The Orlando Magic have struggled to inspire confidence in recent times, failing to make the playoffs in each of the last six years. Currently just two wins back from top spot in the East Conference’s Southeast Division, Orlando have improved in 2018/19 and it would be foolish to write the Magic off at this moment in time.
With an 8-11 record at home, Orlando have failed to build momentum in front of their own fans this year. That simply HAS to improve if the Magic are serious about competing in the playoffs. A run of four successive defeats is hardly ideal either ahead of this one; Toronto will be quietly confident ahead of their trip to Amway Center.
The Raptors are clear at the top of the Atlantic Division and plenty of punters will be backing Toronto to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this year. If you look at their record, they have easily been the most consistent team in the league.
Nick Nurse’s side are as good on the road as they are at Scotiabank Arena. With 13 wins from 19 road games, the Raptors are looking very strong and it would take a brave man to back against Toronto here. Their 16-6 conference record is excellent and a 17th victory looks likely this weekend.
Leonard Leading Raptors To Greater Things
Kawhi Leonard has averaged 26.9 points per game so far this season – an incredible rate of scoring. The former San Antonio Spurs small forward has been a hit since moving to Toronto and plenty of punters will be expecting Leonard to influence the result here.
Now as short as 1/3 with 32Red to beat the Magic, the Raptors are on the verge of a serious challenge for supremacy in the NBA. The Boston Celtics are still red-hot favourites to win the Eastern Conference crown but Toronto have a better record at this moment in time.
The Raptors are 5-5 over their last 10 games; inconsistencies have started to creep in over that run of games. Leonard has the skillset to take Toronto back to the top and he could be the key to success in this encounter.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward For Magic
Orlando are third in the Southeast Division but momentum remains a huge problem for the Magic. Confidence is low right now and it would take a brave man to back Orlando based on recent performances.
Nikola Vucevic leads the team in points per game and rebounds per game but his figures are mediocre compared to other players across the league. The Southeast Division is arguably the weakest in the NBA and Orlando often fall short when facing up against the best teams.
It is difficult to look past Toronto here. The Raptors are well placed to send out a statement of intent with a convincing victory; Boston Celtics fans will be watching on closely. Backing against the Canadian outfit at Amway Center would be foolish to say the least.
Orlando have failed to build any sort of momentum in 2018/19 and another playoff-less year looks likely for the Magic. Defeat to Nick Nurse’s side is expected but the manner of the loss will give fans an indication as to how far away Orlando really are.
The 1/3 for a Raptors win isn’t the best price in the world but Toronto will be determined to avoid a banana skin defeat here. Orlando will show plenty of endeavour but the Raptors may prove too strong.
TIP: Toronto to win @ 1/3
CORRECT SCORE: Orlando Magic 101-114 Toronto Raptors