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Magic vs. Knicks Prediction: Eastern Conference Contenders Meet in MSG

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 8, 2024
10 min read

The Orlando Magic (37-26) recently moved into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and will take a five-game winning streak on the road in a showdown against the injured New York Knicks (36-26).

The Magic are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the most wins in the league since the All-Star break and are playing their best basketball of the year at the perfect time. They also beat the Knicks in all three of their previous matchups, most recently on Feb. 14.

The Knicks are still the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference but are just 3-8 over their last 11 games as injuries have taken their toll. Jalen Brunson is questionable, while OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson are all still out of the picture.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Magic vs. Knicks matchup.

Magic vs Knicks Prediction

Magic vs. Knicks Betting Odds for Friday, March 8

The Magic are the best team in the NBA against the spread with a record of 42-21 (66.7%). They’re also 7-2 ATS (77.8%) as a road favorite and 3-0 ATS against the Knicks.

The Knicks are 31-29-2 (51.7%) ATS and 3-6-1 (33.3%) ATS as a home underdog. They also covered in just two of their last 13 games.

TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Orlando Magic-1.5 (-110)-120Over 206.5 (-110)
New York Knicks+1.5 (-110)+100Under 206.5 (-110)

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Magic vs. Knicks Prediction

Orlando Magic Preview

The Magic might not be the most experienced team in the world, but they have what every coach looks for when they arrive in a new location: buy-in.

The Magic are tough and tenacious and stick to what they’re best at, which is playing aggressively in every phase of the game. They rank second in points off turnovers per game, fifth in rebound rate, and seventh in second-chance points. They’re also fourth in steals and 12th in blocks per game despite being in the bottom five in average pace.

Orlando is sixth in post-All-Star net rating, outscoring opponents by an average of 9.6 points per 100 possessions. They’re 12th in net rating for the year with a mark of +2, though that number drops to -2.4 on the road.

One of the keys to the Magic’s climb back into the top four is their three-point shooting. Despite ranking 25th for the year and shooting 35.5% from deep, they’re sixth and making 40.3% of their attempts since the intermission.

Paolo Banchero is continuing his development and is putting together a great stretch of games. The 21-year-old All-Star averaged 26.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists over his last four games, all of which ended in victories.

The Magic outscored the Knicks by an average of 10.3 points during their three matchups. That’s despite shooting 21.2% and 27.6% from three during their first two encounters, which shows that they aren’t reliant on long-range shooting to still win games against stiff competition. 

New York Knicks Preview

Just when it seemed as if the Knicks’ never-ending run of bad luck was gone, they were hit by the injury bug. The former second seed in the East is dropping in the standings (and doing so quickly), and they’re in desperate need of a solid win streak to bring the momentum back to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks were outscored by an average of 5.6 points per 100 possessions since the All-Star break, though they managed to go 3-4 during that time. They’re 2.2 points per 100 possessions better at home than on the road for the year as a whole but are, again, a much different team without their full roster.

Jalen Brunson has to do the majority of the heavy lifting without Randle and company in the lineup. He averaged 29 points and 6.7 assists since February 1 but is also one of the most blitzed players in the league, which means that opponents consistently try to force the ball out of his hands to make his teammates be the reason the Knicks win games.

New York is still a solid rebounding team but has one of the worst defenses in basketball over the last few weeks. They also played at the slowest pace in the league over the last 15 games, which speaks to the trouble they have getting into their sets early in the shot clock.

The team also shot the second-worst three-point percentage (34.2%) during that same span despite Donte DiVincenzo impressing with his long-range marksmanship. 

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Magic vs. Knicks Betting Pick

While this could be a totally different matchup come playoff time, the Magic are clearly the better team. In fact, we’re surprised the line isn’t tilted more in Orlando’s direction.

The visitors’ length on defense will be an especially difficult challenge for NY, whether they choose to single or double-cover Brunson. They can clog up the lanes and swarm players who aren’t used to handling the ball as often as they’d have to without Randle and Anunoby.

There’s the ever-present possibility that the Knicks simply make their shots and the Magic don’t. But based on everything above, our pick is a no-brainer: take the Magic.

How to Watch Magic vs. Knicks

  • When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

480 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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