The Toronto Raptors have solidified themselves as a painfully average squad and will now have to try and solve the fortress of the Orlando Magic. With Toronto’s shooting woes worsening, our NBA picks don’t expect many points from the visitors.
It’s the same old dance for the Toronto Raptors. Lose to the top teams, and beat up on the bottom feeders. Their latest stretch of games is the perfect example: Back-to-back losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics followed by a beatdown of the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Tonight’s game brings us a more interesting matchup, however, as the Raps head to Florida to take on the upstart Orlando Magic — a team that looks like it has passed by Toronto in the NBA hierarchy. Thanks to Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and an elite defense, Orlando enters this game at 8-5 and is a 2-point home favorite according to the NBA odds. How can Toronto deal with another strong defensive team?
I try to answer that question and more as I give you my free NBA picks for the Raptors vs. Magic on November 21.
Raptors vs Magic odds
Raptors vs Magic predictions
Scottie Barnes’ year-three breakout has certainly been the highlight of the early part of this Toronto Raptors season. Unfortunately, even with Barnes’ development, the Raptors are just not a very good team when it comes to shooting the basketball.
Even after a game in which they put up 142 points against the Pistons, Toronto still ranks 23rd in offensive rating, effective field goal percentage, and 27th in 3-point shooting percentage. And that poor shooting has cost them against strong defensive teams.
The Raptors have played five games against teams in the NBA’s Top 11 when it comes to defensive rating. They’re averaging just 100.4 points shooting 43.7% from the floor in those games, with the highwater mark being 107 points against the 76ers on Oct. 28. The Orlando Magic possess one of the strongest defensive fronts they have faced to date.
Orlando has been one of the better early stories of this basketball season. The development of their young players and intensity at the defensive end of the floor has led to an 8-5 record. The team ranks second in the NBA in defensive rating, 12th in opponent effective field goal percentage, and sixth in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
That defense is allowing just 106.6 points per game which ranks fourth in the NBA, and they ramp that up even more at home where they’re surrendering 100.3 ppg.
So, once again I am questioning why the Raptors team total is sitting at 108.5. Toronto has proven time and again that it struggles to put up points against strong defensive teams, and Orlando is one of the best in the league right now. Take the Under.
My best bet: Raptors team total Under 108.5 (-120 at Pointsbet)
Raptors vs Magic same-game parlay
Orlando does a lot of things well on that end of the floor, including disrupting the passing lanes. As a result, the Magic rank second in the NBA in steals, spelling disaster for Dennis Schroder. The Raps point guard has turned the ball over multiple times in seven of his last nine games. So, let’s add Over 1.5 turnovers for Schroder.
And let’s close this SGP out with the Magic using that defense to get out to a good start here. Orlando has been one of the best first-half teams in the NBA, ranking third putting up 61.1 first-half points per game, and leading the league in first-half scoring margin at +11.1. Toronto ranks 26th in first-half scoring margin on the road at -8. Take the Magic -0.5 on the first-half spread.
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Raptors vs Magic spread and Over/Under analysis
The spread for this Eastern Conference clash opened with the Raptors as 2-point road underdogs. The Raps were briefly bet to +1.5 but that number didn’t last long, as the line returned to the opening number of 2.0.
A lot of the same reasons I like Toronto to stay Under its team total could apply to backing the Magic on the spread as well. The Raps struggle to shoot the basketball against good defensive teams, and they have traditionally had a tougher time on the road the last couple of seasons. Meanwhile, Orlando is 4-1 ATS at home this season.
When it comes to the total, it hit the board at 216 and a half and that’s where it remains as of Tuesday afternoon. Since I’m on the Raptors team total Under, I would lean toward the full-game Under as well.
While Orlando is having a breakout season, getting buckets is still a work in progress ranking 25th in offensive rating. And Toronto hasn’t been too shabby on defense either, ranking ninth in defensive rating.
Raptors vs Magic betting trend to know
The Magic have only hit the game total Over in 19 of their last 49 games for -12.9 units. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Magic.
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Raptors vs Magic game info
|Location:||Amway Center, Orlando, FL|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 21, 2023|
|Tip-off:||7:00 p.m. ET|
Raptors vs Magic latest injuries
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