Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#551 Washington Wizards 222 vs.
#552 Orlando Magic -6
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 6:05pm EST
Amway Center, Orlando
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#551 Washington
#552 Orlando
3-7
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 17, 2019, Amway Center, Orlando, FL, 6:00 PM ET

The streaking Orlando Magic will be looking for a third consecutive win in Sunday’s run-in with the visiting Washington Wizards. With back-to-back victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs, the offense is clearly surging to abnormal levels for the Magic. Whether they can actually continue to score 110-plus points per game remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Wizards toppled the Minnesota Timberwolves to put an end to a three-game losing streak.

Beal comes to life

Wizards star guard Bradley Beal was under the microscope for early struggles in the season. There was a shared belief that he was succumbing to the pressure of being the lone superstar on an NBA team. With all of the extra attention aimed in his direction, we weren’t seeing the burgeoning offensive juggernaut that suddenly emerged last season.

And then it happened.

Beal dropped 44 points in a loss to the Celtics before matching that same scoring output against the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s safe to assume he’s back to his old ways after scoring a total of 88 points in back-to-back outings.

That’s the kind of offensive prowess that typically scares a team like the Magic. Someone would have to be pretty naïve to think the Magic’s impressive two-game run will last. They’re the second-worst scoring team in the league with an average output of 100.3 points per game. The lack of offensive efficiency puts tremendous stress on the defense to be spectacular on a nightly basis.

Then there’s the reality of the Wizards defense not being very good. Even a bad defensive team like the Magic might end up looking competent in this meeting.

Can the Magic sustain their offense?

A lack of offensive firepower is the only thing keeping the Magic from making a run in the playoffs. I could brag about their impressive defensive play until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t matter until they’re finally able to keep up in a league empowered by high-scoring offenses. Even when they make opponents play ugly, they still aren’t getting the job done well enough to seal the deal on the offensive end of the floor.

Those issues make Sunday’s game even more intriguing considering the juxtaposition of problems with both teams. Unlike the Magic, the Wizards are playing superb offense while looking downright awful at times on defense. So the entire game will come down to how effective the Magic are at slowing down Beal.

The Magic rank fifth in the league in defensive efficiency, and teams are only averaging 99.9 points per game against them. If only that same level of consistency existed for them on the offensive end of the floor as well. The team is shooting 42.0 percent from the floor and 29.5 percent from 3-pointer.

Most of the offense still runs through center Nikola Vucevic, and there aren’t any signs of that changing ahead of a Wizards team allowing an average 47.4 shooting percentage.

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The Magic have scored 110-plus points in back-to-back outings, but I don’t expect the sudden spike in offensive efficiency to be sustainable. They are shooting with incredibly low percentages across the board this season. There is no Beal on the opposite end of the floor that is capable of taking the ball in his hands and shooting from every spot on the court.

The Celtics were also a great defensive team, and they still couldn’t stop the Beal-led Wizards offense from heaping 133 points on the board. Sunday’s game is more about the Magic being a one-trick pony team. They don’t play great two-way basketball. Beal getting hot from the floor early, along with another impressive outing from rookie Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant, could stack the deck beyond the Magic’s reach early.

That’s the formula for success when facing a team that leans too heavily on defense to win basketball games. Teams that can’t score the ball consistently can’t make it in the NBA. I’m taking the Wizards and the points on Saturday.

Prediction: Washington Wizards (+7)

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The Magic will continue to compensate for their offensive shortcomings by being aggressive and playing good defense against the Wizards. Beal isn’t going to three-peat his ridiculous 44-point performances. It’ll be a slog on the road at the Amway Center against a defense that is stingy and aggressive enough to force the ball out of Beal’s hands more often than not. So points won’t be easy to come by in this game.

The Wizards haven’t played well on defense, but they won’t have to be great when facing a team barely averaging over 100 points per game. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (222.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.