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Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Can Cleveland Stay Hot Post-All-Star Break?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published February 22, 2024
10 min read

The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to continue their league-best form when they host the Orlando Magic amidst their own climb to a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night.

The Cavs have won a remarkable 18 of their last 20 games and are 2.5 games clear of the third-place Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Magic won seven of 10 games entering the All-Star break and appear to be back at full strength for an important stretch of games.

Here, we will break down the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Magic vs. Cavaliers matchup.

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero drives to the basket ball

Magic vs. Cavaliers Betting Odds for Thursday, Feb. 22

The Cavs are favored by 7.5 points on their home floor, where they have won 10 of their last 11 games. They’re 11-9-1 (55%) against the spread as a home favorite and covered 13 times during their 20-game hot streak. 

The Magic are only 12-17 straight-up but are 13-10 (56.5%) ATS on the road. They’re also the best team against the spread overall, at 36-18 (65.5%) and covered in eight of their last 10 games.

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TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Orlando Magic+7.5 (-105)+260Over 214.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers-7.5 (-115)-350Under 216.5 (-110)

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The Magic were one of the top teams in the East until they went on a midseason slump and were relegated to Play-In Tournament seeding. However, they’re only a half-game behind the Indiana Pacers for sixth in the East and looked like their old selves just before the All-Star break, and it’s now on them to close out the year how they started it.

The Magic’s notoriety largely comes on the back of their defense. They allow the fifth-fewest points per 100 possessions and the eighth-worst three-point percentage thanks to an aggressive, quick, long defensive lineup.

They say that defense translates, and that’s exactly what Orlando’s has done. They also rank fifth in road defensive rating and only allow 2.5 more points per 100 possessions on the road than they do at home. 

Where the Magic run into trouble, especially on the road, is on the offensive end. They score 6.5 fewer points per 100 possessions away from their building than they do inside of it and are just 26th in road offensive rating. 

Paolo Banchero averaged 24.9 points over his last 11 games, while Franz Wagner averaged 25.1 to start February and has three games of 34+ points in his last six outings.

While the Magic’s offense comes and goes, they often manufacture cheap buckets on the defensive end. They’re second in points off turnovers and also sixth in second-chance points, which is helped by their activity on the glass (seventh in rebound and offensive rebound rate).

Orlando is only 14-19 against teams above .500 and is 1-2 against Cleveland, losing by 10 and 27 and beating them by 10 (at home).

The Cavs will be relatively upset that the break came when it did given how well they were playing. It’s now incumbent upon them to reestablish their momentum and continue to rip off wins so they can hold off the Bucks and New York Knicks for the second seed.

Like the Magic, Cleveland likes to win with its D. They have the second-best defensive rating in the league (111.7) though, weirdly, that number is 2.9 points higher than it is on the road. They also rank 15th in home offensive rating (117.6) and shot 38.2% from three over their last 15 games, a solid improvement on their 36.1% standard for the year.

Donovan Mitchell averaged 29.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds on 41.7% three-point shooting to start the month. Darius Garland has not been his usual self on offense and only averaged 11.9 points during that same stretch, though that did not prevent the team from winning games.

The Cavs are close behind the Magic in rebound rate (ninth) and take slightly better care of the ball. They don’t create as much offense through their opponents’ mistakes as Orlando, but they’re still 10th in points off turnovers and eighth in second-chance points.

What’s most interesting about this matchup is how the home team can use Evan Mobley in different spots against Banchero and Wagner. The 22-year-old is capable of going out to defend on the perimeter and will make life hard for whichever one of the Magic’s stars he defends at any given time. 

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Magic vs. Cavaliers Prediction and Betting Pick

The Cavs are almost like the fully-refined version of the Magic. They play outstanding defense, dominate the boards, and have a true MVP-level scorer, whereas Banchero has not hit that level for the Magic.

While we consider Cleveland to be the better team, there’s something to be said for the recent break. Their outstanding chemistry and rhythm will have faded slightly, and Orlando, a very young team, will be eager to play hard and ramp up their push for the playoffs.

If this game came before the All-Star break, we’d go with the Cavs, but we like the Magic to cover in a close, low-scoring matchup between two teams that play with palpable intensity.

Magic vs. Cavaliers pick: Magic +7.5 at BetMGM

How to Watch Magic vs. Cavaliers on 2/22/24

  • When: Thursday, Feb. 22, 7:00 p.m. ET

  • Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

472 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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