The Denver Nuggets are beginning a five-game homestand on Sunday as they battle the Orlando Magic. With that said, it’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Magic-Nuggets prediction and pick.
The Nuggets are in the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 30-18 after winning eight of their last 10 games and three straight matches since trading for Aaron Gordon.
Meanwhile, the Magic are coming off a 46-point loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Steve Clifford’s team has lost four of their last 10 games as they sit in the 13th seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-32.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Magic-Nuggets odds.
NBA Odds: Magic-Nuggets Odds
Orlando Magic +16.5 (-110)
Denver Nuggets -16.5 (-110)
Over 213.5 Points (-110)
Under 213.5 Points(-110)
Why The Magic Could Cover The Spread
The Magic are officially in rebuild mode after trading away their stars in Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. Not to mention that this Orlando team is also dealing with injuries to their two promising guards Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony.
The top-scorer now for head coach Steve Clifford is Terrence Ross, who is averaging 15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 40.4 percent from the field. Only two other active players are scoring in the double-digits for the Magic, and that is Wendell Carter Jr. at 14.8 points and Dwayne Bacon at 10.5 points per game.
There’s no surprise then that the Magic currently holds the 17th-best offensive rating in the league, which is expected to drop. In addition, Clifford’s squad also holds the fourth-worse defensive rating in the entire league, which does not bode well when matching up against Nikola Jokic and the fourth-best offensive-rated team in the league.
To put it briefly, the Magic have no chance at winning this game against a fully-health Nuggets team. This Orlando team will need a miracle alone to just cover the spread given the current talent on the roster.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
Michael Malone’s squad is looking like a championship contender with the recent addition of Aaron Gordon.
Aside from their fourth-best offensive rating, the Nuggets also hold the 15th-best defensive rating in the league which is also trending up.
Nikola Jokic is leading the Nuggets team on offense. The All-Star has been putting up MVP numbers, averaging 26.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists while shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The talent that Jokic is surrounded with is also unbelievable and given how great of a playmaker he is, it will make the lives of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Gordon much easier on the offensive end of the floor.
The area where this Denver team struggle is on the defensive end where they were ranked dead last at one point during this season. As of late, the Nuggets have been starting to figure it out and should improve significantly in the next couple of weeks with the addition of Gordon, whose size and length make him a great individual defensive player.
Denver should pick up an easy win against this Orlando team, but in order to cover the spread, all the starters—Jokic, Murray, Porter, and Gordon—will need a dominant performance on both ends of the floor shooting lights out and disrupting any offensive flow for the Magic.
Final Magic-Nuggets Prediction & Pick
Orlando just does not have enough offensive weapons and defensive talents to keep this game close. The biggest problem will not be on the offensive end of the floor for Clifford’s squad, but rather the defensive end. The combination of Murray, Gordon, and Jokic on the floor is tough for any team to cover, especially for a Magic team that is also empty-handed.
That said, the Nuggets should pick up their easiest win as of late on Sunday against the Magic to cruise to their fifth straight vicctory.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR MAGIC-NUGGETS: ORL 98, DEN 120 (DEN -16.5)