Two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference face off for the second time this week when the Magic head to Boston. Below are our Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics predictions, best bets, and in-depth analysis!
Orlando Magic Vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
It might feel like deja vu for the Magic and Celtics on Sunday afternoon, as they played each other in T.D. Garden on Friday. The result? Boston ran away with a 17-point home win after dropping its four previous games against the Magic.
Orlando had six players finish in double figures, including Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Goga Bitadze, Anthony Black, Cole Anthony, and Jalen Suggs. The Magic’s balanced scoring attack was not enough, though, as Boston’s offensive output surpassed it; the Celtics shot 52% from the field and 43% from behind the arc.
Boston got its usual 30-point game from Jayson Tatum, but it was the 21-point outing from Payton Pritchard that helped provide the C’s with adequate secondary scoring.
The most surprising aspect of the game, though, was not Pritchard’s big outing or the C’s exceptional team shooting, but, instead, their starting lineup. Since Boston missed Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford due to injuries, it opted to start Lamar Stevens, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick White.
Unsurprisingly, Boston’s extremely “small ball” lineup was outrebounded by a double-digit margin, but it still didn’t matter.
Now, the C’s will bring Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis back into the rotation, complicating the Magic’s outlook for this game even more. Orlando’s significant advantage last game was in its height and length; however, that advantage is mitigated with a near-full health Boston team. Both teams rank in the top eight in total rebounding rate on the season, so expect a closer margin on the glass.
Orlando is not a great road team (5-6), boasting the eighth-worst net rating away from its home floor. Meanwhile, Boston is undefeated at T.D. Garden (13-0) and has the highest net rating in the league.
Additionally, the C’s have a substantial advantage in the backcourt and at the center position. Goga Bitadze will struggle against Kristaps Porzingis’ size and length, as he is typically a below-the-rim type of player. Even Al Horford’s physicality off the bench will bother Bitadze.
Further, without Markelle Fultz, this Magic backcourt is thin and inexperienced; they will likely roll out rookie Anthony Black and Jalen Suggs, giving Jrue Holiday and Derrick White a substantial advantage on both ends of the floor. Black has logged an average of 19 minutes per game this season, so he will be somewhat thrown into the fire once again versus this Celtics team.
Ultimately, Boston’s exceptional play on its home floor this season is enough to push it over the edge against a Magic team that is missing two starters.
Orlando Magic Vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Celtics -8
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Orlando Magic Vs. Boston Celtics Best Odds
The Orlando Magic are eight-point road dogs against Boston on Sunday afternoon. The Celtics have Moneyline odds of -340, while Orlando is +270 to pull out a huge away game. The point total is at 228 points, with the Over and the Under each holding -110 odds.
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Orlando Magic Vs. Boston Celtics Injuries
Keep an update on the injury reports for both teams ahead of tip-off, as several players could be game-time decisions. The Magic will be without Markelle Fultz (knee) and Wendell Carter Jr. (finger), while Joe Ingles (ankle) and Jalen Suggs (undisclosed) are questionable. For Boston, Luke Kornet (tight) will not suit up for the game. Dalano Banton (illness) is questionable.