Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#511 Orlando Magic -3.5 vs.
#512 Cleveland Cavaliers 212.5
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Written by Chris Kubala

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#511 Orlando
#512 Cleveland
10-11
5-15
46-38-3
37-43-2
39-48
45-36-1
106
104
106
114

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A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor on the shores of Lake Erie. The Orlando Magic makes the trip up the east coast as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. Orlando comes in off a 128-114 home win over Phoenix in their previous game Wednesday night. Cleveland was clobbered 127-94 at home by Detroit Tuesday night in their latest contest. The Cavaliers hold a 57-54 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Magic has taken the last three matchups. That includes a pair of victories this season, including a 116-104 road win in the most recent meeting on November 27.

Orlando Magic Seeking Fourth Straight Win

Orlando has suddenly found some offense as they have won three in a row to get within a game of the .500 mark after taking down Phoenix Wednesday night. The Magic entered Thursday’s action second in the Southeast Division, five games behind the Heat. On the plus side, they did own the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by two games over Charlotte. Orlando trailed by six after the opening quarter before taking control of the game by outscoring Phoenix 72-49 in the middle two stanzas to take a 17-point lead. The Magic didn’t let the Suns closer than the final margin in the fourth quarter. Orlando shot a sizzling 57.6 percent from the field, including 14 of 25 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 45-29 to overcome 19 turnovers. Aaron Gordon put up a season-high 32 points with five rebounds and five assists in the win to lead Orlando.

The Magic is 29th in the league in scoring offense with 103.5 points per game so far this season. Orlando is 13th in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards per contest and 24th with 22.5 assists per game this season. The Magic is third in the league in scoring defense as they allow only 103.4 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic contributes 17.1 points plus 11.6 rebounds per contest this season. Evan Fournier is leading the team with 19.8 points per game this season. Terrence Ross (12.6 points), Markelle Fultz (12.1 points) and D.J. Augustin (9.6 points, 4.6 assists) have contributed on the offensive end. The Magic needs more consistency from Aaron Gordon (13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds), Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac (12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds) in order to have success. Orlando is 27th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 43.5 percent from the floor as a team. The Magic are 26th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 10.1 triples per contest while the team is tied for 27th in three-point shooting by converting 33 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Vucevic just got out of a walking boot for his ankle injury while Aminu is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus.

Cleveland Cavaliers Hoping to Get Back in Win Column

Cleveland was pasted at home by Detroit in their last game to suffer their fourth straight defeat. The Cavaliers entered Thursday in the basement of the Central Division, 13 games behind the Bucks. As far as the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference goes, Cleveland entered Thursday 13th in the standings, 4.5 games behind the Magic for the final playoff spot. The Cavaliers were down four after the opening quarter before things unraveled. Cleveland was outscored 65-40 in the middle two quarters and that told the tale of the game. The Cavaliers shot 42.2 percent from the field, including eight of 27 from three-point range, and was torched by Detroit shooting 54.3 percent in the contest. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 22 points in the loss.

The Cavaliers are 28th in the league in scoring this season with 104.2 points per game. Cleveland is 21st in rebounding with 44 caroms a night while the team stands 28th with 20.4 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are below average defensively, ranking 18th in scoring defense by allowing 112.8 points per game. Kevin Love is second on the team with 16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest this year. Collin Sexton (team-high 18.1 points), Tristan Thompson (13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson (14 points) are scoring in double figures on the year. Larry Nance Jr. (10.8 points, 7.4 rebounds), Cedi Osman, Darius Garland (10.8 points) and Kevin Porter Jr. are key pieces of the rotation for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 26th in the league by shooting 43.6 percent from the field. The Cavaliers are 19th in the league in made threes with 10.9 triples a night while ranking 25th in three-point shooting by shooting 34.2 percent from downtown.

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We’ve seen Cleveland get battered at home by teams that have struggled by the road. The Pistons were 1-9 as the visiting team before Tuesday’s stomping. Before that, Orlando was 0-7 before picking up their first road win of the season on this very floor last week. That game seemed to jumpstart the Magic’s offensive attack: they’ve won four of five since that point and have scored at least 100 points in four of those contests. Orlando is coming off back to back games with at least 125 points and they have momentum coming into this one. Give the Magic the upper hand in this one.

Prediction: Orlando Magic -3.5

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Orlando has had a sudden offensive resurgence of late. The Magic has put up 116 points against Cleveland, 127 against Washington and 128 against Phoenix in the last 10 days, which is impressive for a team that was struggle to average in the triple-digits on the year. Orlando is averaging 103.1 ppg on the road this season but with the recent offense, they may have found something that works. Cleveland has been swiss cheese at home defensive, giving up 114.4 points per game. Can the Cavaliers get back to playing better defense or are they doomed to another one-sided defeat?

The over is 4-0 in the Magic's last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5, 6-1-1 in their last 8 games following a straight up win and 5-1 in their last six as a favorite. Cleveland has seen the over go 5-1 in their last 6 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game and 14-5 in their last 19 games following an ATS loss. If the Orlando team that has shown up lately appears here, this one should have little problem getting over the number.

Prediction: Over 212

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Orlando has actually played semi-decent basketball in the opening half of games in the first quarter of the season. The Magic owns a +0.7 ppg scoring differential in the first half on the year. That mark puts them solidly in the middle of the pack as they rank 14th in the league in that category. Cleveland, meanwhile, has struggled, as one would expect from their record. The Cavaliers own a -7.4 ppg scoring differential in the first half, which is worst in the league. Based on that, you have to give the edge to Orlando at intermission.

Prediction: Orlando Magic -1

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Points aren't always a big thing in Orlando games this season. The Magic stands tied for 25th in first half scoring with 52.4 ppg this season. However, in their last three games, that number has skyrocketed to 61.3 ppg, so there have been signs of life on the offensive end. Cleveland is dead last in the league in first half scoring as they average 49.6 ppg on the year. The Cavaliers are also 24th in first half scoring defense by allowing 57 points per game. This is a good situation for Orlando to hit 60 or 65 in the first half to help push this one over the mark.

Prediction: Over 109
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.