The 5-6 San Antonio Spurs will visit the 4-7 Orlando Magic in an intriguing cross-conference matchup today between two fringe playoff teams (7 p.m. ET Friday).
San Antonio has underwhelmed this season after a strong 3-0 start. The Spurs’ defense has been extremely porous, even though the team’s offense is still performing pretty well. Orlando’s defense, meanwhile, has carried it to its four wins. The Magic have lost some close games, as well, so they may be a bit stronger than their record indicates.
Both of these teams are still searching for chemistry and rhythm as the season starts. Will one or both of the squads find those things today? Let’s break down this matchup and discuss our San Antonio Spurs vs Orlando Magic predictions for this NBA game.
Will Dejounte Murray Dominate the Magic Point Guards With His Length?
Murray is one of the more inconsistent starting point guards in the NBA. The 23-year-old University of Washington product has a unique game for his position, as a defensive and rebounding stalwart who scores well in transition but struggles in the half court.
After a very strong start to the season, Murray seems to have lost some of his aggressiveness and confidence on both ends of the floor. He averaged 12.9 points, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.6 blocks in just 23 minutes per game in his first seven contests. In his last three games, those per-game averages have dropped to 6.3 points, 3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks and 21.7 minutes.
The Magic’s point guard duo, on paper, is a group that Murray can certainly find his groove against. D.J. Augustin is a decent player, but he is significantly undersized against the 6’5” Murray. Markelle Fultz has the size to match up somewhat closely against Murray, but Fultz is still warming up to the NBA and could be prone to some mistakes against a fellow Washington Husky.
Will Aaron Gordon or Jonathan Isaac Win Their Matchup Against DeMar DeRozan?
The Spurs don’t have much versatility or talent on the wing. As a result, the team starts DeRozan at the small forward spot. In DeRozan’s career, he has traditionally played the shooting guard spot and his offense-first game has been flanked by a big wing known for defense.
The Magic are not lacking in wing size. Their starting forwards, Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac, are 6’8” and 6’11” with good length and athleticism, but they can both still defend the perimeter well. One of them will be tasked with guarding DeRozan most of the game.
DeRozan might be slightly better as an overall player compared to both guys, but Gordon and Isaac are very strong defenders with the ability to contribute on offense in the right situation. We will see if they use their physical advantages to bully DeRozan on both ends of the floor.
Is the Terrence Ross From Last Season Finally Back?
Ross was an amazing sixth man for the Magic last year, putting up 15.1 points in just 26.5 minutes per game on solid shooting splits. He was key to an Orlando squad that didn’t have much offensive star power in the starting lineup.
This year, Ross has mostly stayed quiet. In his first seven games, he averaged 8.3 points per game on 28.2 percent shooting from the field and 19 percent from the three-point line. However, he has woken up to average 12.5 points per game on 52.9 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from three-point range in his last two games.
Ross should have an advantage coming off the bench against a smaller perimeter trio from the Spurs in Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli and Derrick White. White is a strong defender, but Mills and Belinelli are disadvantaged in size and athleticism. Ross should have no problem getting free for open looks and elevating for jumpers over defenders with less physical talent than he has.
Our Preview’s San Antonio Spurs vs Orlando Magic Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
The Spurs have just been so bad as of late, losing six of their last eight contests in spite of a somewhat forgiving schedule. They have yet to win on the road.
The Magic have also been decent despite their record, with a positive net rating even though their record is just 4-7. I expect Orlando to get this win on the road and take advantage of a badly slumping Spurs defense. The San Antonio Spurs vs Orlando Magic predictions for this preview are:
- Orlando is a 3.5-point favorite with the U.S. sports gambling betting sites. You should bet on the Magic -3.5pts @ best odds of -107 with BetOnline or SportsBetting. The other bookies, like Bovada & co are -110 for the same spread.
- While neither of these teams plays super fast, the Spurs’ defense has allowed an average of 121.3 points per game in regulation over its last four games. The Magic offense has been struggling, but a bad San Antonio defense should be just what it needs to get back on track. Bet the over212 total points @ -110 with BetOnline and SportsBetting. It is over 212.5pts with Bovada, BetOnline and Bookmaker.