The Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic meet each other for the first time in more than two years, so here’s the best betting pick for their interconference showdown at Amway Center in Orlando on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
The Nuggets are listed as 6.5-point road favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Magic are +225 moneyline dogs at the moment. Denver is coming to Florida without Gary Harris (groin) and Monte Morris (quadriceps). Orlando is missing Markelle Fultz (knee), Cole Anthony (ribs), Terrence Ross (knee), and Jonathan Isaac (knee).
Denver lost to New Orleans to stop a three-game win streak
The Denver Nuggets (25-17; 19-23 ATS) wrapped up a five-game homestand last Sunday, suffering a 113-108 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans as 6.5-point home favorites. Nikola Jokic posted a triple-double of 29 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists, while Jamal Murray added 23 points and seven dimes, but it wasn’t enough against the resilient Pels.
The Nuggets snapped their three-game winning streak and are 8-2 straight up and 6-4 ATS over their last ten outings at any location. They are tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, 1.5 games behind the fourth-seeded LA Clippers.
Denver owns the fourth-best offensive rating in the NBA, scoring 117.6 points per 100 possessions. The Nuggets rank third in field goal percentage (48.8%) and fourth in 3-point percentage (38.8%) while handing out 26.9 assists a night (4th in the NBA). They surrender 112.3 points per 100 possessions (17th) on 46.9% shooting from the field (19th).
Orlando returned to the losing path with a heavy defeat at Boston
The Orlando Magic (14-28; 20-21-1 ATS) are coming off a 112-96 defeat at the Boston Celtics this past Sunday, recording their tenth loss in the last 11 games overall. The Magic fell apart in the second quarter, scoring just 17 points in that period, and they didn’t stand a chance in the second half, as the Celtics played well on both sides of the floor.
Orlando put on another terrible offensive performance, making just 38.1% of its field goals and 32.4% of its 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic posted a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double, while Evan Fournier finished the game with 16 points and five rebounds.
The Magic are tallying only 105.7 points per 100 possessions (27th in the NBA) on 43.1% shooting from the field (30th) and 35.7% from beyond the 3-point line (20th). They are yielding 112.6 points in a return (18th) on 46.8% shooting from the field (also 18th). Orlando is currently 6.5 games behind the No. 8 seed in the East.
- 6-0-2 ATS in the last eight games against Orlando
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games against the Eastern Conference
- 4-10 ATS in the last 14 games against the Western Conference
- 1-4 ATS in the last five tilts against the Northwest Division
While the Nuggets are playing in a good form, the Magic are struggling mightily, especially on the offensive end. Orlando is without a couple of point guards, so Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon have to shoulder a lot of offensive workloads.
The Nuggets are not an elite defensive team, but they’ve improved recently, so I have to take the visitors to win and cover a 4.5-point spread. The Magic will try their best on the home court, and I think we’ll see a tight clash, but the Nuggets should have enough firepower to outlast the hosts down the stretch.
Pick: Take Denver Nuggets -4.5 at -150
Neither team prefers to play at a fast pace, and while the Magic average 98.6 possessions per 48 minutes (19th in the league), the Nuggets record only 97.1 (29th). Therefore, I’m backing the under on the totals, though both Denver and Orlando have some defensive issues.
The under has hit in four of Orlando’s last five outings. Also, five of the Magic’s previous six contests produced fewer than 219 points in total. On the other side, the under is 5-3 in Denver’s last eight showings.
Pick: Go under 219.0 points at -110