A pair of struggling Eastern Conference teams take the floor on the shores of Lake Erie looking to pick up a much-needed victory. The Orlando Magic are on the road as they travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night. Orlando was in action at home Friday night as they hosted Chicago. The Magic fell 106-99 at home to the Hornets in a Southeast Division matchup Wednesday night, and 123-88 at home to the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Cleveland fell 120-115 at home to Phoenix in their most recent game Wednesday night. In the all-time regular season series between the teams, the Magic owns a 58-57 advantage and have taken the last seven matchups. That includes a 109-104 road victory in the most recent matchup on April 28, 2021.
Orlando Magic Playing Second Game of Back-to-BackOrlando was in action on the road against the Bulls so they’ll play the second game of a back-to-back situation here. The Magic entered Friday in the basement of the Southeast Division, eight games behind the Heat for the division lead. Orlando is 0-3 in the second game of a back-to-back situation this season with a -11-ppg scoring differential (100.3 ppg for, 111.3 ppg against) in those games. The Magic is 3-8 on the road with a -7.4-ppg scoring margin (104.7 ppg for, 112.1 ppg against) as the visiting team. Orlando is 2-13 against Eastern Conference teams with a -11.4-ppg scoring differential (100.5 ppg for, 111.9 ppg against) on the year.
The Magic enter this game 28th in the league in scoring offense as they average 100.8 points per game on the season. Orlando is 19th in the league in rebounding with 45.1 rebounds per contest while they are 25th in assists by dishing 21.8 dimes a night. The Magic are 24th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 110.6 points per contest. Mo Bamba is fifth on the team with 11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest. Franz Wagner adds 12.6 points plus 4.1 boards a night, Terrence Ross chips in 10.4 points a game, Jalen Suggs adds 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists a night this season. Wendell Carter Jr. (12.3 points, 9.4 rebounds) and Cole Anthony (19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists) are secondary scoring options. R.J. Hampton, Moritz Wagner, Robin Lopez and Ignas Brazdeikis all have to contribute for the Magic. Currently, the team is without Jonathan Isaac (knee), Chuma Okeke (hip), Michael Carter-Williams (ankle), E’Twaun Moore (knee) and Markelle Fultz (knee), taking a big chunk of depth out of their rotation. Orlando is 28th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 41.4% from the field on the year. The Magic is 9th in the league in threes per game as they hit 13.2 triples a night while they are 22nd in three-point shooting by hitting 33.3% from beyond the arc. Anthony (ankle) has missed the last three games and is questionable for this contest.
Cleveland Cavaliers Looking to Snap SlideCleveland suffered their fifth straight loss as they were upended by a streaking Phoenix team at home Wednesday night in their most recent contest. The Cavaliers entered Friday 9-10 on the season and sat third in the Central Division, 3.5 games behind the Bulls for the division lead. Against Phoenix, Cleveland trailed by three after the opening quarter, led by five at the half and trailed by one after three quarters. The Cavaliers were down 10 with 8:31 to play only to rally to tie the score at 109 with 1:59 to play before giving up six unanswered points. Cleveland couldn’t get even again and went down in defeat. The Cavaliers shot 44.3% from the field, including 12 of 39 from three-point range, and allowed Phoenix to shoot 52.3% in the game. Jarrett Allen led Cleveland with 25 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
The Cavaliers come into this one ranked 24th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 102.9 points per game this season. Cleveland is 24th in rebounding as they grab 44.4 boards per contest and stand 12th in assists by handing out 23.6 dimes a contest this year. The Cavaliers are 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow an average of 103.5 points per game this season. Collin Sexton is second on the team with 16 points per game this season. Darius Garland (18.2 points, 6.8 assists), Cedi Osman (11.8 points) and Ricky Rubio (15.1 points, 6.2 assists) are solid offensive options. Kevin Love (10.8 points), Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley (14.6 points, eight rebounds), Lauri Markkanen (13.9 points, 6.6 rebounds) and Jarrett Allen (15.3 points, 11.2 rebounds) are other contributors in the Cavaliers’ rotation. Cleveland is 19th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.4% from the floor as a team on the year. The Cavaliers are 21st by knocking down an average of 11.4 three-pointers a night while they are 24th by connecting on 32.9% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Sexton is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee that he sustained November 7 against the Knicks. Mobley is out two to four weeks with an elbow sprain suffered November 15 against the Celtics.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Orlando is playing the second game of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights here, which is going to take a toll on them here. The Magic are dealing with a slew of injuries that have sidelined key personnel and with Anthony missing, it takes the leading scorer for the team out of the mix and makes life miserable for the team. Cleveland is still missing Sexton and Mobley, though Osman did return in Wednesday’s contest, while Love and Markkanen are also back after serving time in the health and safety protocols. Give the upper hand to Cleveland as they have had two days of rest to work in their favor here.
Full-Game Total Pick
Orlando is in the bottom five when it comes to weak offensive attacks in the league this season, which is a major reason why the team has struggled. The Magic have actually seen the total go over the number in 10 of their 19 games this season despite their offensive issues, which shows that the defense has had issues as well. Orlando is 12th in the league in tempo with 98.9 possessions per game this season. Cleveland has seen the under hit in 12 of their 19 games this season. The Cavaliers are 24th in tempo with 97 possessions per game. With Orlando gassed by the time we get late in this game and the Cavaliers struggling to put points on the board, this one ends up under the total.