The Orlando Magic travel to Barclays Center to face the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The Magic will look to bounce back from a home loss to the Detroit Pistons in their last outing, while the Nets aim to continue a seven-game winning streak. Orlando is 5-10 on the road this season, with Brooklyn boasting a 12-5 home record. Kevin Durant (hamstring) is out for the Nets and Aaron Gordon (ankle) is out for the Magic. Jeff Green (shoulder) and Landry Shamet (chest) are listed as questionable for Brooklyn.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET in Brooklyn. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Nets as 8.5-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 229 in the latest Magic vs. Nets odds. Before you make any Nets 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 also is up almost $8,700 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 10 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 85-49 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Magic vs. Nets spread: Nets -8.5
- Magic vs. Nets over-under: 229 points
- Magic vs. Nets money line: Brooklyn -440, Orlando +340
- ORL: The Magic are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
- BKN: The Nets have covered the spread in seven straight games
Why the Magic can cover
Orlando is playing improved basketball in recent days, and Nikola Vucevic is enjoying an All-Star season. The veteran center is averaging 23.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game and, in addition to his work near the rim, Vucevic is connecting on 39.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Vucevic's presence will be key against a smaller Brooklyn team that struggles mightily on the defensive end. In fact, the Nets allow more than 1.14 points per possession, a bottom-five mark in the NBA, and Brooklyn is third-worst in turnover creation rate.
Orlando is strongly above-average in ball security, turning the ball over on only 13.4 percent of possessions. Defensively, the Magic will have their hands full with the Nets, but Orlando currently leads the NBA in both defensive rebound rate (76.0 percent) and second-chance points allowed (10.6 per game).
Why the Nets can cover
Brooklyn leads the NBA in offense, scoring 1.18 points per possession for the full season. The Nets are even better since acquiring James Harden and, even without Durant available, Brooklyn is difficult to stop. Steve Nash's team also leads the NBA in effective field goal percentage (58.7 percent) and true shooting percentage (62.2 percent), putting pressure on the opposition. The Nets are a top-10 team in both assist-to-turnover ratio (1.86) and free throw creation rate, attacking the opposition with a diverse approach.
Defensively, Brooklyn is struggling as a unit, but the Nets rank as a top-eight team in shot-blocking (5.5 per game) and free throw prevention. The Nets are also facing a scuffling Orlando offense that ranks in the bottom four of the NBA in shooting efficiency, free throw rate and points scored per possession.
How to make Nets vs. Magic picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting both teams combine for 229 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Magic vs. Nets? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.