Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks tips off this Monday (01/15/24) at 3:00pm EST in New York City New York as a home game for the Knicks. Get Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on under 222 in what should be a defensive slugfest.
Orlando Magic Vs. New York Knicks Prediction
After losing to the Luka-less Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks bounced back with a win over the Grizzlies in what was a head scratching two game stint. Their offense struggled against a mediocre Dallas defense, now having to find consistent offensive production while potentially without Jalen Brunson. Brunson is currently listed as doubtful heading into their contest against the Magic, potentially being a massive loss at the guard position.
Whether Brunson plays or not, offensive success will be tough to come by against one of the more stout defenses in the league. The Magic rank third in Defensive Efficiency per TeamRankings, sitting only behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers. They originally ranked second before having to deal with a plethora of injuries and are still currently listing Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, and Wendell Carter Jr as out heading into this contest.
Even with their starting production taking a hit, the Magic have still performed well on the defensive end. Especially in their efforts of guarding the perimeter, ranking eighth in the NBA by holding opposing offenses to just a lowly 35.5% from three. Their ability to guard the three is vital for their success in this matchup, as well as the success to cashing this under, as the Knicks offense have revolved heavier towards their ability to knock down the three. The Knicks come into this contest shooting 37.5% from deep, good for 10th best in the league.
More intriguing yet, the Knicks offense have been better at spacing the floor after the acquisition of OG Anunoby. While Anunoby has helped in their assists department, as well as fielding a better three-point shooter than RJ Barrett, the Knicks three-point percentage has slightly dipped in their last three contests. With Brunson potentially sitting out, the Knicks floor spacing may be in trouble as they will sorely miss Brunson’s driving ability that commands defensive attention. Expect the Knicks to revolve more around Julius Randle, drastically hurting their ability to spread the defense with a stagnant offense.
Orlando Magic Vs. New York Knicks Prediction: Under 222
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Orlando Magic Vs. New York Knicks Best Odds
Even with Brunson potentially sitting this one out, oddsmakers still have this game pegged as the Knicks to lose as they opened New York as a -5.5 favorite. Bettors have been quick to back the Knicks, taking them up to -7 in some shops as of writing. While that potentially indicates Brunson may be able to give it a go, it’s worth waiting to see if he’s confirmed before wagering.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points would be scored at a moderate rate as they opened the number at 222.5. Bettors have slightly leaned towards the under, betting the total down to 221.5 in some shops. The under is worth a wager as the Knicks may sputter with Brunson at less than 100%, as well as getting the benefit of the Magic revolving their offense around interior scoring.
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Orlando Magic Vs. New York Knicks Injuries
Both teams are currently dealing with key injuries per their injury reports as Jalen Brunson is listed as doubtful for the Knicks while Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, and Wendell Carter Jr are listed as out for the Magic.
(Metabet injury tile)
Orlando Magic Vs. New York Knicks Key Matchups
Can the Knicks interior defense slow down Paolo Banchero?
Paolo Banchero Vs. Knicks Interior Defense
The Magic offense have been out of sorts as of late, failing to find any sort of consistency from deep while abusing the interior in desperate attempts to stay within scoring pace. This is in large part due to their injuries, forcing Paolo Banchero to play hero ball as their leading scorer.
The growth of Paolo Banchero has been fun. Just taking and making these. pic.twitter.com/YjI835mQsj
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) January 13, 2024
The harsh reality is that he cannot elevate the offense himself as he is more of an interior threat than a floor spacer as their leading scorer. That spells potential doom for their offense once again as they take on a Knicks team who ranks eighth in Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage when defending their home court. With the Magic failing to field a stretch big, the Knicks can anchor Isaiah Hartenstein and Julius Randle to help smother Paolo’s drives to the rim.