Not all NBA matchups are as they initially appear.
Take the Boston Celtics‘ matchup with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night: The Celtics have won seven of their last eight and are 19 games above .500, while the Magic have dropped five of their last six to slide to 22-28.
Piece of cake for Boston, right? Not necessarily. Not only will the C’s be without Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis, but Orlando actually has beaten Boston in its last three trips to TD Garden dating to March 2017.
How should this conflicting information impact your wager(s) on Wednesday’s game? Glad you asked. Below are our Celtics-Magic betting predictions, as well as two NBA locks against the spread.
(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)
Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET
Moneyline: The Celtics managed to grind out a win over Atlanta on Monday without Walker and Smart. I predict a similar ugly win Wednesday, with Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown carrying the load to help the Celtics (-275) pull this out.
Point Spread: I would have picked the Magic to cover if Boston didn’t beat them on the road two weeks ago without Tatum and Brown. The Celtics (-6.5) no longer overlook this pesky Orlando squad will do enough to cover for the eighth time in nine tries.
Point Total: The Magic average 103 points per game, tied with the Charlotte Hornets for the lowest in the NBA. The Celtics don’t have their top scorer. The 208.5 point total is low, but I’ll still take the UNDER.
Darren’s record picking the Celtics’ moneyline, point spread and point total: 69-38-1 (63.9% success rate)
NBA Locks of the Night
Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors (-6): How’s this for a crazy stat: The Pacers have lost nine consecutive games in Toronto dating to March 2013. Oh, and the Raptors have won 11 straight. I think they can handle six points.
Phoenix Suns at Detroit Pistons (+3.5): Both teams are playing very poorly at the moment, but Detroit has covered in its last eight home games against Phoenix, so I’ll ride with the home underdogs.
Darren’s record picking NBA locks against the spread: 36-35-1 (50% success rate)
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston’s coverage of Magic-Celtics, which begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
Celtics vs. Magic odds: Best NBA picks for deceptively tough matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston