The Orlando Magic provided us the first upset of the 2020 NBA Playoffs this past Tuesday. They beat the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks 122-110 as massive 14-point underdogs in Game 1 of their first-round series.
The second game between the Magic and Bucks is set for Thursday, Aug. 20, so we bring you all need-to-know betting tips and trends along with our best betting pick.
The Magic are without Jonathan Isaac (knee), Al-Farouq Aminu (knee), and Mo Bamba (COVID-19). Michael Carter-Williams (foot) is doubtful to play Thursday night, while Aaron Gordon (hamstring) is listed as questionable after missing Game 1.
The Bucks are missing Ersan Ilyasova (elbow).
The opening game of the series went in the over of a 225.5-point total, while three of four regular-season encounters between the Magic and Bucks went in the under along with a push.
What’s at Stake?
The Magic would be thrilled with another win, but the series won’t be over even if they pull off another upset. There’s still a lot of basketball to be played, and both teams have a chance to improve on both sides of the ball.
The Bucks are certainly dazed after that shocking loss in Game 1, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Magic are fired up, for sure, but they also know how tough is to beat the Bucks twice in a row.
Milwaukee dominated Orlando in the regular season, winning all four meetings and covering three times in the process. The Bucks are 7-2 SU and 5-3-1 ATS in their last nine encounters with the Magic, while the under is 6-2-1 in that span.
However, the Magic were in control through the entire Game 1 of this playoff series. They shot 49.4% from the field and 39.0% from downtown while handing out 29 assists. They controlled the glass well and limited the Bucks on just 43.3% shooting from the field.
Nikola Vucevic had a big game, posting a double-double of 35 points and 14 rebounds while making 15 of his 24 field-goal attempts. Vooch went 5-for-8 from downtown and completely outplayed Brook Lopez.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was leading the way for the Bucks with 31 points, 17 boards, and seven assists. The reigning MVP shot 12-for-25 from the field and 3-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line but missed five of his nine shots from the charity stripe.
The Bucks desperately need to do a much better defensive job in Game 2, while they have to make a better shot selection, too. Milwaukee entered the postseason as the best defensive team in the NBA, so the previous display was a huge disappointment.
Three of four Bucks’ regular-season wins over Orlando came by 11 or more points, and I expect to see more of the same Thursday night at Disney’s. In those four games against the Bucks, the Magic couldn’t surpass the 101-point mark.
I’m looking for a significant improvement by the Bucks, especially on the defensive end. Therefore, you can go with the under on the totals, but I’m sticking with the Bucks to cover a 10-point spread at -170 for my NBA Pick. Milwaukee loves to play at a fast pace, while Orlando prefers a slow tempo, so I would avoid wagering on the totals.