NBA Odds, Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets For Magic vs. Wizards
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Franz Wagner #22 of the Orlando Magic dunks against the Washington Wizards.
- Saturday night's NBA slate features seven games with the first tip at 5 p.m. ET.
- Our Action analysts are targeting two matchups, including Magic vs. Wizards.
- Check out their best bets for Saturday, which feature player props, spread plays and more.
Our Action analysts are targeting two of the earlier matchups on the slate tonight and their best bets feature player props, a spread bet and a moneyline wager.
Read on for their expert picks and predictions for Saturday.
NBA Odds & Picks
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Chris Baker: This is just a situational spot where we should see a highly motivated Raptors team off of two bad losses to the Timberwolves and Bucks.
Additionally, this could be a let down spot for a Celtics team that just had a highly-emotional comeback win at home against the Warriors. Now the Celtics have to fly out to Toronto to take on a middling Raptors team and it is just hard for me to envision them coming out focused in this spot.
Jayson Tatum will also be out for the Celtics here and that is obviously a huge loss for them on both ends. All of the on-paper efficiency metrics scream Boston, but I am willing to ignore them given the situation for the Raptors. They are currently on the outside looking in as the 11th seed and they need to get hot here as the season heads towards its final 30 games.
I expect the Raptors to exert pressure on the Celtics guards and we could see Jaylen Brown struggle with turnover issues against this Raptors defense that ranks first in the NBA in Turnover Rate. The Celtics offense ranks in the 49th percentile for Turnover Rate when Tatum is off the court, according to Cleaning the Glass. This could be a huge issue against this long Raptors defense as the Raptors have the best Offensive Rating in transition.
If the Raptors can muck this game up and force some turnovers, they can force the Celtics to play at their pace and avoid constant half-court offense. That would be huge for their chances to win and I expect them to do just that tonight. Take the Raptors moneyline full game and first half as I expect a sluggish start from the Celtics.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Joe Dellera: With Jayson Tatum out tonight against the Raptors on the road, I expect Jaylen Brown to pick up a lot of the slack.
In seven games over the past two seasons without Tatum, Brown is averaging 30.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. While his points and assists totals are a bit skewed because of outlier games (50 points, 11 assists) his rebounds have been reliable.
His prop is currently set at 6.5 and he has exceeded that in six of seven games without Tatum with five double doubles (and one triple double). I’ll back Brown to play big minutes and secure some rebounds today (and a sprinkle on him to record a Double Double at +380) against a Raptors team that will be playing its fourth game in six days.
Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards
Austin Wang: The Orlando Magic travel to Washington DC to take on the Wizards on the second night of a back-to-back. As a result of this situational spot for the Magic, the Wizards are seven-point favorites, which I think is too heavy to lay for the Wizards.
The Magic have consistently been undervalued by the market as evidenced by their ATS record of 25-17-3 (59.5%). They have a knack for keeping things close and covering the spread. They are 23-12-3 (65.7%) as underdogs and 11-4-1 ATS off a win. This may be a back-to-back game on the road for the Magic, but this is only their second game this week. Prior to Friday, they've been off for four days since Sunday. I don't think the Magic will be as fatigued as the price may indicate.
The Wizards, on the other hand, haven't been successful when they are favored. They are 5-8-1 ATS as favorites, 3-7-1 when they are favored at home. This is the second-highest number they have been favored all season, and I don’t think it is justified. Bradley Beal is back in the lineup, but he is still on a minutes restriction.
I make this number Magic +4.5, and I would play this down to +6.