Magic vs Pelicans Odds, Pick, Prediction Today | NBA Betting Preview (Wednesday, April 3)

Magic vs Pelicans Odds, Pick, Prediction Today | NBA Betting Preview (Wednesday, April 3) article feature image

Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Zion Williamson.

Magic vs. Pelicans Odds

Wednesday, April 3
8 p.m. ET
League Pass
Magic Odds
-110 / -110
Pelicans Odds
-110 / -110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Magic vs. Pelicans on Wednesday, April 3 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

The Orlando Magic have recovered from a three-game slide to win their next two, carrying plenty of positivity into a tantalizing matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on the road Wednesday night.

Will New Orleans' recent struggles at home persist against yet another quality opponent, or can the Pelicans get back on track here as they push to secure a playoff spot?

Let's get into how to bet on Magic vs. Pelicans.

Pick: Magic +4 (-115 at BetRivers)

Orlando Magic

Pick: Magic +4 (-115 at BetRivers)

Orlando's three losses to the Kings, Warriors and Clippers didn't do much to inspire confidence for its difficult stretch run, but throughout the miniature hardship, the Magic managed to maintain their excellence on the defensive end.

Orlando remains one of the hardest sides to score on, ranking second in defensive efficiency over the past two weeks, and while it has fallen even further from the depths we've seen all season offensively, it's worth pointing out that the schedule hasn't been kind.

The Magic managed to put up 121 points per 100 possessions in a mammoth victory over New Orleans two weeks ago — their second-most efficient night since the calendar turned to March.

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They managed to knock down 38.9% of shots from deep and command the glass by an impressive margin, considering how level these two teams are in that department. Those will be two areas to watch on Wednesday.

Despite a few tough shooting nights in recent games, Orlando has shot a very palatable 37.1% from 3 over the past two weeks, per Cleaning the Glass. The Magic will face a Pelicans defense that, while ranked among the best in the NBA at defending outside the arc, has watched its performance in this area crater over the past 14 days.

On top of that, the Pelicans are just 25th in rebounding rate during this time, further widening the gap between these two above-average rebounding teams.

New Orleans Pelicans

The key here for the Pelicans will be how well they can score on Orlando without Brandon Ingram. The wing was injured the last time these two teams met, and things have become quite precarious since.

New Orleans has watched its offensive efficiency drop by nearly five points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks, and the difference has been felt most at the rim, where its field goal percentage has gone from average to horrid. Within four feet this season, the Pelicans are shooting a mediocre 65.4%, but that percentage has dropped to 59.7% over the last 14 days.

That's been a real concern given you'd expect the Pelicans to lean more on Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas to carry the load offensively, and it certainly doesn't help that this excellent shooting team has also gone ice-cold from 3 and the mid-range.

There won't be much reprieve here against a Magic team that ranks among the best in the NBA at defending the 3 and one that has been excellent against the mid-range jumper over the last 14 days — an area of the floor New Orleans has tried its luck from more without Ingram in the lineup.

The only saving grace for New Orleans is that Orlando's rim defense has gotten a bit worse of late.

Magic vs. Pelicans

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Magic, who enter this game with a full bill of health, hold numerous matchup advantages against a Pelicans team missing Ingram.

The rebounding discrepancy has been real, and while they haven't exactly done a bang-up job defending inside, the visitors should be able to keep the Pelicans offense at bay with their excellent ability to defend at the arc.

On top of that, the Magic get to the rim more than any team in the NBA and should look much more competent on offense against a New Orleans rim defense that ranks 27th since the Ingram injury, allowing a stunning 72.5% of shots to fall.

There have been more fruitful spots to bet the Magic this year than taking the points with them on the road, but Orlando is still 14-12 against the spread as road dogs this season and is being spotted far too many points given the recent trends and what we saw the last time these two teams met.

Pick: Magic +4 (-115 at BetRivers)

Before wagering on Orlando, unlock bonus bets using Action’s BetRivers promo code.

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May 22, 2024 UTC