The Orlando Magic head to United Center in Chicago on Wednesday night to wrap up their three-game regular-season series against the Chicago Bulls, so I’ve prepared the best betting pick and odds for this Eastern Conference showdown.
The Magic and Bulls split their first two encounters of the season, playing a back-to-back set at Amway Center in Orlando back in February. Orlando won the opener 123-119 as a 2.5-point dog, while Chicago bounced back as a 1.5-point fave, 118-92. According to BetRivers Sportsbook, the Bulls are firm 9.5-point favorites for Wednesday’s clash.
Orlando dropped six straight games
The Orlando Magic (17-37; 27-26-1 ATS) are already looking to the future, as their 2020-21 campaign is ruined. The Magic are riding a six-game losing streak at the moment, sitting at the 14th spot of the Eastern Conference standings, one game ahead of the hapless Detroit Pistons.
Orlando just closed down a four-game homestand with a heavy 120-97 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs. The Magic dished out a paltry 15 assists and committed the same number of turnovers, so it’s no strange that the Spurs cruised through Florida last Monday.
It’s hard to tell who’s the Magic’s best player these days, as they are giving a lot of minutes to some young guys. Still, Orlando remains one of the worst offensive teams in the league, scoring just 105.3 points per 100 possessions (29th in the NBA) on 43.0% shooting from the field (30th) and 34.6% from beyond the 3-point line (28th).
Chicago desperately needs to break out of its funk
The Chicago Bulls (22-31; 28-24-1 ATS) are on a three-game losing streak following a 101-90 defeat at the Memphis Grizzlies this past Monday. After a couple of painful defeats at Atlanta and Minnesota, the Bulls ran out of gas in Tennessee, making just 41.9% of their field goals and 16.1% of their 3-pointers.
Now, the Bulls are huge five games behind the No. 8 seed in the East. The time is ticking away, and the Bulls just have to start winning games in sequences if they want to stand any chance of reaching the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Zach LaVine continues to lead the way for the Bulls, averaging 24.4 points and 5.8 assists per game over his last ten outings. Nikola Vucevic is trying his best since joining the Bulls from Orlando in March, and the two-time All-Star is posting 21.8 points and 9.7 boards a night over his previous ten showings. The Bulls are tallying 111.3 points per 100 possessions (18th in the league) on 47.9% shooting from the field (8th) and 36.7% from downtown (14th).
- 3-6 ATS in the last nine games played in April
- 5-2 ATS in the last seven games against the Eastern Conference
The Bulls cannot give up despite a huge gap between them and the eighth-seeded New York Knicks. They will probably miss the postseason once more, but I hope the Bulls will continue to work hard and thrash off the Magic in this one.
Of course, there’s a bunch of guys in Orlando who try to prove their worth, but the Magic are just too inefficient. Therefore, I won’t buy any points. Give me the Bulls to cover a 9.5-point spread.
Pick: Take Chicago Bulls -9.5 at -110
The under has hit in 16 of the previous 18 encounters between the Magic and Bulls, and that tells you a lot about their displays over the last few years. I’m expecting more of the same Wednesday night, as Orlando is struggling mightily on the offensive end at the moment.
Furthermore, the Bulls’ last seven home contests went in the under, and Chicago couldn’t surpass a 100-point mark in five of its previous ten showings at United Center. This time, I’m looking for Orlando to stay below the 100-point threshold.
Pick: Go under 220.5 points at -110