A pair of Eastern Conference teams lock up on the hardwood up in Beantown. The Orlando Magic continues their first road trip of the season as they travel to face the Boston Celtics Monday night. Orlando dropped their second straight game as they were beaten 116-115 on the road by the 76ers Saturday night. Boston picked up a 103-101 road win over the Knicks in an Atlantic Division contest Saturday night. The Celtics own a 63-48 advantage in the all-time regular season series and have won seven of the last eight meetings. Boston won three of four matchups last season, including a 92-83 road win in the last meeting on March 16.
Orlando Magic Hopes to Snap Two Game Skid
One night after getting thrashed at home by 32 points to Charlotte, Orlando went on the road and took Philadelphia to the wire before falling. The Magic now has to regroup as they make the trip to face the Celtics. Orlando led by two with a minute to play and had a chance to tie with 10.3 seconds to play but Aaron Gordon missed the second of two free throws. The Magic had one final chance only to see Terrence Ross miss a potential game-winning three with 2.8 seconds to play. Orlando shot 45.6 percent from the field despite drilling 16 of 29 three point attempts in the contest. The Magic was 17 of 22 at the line but turned the ball over 14 times. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 31 points while Nikola Vucevic recorded a triple-double with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the loss. Orlando was 20-19-2 ATS on the road last season while the under was a better bet in their road tilts, going 24-17. The Magic covered the line and went over the number in their road opener this season.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 21, 2018
The Magic has been below average this season putting the ball in the basket: they are 29th in the league with 102.3 points per game. Orlando stands tied for 10th on the glass with 48 boards per contest and is tied for 16th with 23 assists a night. The Magic is 15th in scoring defense as they allow 112.3 points a game. Evan Fournier leads the team with 18.7 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic (17 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists), Aaron Gordon (17 points, 12.7 rebounds) and Terrence Ross (11 points) are all averaging in double figures in the early going. Jonathon Simmons, D.J. Augustin, Jarell Martin, Mo Bamba, Wesley Iwundu, Johnathan Isaac and Jerian Grant are all important pieces of the rotation for Steve Clifford. The Magic is just 26th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 41.7 percent as a team. Orlando is 14th with 9.7 made threes per game while the team is 23rd in three point percentage as they shoot 34.1 percent from downtown. Simmons is questionable for this one as he deals with a personal matter while Timofey Mozgov is questionable with a knee injury.
Boston Celtics Seek Second Straight Victory
Boston bounced back from a road loss north of the border to the Raptors as they slipped past the Knicks in the second game of a back to back situation Saturday night. The Celtics now return home looking for a second straight win. Boston ran to a 13 point lead after the opening quarter only to see the Knicks slice it to two at the half. The Celtics went back up seven after three quarters and hung on late, even after a terrible foul by Jayson Tatum on a three point attempt by Trey Burke with 1.9 seconds to play with Boston up three. Fortunately for the Celtics, Burke missed the first free throw and intentionally missed the third: Al Horford corralled the rebound to give Boston the win. The Celtics overcame 40.2 percent shooting from the floor, including nine of 25 from beyond the arc, in part by hitting 28 of 33 free throw attempts. Tatum finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Celtics in the win. Boston was 22-17-2 ATS at home last season and the over was 23-18 in their home games during the regular season. The Celtics easily covered the line in their home opener while staying well under the total.
Our team had a lot to say after last night’s win at Madison Square Garden.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 21, 2018
The Celtics are tied for 27th in the league in scoring offense with 103 points per game. Boston is 6th in the league in rebounding with 50.3 boards per game and stand tied for 14th with 23.7 assists per contest. Boston is above average on the defensive end: they are 3rd in scoring defense, allowing 100.3 points per game. Jayson Tatum leads the team with 21 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. Kyrie Irving (14.7 points, six assists), Marcus Morris (13.3 points, six boards), Gordon Hayward (12 points, six rebounds), Jaylen Brown (10.7 points) and Al Horford (10.3 points, eight rebounds, 4.7 assists) are all contributing in the early going. Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis are also looked at to chip in on both ends for Brad Stevens. The Celtics are 28th in field goal percentage as they shoot 41.4 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is 3rd in three pointers per game with 11.3 per night while the team is 21st in three point percentage as they hit 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. Hayward was rested Saturday as he won’t play the second game of back to backs in the early going while Baynes left Saturday’s game with a sore hamstring: he’s questionable for this game.
- Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Celtics are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
- Magic are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Magic are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Orlando showed a lot of grit as they took Philadelphia to the limit before missing two opportunities in the final seconds to take the win. The Magic now has to deal with a Boston team that is excellent at home and who should have Hayward back in the mix after he rested Saturday. The fact that the Celtics won despite bad mistakes, poor shooting and being shorthanded Saturday on the road in the second game of a back to back shows that they aren’t going to be intimidated. The Magic has talent but youth and inexperience tends to derail teams. Orlando was 8-33 on the road last season and there’s not a lot of reason to like them here. Boston gets the upper hand and improves to 3-1.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -11.5
Full-Game Total Pick
One thing you know when you’re facing the Celtics is the fact that you’re in for a battle. Boston plays terrific defense and makes teams work every possession to try and find a shot. There’s not much in the way of a quick, up and down transition opportunities for opposing teams. Orlando hung in with Philadelphia but you could conceivably put an asterisk on that one if you were so inclined as Ben Simmons left after playing just eight minutes thanks to a back injury. Can the Magic hang tough with a Boston team that stifled Philadelphia in their lone home game of the year?
Orlando has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four on Monday, 4-1 in their last five overall, 4-1 in their last five against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 4-1 in their last five against Eastern Conference foes and 7-2 in their last nine after a straight up loss. The under is 5-0 in Boston’s last five at home, 4-0 in their last four after an ATS loss, 4-0 in their last four after allowing at least 100 points, 8-1 in their last nine after scoring at least 100 points and 7-1 in their last eight against an opponent that allowed at least 100 points in their last game. We saw Boston strangle Philadelphia in their home opener last week. You have to feel pretty good about this one coming under the total given how difficult it can be to put points up against the Celtics.
Prediction: Under 212
Full-Game Prop Bet
As we saw in their home opener last Tuesday, when the Celtics defense is on, there’s no need for a truckload of points. Boston completely took Philadelphia out of their rhythm, allowing just 87 points in an easy victory. Seeing that the 76ers have scored 127 and 116 points in their next two games, both at home, you have to think there’s something to the Celtics mystique at home. Boston keeps Orlando and check and in turn, sees their offensive production lessened because there’s no need for it. The Celtics fall short of the number as their high water point this season is 105 in the first three games.
Prediction: Boston Celtics Under 111 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
Orlando has dropped two straight games as they were dusted at home by Charlotte Friday night before losing to Philadelphia Saturday. The Magic has their work cut out for them in this one as they travel to face the Celtics. Boston is one of the league’s best teams at home and they’re extremely healthy. The Celtics are one of the deepest rotations in the NBA and that makes life miserable for opposing teams. Hayward, Irving and company take advantage of the thin Magic rotation to take the lead at the half.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)
Half-Time Total Bet
Boston has been as sharp in their first three games this season as they were in the regular season last year. The Celtics are giving up 100.3 points per game, which is 3rd in the league. That’s the exact number they allowed last season when they finished tied for 3rd in scoring defense. Orlando had a solid offensive showing against Philadelphia but they struggle here. Boston’s defense helps clamp down on the Magic and keeps things under the total at the half.
Prediction: Under 109 (-110)
Half-Time Prop Prediction
While one game is a small sample size to go off of, the Celtics were lights out defensively in their home opener. Philadelphia was limited to 42 points in the first half in the game here at TD Garden. Boston hasn’t been a whole lot more forgiving on the road as Toronto mustered 49 in the opening half while the Knicks posted 48 in the opening 24 minutes of their contest. It’s important to note that Hayward didn’t play in Saturday’s game so the Celtics were shorthanded a bit, yet still held New York in check. It’s hard to see Orlando solving the mystery that a pair of 50 win teams from a year ago couldn’t. This one stays under the number at the half.
Prediction: Orlando Magic Under 51 (-110)