forwards Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero represent their top creators and ball handlers, the Magic love to drive and attack the basket. Orlando is averaging the most restricted area field goal attempts per game as a result. Look for Wagner and Banchero to hunt Cleveland’s undersized backcourt and leverage their size on drives.

Cleveland typically defends the paint at a high level, but Evan Mobley’s injury is absolutely crushing. He’s one of the best help defenders in the league due to his length and anticipation while being a monster in isolation. With Mobley out, the Cavaliers possess no defender that can handle Banchero; he went off for 42 points in their December 6th matchup (and that was with Mobley on the court).

Defensively, the Magic are allowing the 4th fewest open plus wide open three-point attempts per 100 possessions and 10th fewest pick-and-roll ball handler points per possession. Their quality perimeter defense can somewhat slow down Cleveland’s pick-and-roll heavy offense. Finally, Goga Bitadze quietly ranks 9th across the NBA in rim points saved per 75 possessions (via Basketball Index). He can compete against Jarrett Allen while bothering Mitchell and Garland’s drives.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Prediction: Magic 1st Half Moneyline (-122 FD)

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Best Odds

The Magic are 1.5 point favorites in this matchup and own a playable -125 moneyline. They currently rank second across the NBA against the spread with a 72.7 cover percentage. Cleveland’s +108 moneyline needs to hit about 48.1 percent of the time for it to have a positive expected value, which means it’s profitable in the long run.

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Max Strus
PF: Dean Wade
C: Jarrett Allen

Orlando Magic Starting Lineup

PG: Anthony Black
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Franz Wagner
PF: Paolo Banchero
C: Goga Bitadze

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Injuries

There will be significant absences in this contest. Evan Mobley, Caris LeVert, Ty Jerome, and Ricky Rubio are all out for Cleveland, while Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter Jr, and Kevon Harris remain sidelined for Orlando. In addition, Jalen Suggs is a true game time decision.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Key Matchups

Magic Free Throws

Orlando leads the league in free throw attempt rate largely due to their jumbo ball handlers and drive-heavy offense. Cleveland, on the other hand, is 18th in opponent free throw attempt rate. If Orlando can frequently get to the charity stripe, then they will significantly inflate their offensive production. For context, a league average free throw shooter (78.4%) produces roughly the same expected points per possession as a 52.2 3PT% shooter.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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