Moore: There’s Still Value on Orlando as Kevin Durant’s Absence Shrinks Warriors-Magic Spread
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nikola Vucevic
- The Warriors went from 6-point to 4-point favorites in Orlando with Kevin Durant (rest) out. But Matt Moore still thinks there's value on the Magic.
The Orlando Magic take on the Golden State Warriors tonight (7 p.m. ET) in a little-fanfare contest but a fascinating one for bettors.
After opening at Warriors -6 on the second night of a back-to-back, the line moved to Warriors -4.5 after Kevin Durant’s announced rest and has since moved back all the way to Warriors -4 (see live odds here).
This changes some of what you would expect, but not as much as you’d think.
Golden State clearly had a good time on South Beach after arriving on Monday and not playing until Wednesday, losing to Miami on Wednesday night — and Miami has been dreadful at home — thanks to a Dwyane Wade throwback game-winner.
Now the Warriors are on a back-to-back in Orlando and are 2-5-1 against the spread this season on a SEGABABA.
The Magic, meanwhile, are very much the model of an inconsistent team. They can beat the Raptors and lose to the Bulls inside a week. However, they have been simply great against great teams. Orlando is 12-6-1 ATS against teams with better than a 60% win percentage this season.
Tactically, the Magic match up well here, too.
Since DeMarcus Cousins joined the Warriors off injury, their defense has been mediocre at best. He has a 108.2 defensive rating on-court, which is somehow better than the team’s 109 mark with him on the bench.
Nikola Vucevic went off for 30 on the Warriors in the teams’ meeting earlier this season, but Cousins changes some of that. When Cousins was with New Orleans last season, Vucevic had just 21 points on 20 shots. But with Cousins not quite the player he’s been, there’s likely room for Vucevic to get loose given how he’s played against Draymond Green.
Of course,Green and Steph Curry were notably notably out for the Magic’s win over the Warriors. Seems kind of relevant. Still, Orlando has spot-up shooters, on-ball drivers, cutters and an efficient big man inside in Vucevic.
That’s enough for a push toward the Magic — especially if the line pushes back to north of 5 before tip.
Maybe hedge that with Steph Curry over 28.5 points (our projections have him at 30.2), and set yourself up either way, with a windfall if Orlando hangs but Curry goes nuts.