Last Updated: 2019-04-12
The Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors will kick-off their playoff series on Saturday in what could be an interesting series. The Raptors were the better team all season, but the Magic finished March and April with a 13-6 record to get into the playoffs and avoid the Milwaukee Bucks. Not that playing the Raptors is an enviable task, as Toronto finished just two games behind Milwaukee with a 60-22 record. The Magic were 42-40 for the season.
The Raptors are -1200 at Bookmaker to win the series, while the take-back on the Magic is +755. The teams split during the regular season, with each team winning on the road, but the Raptors did win the most recent contest by a 121-109 score at home on April 1.
The Raptors have Kawhi Leonard and after that it’s a collection of five or six guys to carry the load, as Leonard scored 9.7 more points than the next closest player. Having a deep bench and players who can contribute is always a plus at this stage of the season, with the nagging injuries that most teams have, along with the possibility of somebody getting injured during a game.
The Raptors shoot 47.4% from the field, which is 1.7% better than foes allow on average, while limiting teams to 44.9% shooting or 1% below their season average. Toronto is a better-than-average team from long range and hold teams to 34.5% from 3-point range.
The Magic don’t have that one true star player, with Nikola Vucevic the closest thing they have and he may fly under the radar a bit, but is a pretty solid player, leading Orlando with 20.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. It’s a bit of a drop after that, however, with Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross right in that 15 to 16 point range.
Orlando shot a little bit lower than their opponents allowed from the field, while hitting 35.6% from 3-point range and that could be where their fortunes lay in this season, as they turned up the offense down the stretch, going 11-2 in their last 13 games, of which only four saw them score fewer than 114 points.
There’s no question that the Raptors are the better team in this one, but you do have to be impressed with what the Magic did to get here. A team that was left for dead by most of the basketball world in February, the Magic got hot at the right time, but now are facing a team that is better than they are.
The Raptors were 32-9 at home this season, while Orlando was 17-24, although they did get a win in Toronto earlier in the year. The game the teams played on April 1 saw Toronto hit 19 of 37 3-pointers and not sure they’ll be able to do that again, so it would be a surprise to see the Magic win one in Toronto, but not a complete shock.
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You don’t need me to tell you that a -1200 team is a good wager, so we’ll look to the exact outcome wagers available and take .75 units on Toronto winning 4-1 at +190 and .25 units on Toronto winning 4-2 at +382.