The Orlando Magic (6-7) visit the New York Knicks (5-8) in a holiday battle on Monday afternoon to get the 2021 NBA on Martin Luther Kings Jr. Day schedule underway. Orlando will be looking to stop a five-game losing streak. The Knicks have also struggled recently, and New York is playing its second game in as many days. Evan Fournier (back), Mo Bamba (protocols) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) are out of action for Orlando. New York is missing guard Frank Ntilikina (knee), while guard Alec Burks (ankle) didn't play on Sunday and is considered day-to-day.
Tip-off is noon ET at Madison Square Garden. William Hill Sportsbook lists Orlando as a one-point road favorite, holding steady from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points expected, is 207 in the latest Magic vs. Knicks odds. Before making any Knicks vs. Magic picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 67-38 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Magic vs. Knicks spread: Magic -1
- Magic vs. Knicks over-under: 207 points
- Magic vs. Knicks money line: Magic -120, Knicks +100
- ORL: The Magic are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- NY: The Knicks are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Magic can cover
Orlando is very strong in a few key areas, headlined by ball security and rebounding on the offensive side. The Magic turn the ball over on only 13.3 percent of possessions, a strongly above-average figure, and Orlando pulls down 27.8 percent of its own missed shots. That leads to a top-10 figure in second chance points per game (14.1), and the Magic are keyed by a potent center in Nikola Vucevic.
Vucevic is averaging 22.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, and he is a difficult matchup for any opposing squad. Defensively, Orlando is elite on the glass, grabbing 76.3 percent of available rebounds to rank second in the NBA. Orlando is also a top-five team in both free throw rate allowed and second chance points allowed (11.0 per game), with above-average marks in turnover creation rate (14.8 percent) and fast break points allowed (12.8 per game).
Why the Knicks can cover
New York's defense should be in good shape against Orlando's offense. The Knicks are currently ranked in the top 10 in defensive rating, giving up only 107.6 points per 100 possessions through 14 games. That includes a top-six mark in effective field goal percentage allowed (50.6 percent), and the Knicks are led by a defense-first coach in Tom Thibodeau.
In conjunction, Orlando really struggles on the offensive side, ranking in the bottom five of the NBA in scoring 105.4 points per 100 possessions. The Magic are dead-last in assist rate (52.5 percent) and dead-last in effective field goal percentage (48.9 percent) so far in 2020-1. Orlando has issues in perimeter offensive creation, and the Knicks can take advantage with their aggressive approach.
How to make Knicks vs. Magic picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the teams projected to combine for 211 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Magic vs. Knicks? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Magic vs. Knicks spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.