Sixers vs. Magic Betting Preview (December 31, 2020)

Sixers vs Magic betting preview
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday night, the Sixers and Magic meet in their final game of the 2020 calendar year. Former #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz will welcome his old team to town as he looks to keep his current team the Orlando Magic undefeated. Let’s get into our Sixers-Magic betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.

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Preview

The 3-1 Philadelphia 76ers are on the road to close out the 2020 calendar year against former #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and his 4-0 Orlando Magic. The Sixers are coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Raptors, while the class of the Eastern Conference are riding high following a 118-107 road victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This should be an interesting matchup between two talented teams. The most intriguing matchup in this one should be the battle of #1 overall point guards selected by the Sixers as Ben Simmons looks to hold Markelle Fultz in check.

 

Sixers vs. Magic Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Magic at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:

  • Spread: Sixers -3, Magic +3
  • Moneyline: Sixers -148, Magic +123
  • Total: 220

And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):

 

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 51% chance of winning with a -0.5 point spread. Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is 57%. The oddsmakers are a bit more bullish on the Sixers ahead of this matchup than they were ahead of Philadelphia’s past two games.

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Sixers Win and Under 220 Points (+220, DraftKings)

While the oddsmakers and projection models agree that this should be a tight win for the Sixers, there’s no real favorite in this one for a few reasons. The teams are a combined 7-1 on the season, with the Magic outperforming even the most optimistic forecasts this early in the season. The Sixers’ only loss of the season came in a game where they were without franchise center Joel Embiid. The Magic have lit the world on fire, with the points total of each of their four wins eclipsing the total point threshold.

Meanwhile, each of the Sixers’ first four games have gone under the total points threshold:

  • vs. Washington: 220 points (U 231.0)
  • @ New York: 198 points (U 215.0)
  • @ Cleveland: 212 points (U 217.5)
  • vs. Toronto: 193 points (U 219.5)

If you’re adamant that the Sixers will be victorious, it’ll likely come in a bit of a defensive slog. Get better value than Sixers outright by parlaying the Under 220 points.

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Sixers, Raptors, and Pelicans All to Win (+200, FOX Bet)

This bet includes three teams that have been installed as favorites ahead of their respective games.

The New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) are a -5.5 point road favorite against the Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2). The Pelicans have alternated wins and losses through the early portion of their season and are coming off a humiliating 111-86 loss at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. They’ll have something to prove on Thursday night.

The Toronto Raptors are coming off a hard-fought 100-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, which dropped them to 0-3 on the season. The 0-3 start has been an underwhelming start to say the least, but it’s still a talented squad comprised of many of the players from the 2019 NBA Championship squad. They’ve been installed as the heaviest favorite of the teams in this bet at -650 on the moneyline.

The Sixers, interestingly enough, are the most tenuous of the teams in this bet, which we’ve outlined in the bet below.

FOX Bet is giving away 50-1 odds on the Eagles and Giants to score this weekend. Get the Eagles to score at at 50-1 odds in PA here . Get the Giants to score at 50-1 odds in NJ here

 

Bets We Like With a Magic Win

Magic Win and Under 220 Points (+320, DraftKings)

In the last seven matchups between Philadelphia and Orlando, the home team has walked away with the win. There are indicators that would lead bettors to believe this game should go over the total points threshold, including the 220.0 points per game at Amway Center this season and the fact that the Magic’s past six home games have gone over the total points line. Additionally, each of the Magic’s first four games this season have gone over the total points line. However, context is king.

Two of the Magic’s victories came in high-scoring affairs against the 0-4 Washington Wizards, who were part of the highest-scoring Sixers game of the season. Their most recent win came against the 1-2 Thunder. The game that should be most indicative of the final score in this one was Orlando’s first game of the season against the Miami Heat, a game that totaled 220 points.

The Sixers haven’t won in Orlando since March 22, 2018. The Magic’s points for to this point are fool’s gold. If you think they’ll pull out their fifth win of the season, parlay it with under 220 points.

FOX Bet is giving away 50-1 odds on the Eagles and Giants to score this weekend. Get the Eagles to score at at 50-1 odds in PA here . Get the Giants to score at 50-1 odds in NJ here

 

Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Markelle Fultz to have 21 or More Points & Assists Combined (-118, FOX Bet)

This bet is a relatively safe one given Fultz’s season averages. To date, he’s averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 assists per game. A season ago, Fultz put up 11.3 points and 4.0 assists per game against the team that drafted him #1 overall in 2017 in just under 24 minutes per game. While his jumpshot is still inconsistent, Fultz has excelled with increased playing time, averaging just over 30 minutes per game this season.

He’s coming off his lowest-scoring game of the season, a 118-107 win over the Thunder, yet his points and assists totaled 21 (11PTS/10AST). It. stands to reason he’ll get involved early and look to get established in Orlando’s offense.

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7x Your Money – Joel Embiid and James Harden to Combine for 75 or More Points (+600, FOX Bet)

On the surface, 75 points seems ridiculous. It will likely require Joel Embiid to go for 30 points and James Harden to make up the difference. That’s not as crazy as it might otherwise seem. Embiid’s 28.3 points per game is the fourth-best mark in the NBA, while James Harden’s 39.0 points per game leads the entire league.

Harden is averaging more than a point per minute this season, scoring 44 points in 43 minutes against the Trail Blazers and 34 points in 31 minutes against the Nuggets.

This isn’t a bet that we’d throw a ton of money on, but at +600 odds the maximum bet you can place on this one ($50) would pay out $350 if the bet hits.

FOX Bet is giving away 50-1 odds on the Eagles and Giants to score this weekend. Get the Eagles to score at at 50-1 odds in PA here . Get the Giants to score at 50-1 odds in NJ here

 

Sixers vs. Magic Prediction

Pick: This is a toss-up matchup with oddsmakers and the projection models agreeing it’ll be a tight contest. That said, the Magic’s 4-0 record could prove to be an aberration as they’ll face their toughest opponent of the season. Take the Sixers to Win and Under 220 points. Additionally, take a flier on at least one of the FOX Bet boosts we’ve outlined above.

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