It’s going to be a quick turnaround for both Cleveland Cavaliers and the visiting Orlando Magic, as both sides play the previous night. The Magic plays top Eastern team before and after meeting twice with the Brooklyn Nets, while the Cavaliers get something of a breather after two tough opponents they open this season against.
Magic at Cavaliers
Spread: Cavaliers -12 (-104) at BetDSI Sportsbook
Total: Over/under 216.5 (-104)
Could strong Magic start to the season raise the expectations?
The good thing about this Orlando Magic team is the continuity. Even better thing is that they play in the East. There are quite a few bad teams in the conference, so even with just one game out of the way, I believe a fair question to ask is how long and how high Magic success has to be for them to gain confidence and positive reviews from the media.
The Magic looked terrific in the preseason and they looked very good in the opener against Miami. Fournier, Vucevic, and Simmons are clearly dangerous offensively, and the players know their roles, strengths and deficiencies. Even with Whiteside creating problems inside and the Heat starting the game red-hot, the Magic never lost their composure and kept plunging, just like a group of veterans. After conceding 37 points in the opening quarter, the Magic got it together and opened up a 17-point gap. They did allow Miami to dangerously narrow the gap, but still prevailed in the finish thanks to Fournier, who finished with 23 points. More than at any point last season, this team had Frank Vogel’s name written all over it.
Despite this preview being posted before Orlando plays in Brooklyn, I feel very confident that the upcoming game won’t ruin the image they’ve created in the opener. Keep in mind that Gordon might miss Nets game due to a sore ankle, and as always, check the team news after any first game of a back-to-back set.
Place: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Date/Time: Saturday, October 21st, 2017. 8:00 PM ET
TV Coverage: FSOHIO, FS FLORIDA
After tests against Boston and Milwaukee, Cavs know where they at
In order to cut down on heavily packed parts of the schedule, the NBA powers moved the season start two weeks in advance, to our delight. After having to play Celtics and Bucks in mid-October, I’m not sure the Cleveland Cavaliers will feel the same way. They are implementing big changes to their game, with new backcourt and Love’s transition to center. Here’s a thought. There might not be enough time in the preseason to smooth out the rough sketches. James also admitted that he yet needs to hit the stadium at which he feels physically prepared – although he didn’t look out of shape all at, but that’s James – so a few easier games like the one against the Magic will help them get more comfortable and rolling.
With Cavs second showing hidden from my eyes as the game in Milwaukee starts in a couple of hours, there’s a slight possibility that all the bad or all the good will suddenly appear on the surface, but judging by the opener versus the Celtics, I’m guessing that there’ll be periods of each for a bit longer. It’s nothing that a healthy James can’t straighten out, so let’s hope that his ankle doesn’t cause him any more troubles.
The game against the Magic is also an opportunity to try involving Wade in the offense a little more, as well as giving more minutes to the reserves.
Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Game Trends & Prediction
The Magic won and covered in the first game of the season, and are playing the Nets tonight, so there’s a decent chance that they’ll come in with a 2-0 SU and ATS records. They are not known as a defensive team and will likely play for a point more in Brooklyn, so the same could happen with the over/under.
The Cavaliers barely won over the Celtics, failing to cover, and they’ll likely play a close game in Wisconsin. With any luck for those of you following my picks, they might drop a game. With Cavs, such disappointing results usually help them more than winning does, so if this happens, they would probably come out to play against the Magic. Still, a loss would drop them at 0-2 ATS. The first total went under the projected line, but the Cavs coaching staff wasn’t satisfied with how fast they played, so you can expect a deliberate increase in game pace.
A unique ranking system – AdmiRank helps you understand how good NBA teams are on a scale to 100. The scores presented in the table below will change after the tonight’s games, but I’m showing you these to give you a general sense on how much separates the two sides in neutral conditions.
The Magic may come in perfect and happy, but have to guard against being satisfied with what they accomplished. Teams can think, ‘ok, we’ll lose in Cleveland and still be up 2-1’, and I’m not completely sure that Orlando team has the mental toughness to avoid such trap. With the Cavs, it’s all about getting to the level they want and the opportunity to rest. A perfect opportunity for backdoor covers if the Magic young players preserve more stamina from the night before. I will take the Magic on the spread and go with the under.
My Pick: Magic +12.5 (-118)
Total: Under 216.5 (-104)
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