Raptors vs. Magic Game 3 Betting Preview: Will Toronto Grab Control of This Series?
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Lowry
Game 3 Betting Odds: Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic
- Spread: Raptors -4.5
- Over/Under: 210
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
- Series Score: Tied 1-1
>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.
The Raptors rebounded from a surprising Game 1 loss in a big way, dominating the Magic in Game 2 by 29 points. Which Toronto should we expect in Game 3? Our analysts answer.
Trends to Know
Road favorites have been on a run lately. In the past two postseasons, teams favored on the road have gone 30-11-1 (73.2%) against the spread. The road chalk is likely to regress as such teams were only 96-99-5 (49.2%) ATS from 2005 to 2016. — John Ewing
Many people believe the Magic have zero chance to win this series based on the Raptors’ talent. All season though, the Magic have proved people wrong and exceeded expectations. They’re 43-41 straight up, profiting bettors $1,821 on the moneyline, making them the NBA’s second-most profitable moneyline team this season by nearly $1,000. — Evan Abrams
Good omen for Orlando? The Magic might’ve played one of the worst playoff game in recent memory in Game 2. They shot worse than 40% from the field, worse than 55% from the line and forced fewer than 10 turnovers on defense.
Three of the past four teams to “accomplish” that feat in a playoff game over the past years actually came back to win the series, with all four series going at least six games. — Abrams
Locky: Why I’m Betting the Raptors
Boy, do I like Toronto here. The gap between these teams isn’t as wide as what you saw in Game 2, but it’s much closer to that than what you saw in Game 1, where every conceivable edge went the Magic’s way and they still barely won.
You can point to the Magic’s Net Rating at home over the second half of the season — best in the league over that time frame — and think this series is about to be more competitive, and they did have a win over Golden State at home in that sample.
But here are the other teams they beat at home in the second half: Dallas, Cleveland, Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Philly (without Ben Simmons), New York and Atlanta again. It’s like the murderer’s row of tanking teams. So let’s maybe not give the Magic that much credit for some type of crazy “home dominance.”
I have this number at Toronto -7 and will gleefully play -4.5. — Ken Barkley
Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game
That was a weird first two games. In Game 1, the Raptors struggled offensively and the Magic got hot, hitting 48.3% of their 3-pointers. That masked the fact that they were dreadful both at the rim and from mid-range. Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross were all dreadfully inefficient.
But D.J. Augustin was there to save the day, putting up 25 points and hitting shots like this:
In Game 2, he took just one 3-pointer, and as a team the Magic went just 26.7% from beyond the arc. They also really struggled with turnovers, coughing it up on 19.3% of their possessions. They were pretty careless with the basketball, making some lazy passes.
That should get a little better at home — the Magic were top 10 in turnover rate this year — and perhaps they get a little better shooting. Per NBA.com, the Magic were “wide open” — a defender six-plus feet away — on 24.7% of their shots. Unfortunately, they hit just 20% of those.
But the Raptors did a good job of making poor shooters take those shots. As mentioned above, Augustin, the Magic’s best shooter beyond the arc at 42.1% this season, got up just one attempt. Jonathan Isaac, still a work in progress at 32.3% this season, was allowed to fire away. They made sure to help on penetration, preferring shots like this to Augustin or Evan Fournier having their way:
But the Raptors have also been weird. They got a bit unlucky shooting in Game 1, but in Game 2 they just hit an unsustainable amount of mid-range shots — 61.1% to be exact. They were helped in large part by the Magic turning over the ball over so much, which allowed Toronto to get easy buckets in transition.
The point is: Each team should regress and progress in a variety of ways moving forward. One thing that should continue, however, is the Raptors giving the Magic fits defensively. Vucevic has struggled to get it going in two straight games now, and he was their catalyst throughout the year. If he’s ineffective and they have to rely purely on jump shooting, this matchup gets lopsided quickly.
As such, I think there’s a bit of value on the Raptors on the road here; I’d currently lean that way. — Bryan Mears
Moore: My Thoughts on Tonight’s Game
I think I have a better handle on this series now. I took Raptors in five games before the series started and then took Orlando +4.5 in Game 1. I genuinely think we may be headed for a gentleman’s sweep with the prototypical Raptors Game 1 loss thrown in.
The Raptors figured out something key in Game 2: Aaron Gordon can’t hurt them. Watch Pascal Siakam on this play:
The Raptors are flat-out not concerned with Gordon and use that to bring extra help. Siakam is able to crowd Nikola Vucevic into Kyle Lowry, who draws the offensive foul. Here’s another one:
That’s one-pass-away help: the sweet spot. But Gordon — even at 35% from 3-point range this year — simply doesn’t scare the Raptors. They’re using Gordon’s man to attack the pick-and-roll action with D.J. Augustin and Vucevic.
Vucevic will be better in Game 3 than he was in Game 4 with four turnovers. He shoots much better at home. But Evan Fournier shoots worse, and the Raptors have figured out more and more how to guard this team.
A renewed defensive effort in Game 2 paid dividends, and I’m expecting the same effort in this Game 3. I like the under for Orlando at 103 and the Raptors to cover. Having to lay less than two possessions is too good for the talent gap between the two teams. Orlando’s pesky. The Raptors are much peskier. — Matt Moore
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.