When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
The Orlando Magic (16-7) are looking to hand the Boston Celtics (18-5) their first loss on their home floor when they meet on Friday evening.
The Magic defied all preseason expectations to climb to third in the Eastern Conference more than a quarter of the way through the new campaign. Meanwhile, the Celtics have done their part to fulfill their championship expectations and are tied for the best record in the NBA.
Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Magic vs. Celtics matchup on Friday.
The Celtics are favored by 6.5 points at home, where they are 12-0 and just beat the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. The Magic, despite their impressive record, are only 5-5 on the road.
|Over 223.5 (-110)
|Under 223.5 (-110)
🔥 Claimed by 101 people this week!
Promo Code "WSNMGM"
Boosted parlays with enhanced odds
Impressive range of bets
Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets
21+ | T&Cs apply. *Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2023-24 NBA season is the play of the Magic. They’re the fifth-youngest team and do not have a single All-Star on their roster, yet they’ve played like one of the best teams in the league up to this point.
The Magic’s calling card is their defense. They are aggressive on the perimeter and have multiple long, athletic bodies that disrupt passing and driving lanes and can make individual stops.
Second-year pro Paolo Banchero leads the team in scoring at 20.7 points per night. Additionally, he contributes 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per night. Franz Wagner is just behind and averaging 20.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
Orlando has the third-best defensive rating, one spot ahead of Boston, and gives up 108.9 points per game, tied with Boston for the third-fewest in the league. They aren’t anything special in the halfcourt, but they use their defense to fuel their offense and rank second in points off turnovers.
The Magic are also excellent in a variety of hustle metrics, including offensive rebound percentage (11th), deflections (seventh), and forced turnovers per game (second).
The Celtics are regarded by many as the best and most complete team in the league. Their starting five have the second-best net rating amongst all starting units, trailing only the Philadelphia 76ers, and all five starters average at least 12.5 points per game.
Jayson Tatum is getting the job done on both ends as the leader of the team, averaging 27.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. Jaylen Brown’s scoring and efficiency are both down compared to last year, but new arrivals Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday have more than made up for that decline.
Boston dominates a wide range of statistics. They’re second in three-pointers made per game, fourth in defensive rating and rebound rate, and sixth in offensive rating.
Although the C’s are only 27th in points in the paint, that does not mean that they don’t dominate the interior. Their collection of ball-handling guards and wings constantly looks to drive the lane to collapse the defense so they can kick the ball out to open shooters, which is why they are able to take and make so many triples despite only ranking 22nd in average pace of play.
This will be the first time these teams have faced each other this season. Both teams beat the Cavaliers their last time out, the Magic doing so 104-94 on Monday and the Celtics 116-107 on Thursday.
Although the Magic are far more rested, the Celtics are clearly the best home team in basketball. Their home net rating of 15.6 greatly exceeds the Magic’s road net rating of -5, not to mention Orlando lost its last two road games by an average of 19 points.
Orlando will give itself the best chance to win if it can leverage its activity and energy on the defensive side of the ball against a Celtics squad that has played more games and doesn’t take the best care of the ball.
On the flip side, the Celtics’ three-point shooting is much better than the Magic’s, and one burst of scoring could be enough to earn them a win as long as they don’t collapse during the remainder of the game.
Boston is rightfully favored, but we like the Magic on the spread. Their extra rest, combined with their defensive intensity and ability to muddy up the game, should help keep this one close until the final buzzer.
Magic vs. Celtics pick: Magic +6.5 (-115) at BetMGM
When: Friday, Dec. 15 @ 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
TV: NBA League Pass
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.More info on Grant Mitchell
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.