Featured Video from Scott Reichel
New Orleans Pelicans at Orlando Magic
NBA: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida, 7:00 PM ET
The inter-conference foes will meet at the Amway Center on Wednesday when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Orlando Magic, looking to end the two-game mini-trip with a win after snapping the six-game losing run with a victory over the Mavs, while the hosts are hoping to get their third win in a row and fifth straight in front of their own crowd. Orlando has been a better rival in the recent H2H duels and they destroyed New Orleans in the opening game of this season series, 118-88 in Louisiana.
New Orleans Pelicans snatched a narrow overtime victory in Dallas
New Orleans was in a poor form of six consecutive defeats but they managed to snap the negative run with an overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks on the road. The Pelicans improved to the 31-42 record and are currently sitting in the 12th position in the Western Conference with no chance of reaching the playoffs as the Los Angeles Clippers are ten wins ahead in the 8th place.
Julius Randle led the Pelicans to a 129-125 win with 30 points, nine rebounds, and four assists; Anthony Davis added 20 points, six boards, and five dimes, while Elfrid Payton posted a triple-double of 19 points, game-high 11 dishes, and ten rebounds. Randle failed to win the game in regulation but Payton and Frank Jackson each had six points in OT victory for the Pelicans. Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double, becoming the fifth player in the NBA history after Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Russell Westbrook.
Elfrid’s best moments over his 5 straight triple-doubles! 📸 pic.twitter.com/NbyZ5odo4j
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 19, 2019
Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) will remain on the sidelines for Wednesday’s matchup with the Magic and they could be even shut down for the remainder of the season.
The Pelicans have the top 5 offense in the NBA that averages 116.0 points per contest (3rd), while their defense is among the worst in the league as it allows 116.1 points per game (28th). New Orleans’ rebounding is in top 5 as they are recording 47.3 boards per game (5th), while they are even better when it comes to assists per contest with 27.2 dishes a night (3rd). New Orleans is 4th in field goal percentage as they have 47.5 percent from the floor and 25th from downtown with 34.6 percentage, while they are 21st in the NBA with 10.2 three-pointers made per game.
Orlando Magic are still alive in the playoff race
Orlando suffered four defeats in five games but they bounced back with a pair of home victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. The Magic improved to the 33-38 record and are in the 9th place in the Eastern Conference and are just a win behind their Southeast Division rivals Miami Heat and three wins behind the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets. Three playoff places are still up for grabs in the East but Orlando has some serious road games incoming and they cannot afford to lose this one and the next home tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic in a 101-91 win over the Hawks with a double-double of 27 points and game-high 20 rebounds along with game-high three steals; Aaron Gordon followed him with 22 points and eight boards, while Wesley Iwundu chipped in with career-high 14 points, seven rebounds, and a couple of blocks off the bench. Orlando was bad from the floor (38.8%) but made even 19 free throws more than Atlanta and deservedly got a victory. Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the opening quarter and this was his first 20-20 game since March 2014, so we should expect to see a strong finish of the season from Vuch.
.@_Iwundu25 with a career high last night!
7 rebounds 👏
2 blocks 👏 pic.twitter.com/Q89bFs2etg
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) March 18, 2019
The Magic have the 26th offense in the NBA that averages 105.7 points per contest, while their defense is in top 5 in the league as it allows 106.2 points per game (4th). Orlando’s rebounding is slightly below average as they are recording 45.0 boards per game (18th), while they are slightly better when it comes to assists per contest with 25.0 dishes a night (13th). Orlando is 23rdin field goal percentage as they have 45.0 percent from the floor and 14th from downtown with 35.4 percentage, while they are 15th in the NBA with 11.2 three-pointers made per game.
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine games played at home
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played at home vs. an opponent with a losing road record
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Eastern Conference rivals
- 2-8 ATS in their last ten vs. NBA Southeast rivals
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on one day rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Orlando won eight out of the previous ten H2H encounters including two of the last three, while the Magic were victorious in six of the past seven meetings at the Amway Center. Although New Orleans is playing well on the road lately, Orlando won eight of their previous nine home games and considering the upcoming tough road schedule, they must not lose this one and I am backing them to beat the Pels. The Magic’s home defense is excellent recently as they allowed 100+ points in just three of the last eight games and the visitors will be without Holiday, while Davis will play limited minutes here, and that’s why I am backing Orlando to stop New Orleans’ offense and win.
Prediction: Orlando Magic -9 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Pelicans do have one of the best offenses in the league but Orlando’s home games were usually low-scoring lately and I am going with under because under is 22-7 in the last 29 H2H meetings and under is 4-0 in the previous four duels in Orlando. Also, under is 4-0 in Magic last four overall; under is 4-0 in Magic previous four when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, while under is 5-1 in Pelicans last six vs. NBA Southeast opponents.
Prediction: Under 224 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Orlando was up at halftime in three of the previous five games, while New Orleans had a halftime lead in two of their last five games and considering that Anthony Davis will not play in this one, I am not giving the visitors a chance to stay close after the opening 24 minutes. The -5 spread is not a big one and I am backing the Magic to cover it without a problem.
Prediction: Orlando Magic -5 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The total is set at 114.5 and I seriously doubt the Pelicans can score more than 50 points in the opening half as they will be without Davis and Holiday here. Payton is in an excellent form and will be highly motivated to play well in front of his former crowd but I don’t think the visitors will be efficient against one of the toughest home defenses at the moment. Considering that I already backed under in the end of this clash, I am also going with under at halftime.
Prediction: Under 114.5 (-110)