The Orlando Magic will host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in a battle between two struggling teams. The Magic were expected to struggle this season. According to most sportsbooks, Orlando came in with a projected over/under win total of 22.5, the lowest in the NBA. The Celtics have much higher expectations, as their over/under projected win total of 45.5 was sixth-best in the Eastern Conference.
On Monday, the Celtics dropped their third straight game, losing 128-114 at home to the Chicago Bulls. Boston was outscored 39-11 in the fourth quarter, after leading by 19 points with just 2:53 left in the third quarter. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was the first time in the shot-clock era (1954-55) that a team lost by 14+ points after leading by 14+ points entering the fourth quarter.
After the loss, guard Marcus Smart called out the Celtics young stars. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not passing the ball more.
On Monday, the Orlando Magic came from behind and snapped a four-game losing streak by upsetting the Minnesota Timberwolves 115-97. Cole Anthony led the charge with a season-high 31 points and eight assists. Orlando trailed Minnesota by six entering the fourth quarter but outscored the Timberwolves 43-19 in the final quarter to get the victory.
Pick: Boston Celtics -6.5
The records may be similar, but the Celtics are the much better team here; they just haven’t shown it yet. The Celtics were embarrassed in their loss to the Bulls and have dropped three straight, so I plan them to come out against the Magic, as motivated as they have in any other game this season. Orlando picked up a rare victory on Monday, but don’t expect to see back-to-back wins here. The Magic are just 4-11 against the spread in their last 15 games and 1-9-1 against the spread in their last 11 home games.
Expect Boston to exercise some frustration and get a much-needed victory, covering the spread Wednesday night.