The Orlando Magic won’t have to travel far after playing the Lakers on Wednesday when they face the LA Clippers on Thursday. This will be the Magic’s fourth straight road game, with two more after this. Can the Magic escape the Clippers with a win?
The Clippers are looking to continue their success against the Magic when they host them on Thursday night, having gone 10-0 in their last 10 games against Orlando. The Clippers are coming off a huge 128-103 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, spearheaded by a red-hot Kawhi Leonard, who put up 43 points in three quarters.
With the Clippers being 11.5-point favorites, it may seem like too large of a spread to bet on, but let’s look at both teams and make our pick.
Trying To Create Some Magic
The Magic are currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and look to improve their positioning on a six-game road stretch that has proven to be difficult. With teams like the Lakers and Clippers in their way, it hasn’t been easy to get a win streak going, but Orlando comes into this one having won two straight, including Wednesday’s win over the Lakers.
The unfortunate news for the Magic is their record against the Clippers, going 0-10 in their last 10 games, all before Leonard and Paul George joined the Clippers. With having two extra All-Stars to deal with, the Magic will need a lot of the same kind of play they got Wednesday night to get the win.
The injuries have piled up for the Magic as well, with five players potentially out for this game. It’ll be hard to get any offense going against a Clippers defense that only allows 109.5 points per game.
Orlando’s magic against the spread when playing the Clippers doesn’t look good either, with a record of 4-6 in their last 10, six of which went under.
Chasing The Lakers
The Clippers pretty much have their playoff seat locked up, but they aren’t satisfied just yet. Leonard has been playing his best basketball, but he hasn’t had to do it all alone, with a strong supporting cast, including Lou Williams, George and Patrick Beverley. The Clippers have created the league’s fourth-best offense, averaging 115.6-points per game.
The Clippers will come into this game healthy as well, with only George listed as questionable but likely to play on Thursday night. The Magic will have their hands full dealing with the second-best team in Los Angeles. If you needed any other reason to trust the Clippers, they’ve beaten Orlando in their last 10 games, with a 6-4 record against the spread.
The Clippers’ record overall against the spread is 22-19, slightly above .500 but not anything to write home about. However, as a favorite, they have a much better record, going 25-8 with a 13-9 record ATS at home.
Pick and Prediction
If you were expecting another upset by Orlando in this one, you are sorely mistaken. The Magic haven’t been able to top the Clippers in 10 games, and that was before Leonard and George showed up. With most of their team questionable heading into this game, it’s hard to put much trust in their ability to score against one of the league’s best defenses.
The Clippers will be accepting the Magic on a silver platter. With most of their team healthy, it’s hard to pick a team in the NBA that can stop the Clippers. Look for Leonard to put up big numbers again against a decimated Magic team. I’m taking the Clippers -11.5.