The Sixers will attempt to clinch the Eastern Conference’s top spot for a third time tonight at the Wells Fargo Center against the lowly Orlando Magic. The two teams will meet again Sunday in the regular season finale with a win in either game guaranteeing Philadelphia the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s take a closer look at the top Magic vs. Sixers game picks and make some predictions for this May 14, 2021 matchup.
Magic vs. Sixers Odds (May 14, 2021)
Here’s the line for the Magic and Sixers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Hawks||+7 (-108)||+240||O 215.5 (-112)|
|Sixers||-7 (-113)||-295||U 215.5 (-109)|
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
Philadelphia 76ers -12.5 AND Under 218.5 Total Points (FanDuel Sportsbook +210)
We get a little bump in the right direction for both our side and total here. The Sixers have dominated inferior opposition lately, winning each of the eight games in their recent recently snapped win streak as favorites of 7.5 points or more. They won six of those eight games by 12 or more points, blowing leads of far greater than that in both of the other two, as well.
We should infer from those games that the Sixers will again have a huge lead to protect here tonight, and if they were ever going to do so, you have to believe this would be the spot. After all, blow a lead and lose this game tonight and obtaining the East’s top seed could all come down to Sunday’s regular season finale. Why take that chance?
The Sixders should start hot again tonight, finish it, and get home court throughout the Eastern Conference Playoffs. It’s a simple recipe and this team is certainly capable of executing it.
Orlando has lost each of its last five games by double digits, including four of the five games by 12 or more points. All of those games were against teams with worse records than the Sixers both at home and overall. The Magic had 33 of their 49 losses this season come by double digits, with 26 of those coming by 13 or more, enough to win half of this prop.
Regarding the under 218.5 portion of the bet, if the motivated Sixers team we expect shows up tonight, we could see one of their dominant defensive efforts. They held a far better version of this Magic team to just 92 points earlier this season and have held them to 101 points or less in each of the last three head-to-head meetings. Six of the last seven meetings between these two went under the posted total, in fact.
Philadelphia boasts the league’s sixth-best scoring defense (108.1 ppg allowed), fourth-best field goal percentage defense (45.3%), and ninth-best three-point field goal percentage (36.1%). The Sixers will be facing the league’s worst field goal percentage offense (42.9%), second-worst scoring offense (103.9 ppg), and fourth-worst three-point field percentage offense (34.3%).
That 103.9 ppg overall dips to just 102.3 when Orlando takes to the road. This is a recipe for disaster for a Magic group that scored 100 points or less in 29 of their 70 games (41.4%) and are facing a Sixers team that allowed 101 points or less in regulation 22 different times.
The Magic have played all four of their games as 12.5-14.5 point underdogs under the total, while the Sixers have played five of their seven games as favorites of 10-14.5 points under the posted number. Look for Orlando to play its 20th game under the total in 33 tries against above .500 opponents tonight as the Sixers smother them en route to a blowout.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Philadelphia 76ers to Win 1st and 2nd Quarters (FOXBET -138)
We have spoken at length these past couple weeks about the Sixers’ propensity to explode right from the opening tip. They had a rare slip up last night in Miami, as the Heat punched them right in the mouth from the get-go. That should be a wake up call for this team which now has two games left to clinch its first No. 1 seed since the 2000-01 season. You should expect the Sixers to respond tonight on their home court against one of the league’s worst teams.
In the nine games prior to last night’s shellacking at the hands of the Heat, which takes you back to the beginning of their eight-game winning streak, the Sixers had won eight of nine first quarters and seven of nine second quarters. They won both quarters in six of those games, meaning they cashed this prop in 67% of their last nine games.
When these two teams met earlier this season, the Magic looked very different. They still had Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier while Markelle Fultz was healthy. The Sixers still dismantled that group, which is far more talented than what they will see tonight, winning the first quarter by 16 points and the second quarter by 19 points, en route to a 116-92 victory in Orlando. It’s hard to believe with those four starters gone tonight that Philly would fare much worse on their home court.
The Magic have lost both the first and second quarters in each of their last three games and four of their last five, all losses. Orlando has also lost both the first and second quarters in five of their seven games this season as dogs of 12.5 points or greater, including each of their last three.
Orlando still has a chance to finish with the league’s second-worst record, which, at this point, wouldn’t be the worst thing. They are clearly in a rebuild after trading away three of their top players this season. They are just 10-24 on the road and face a fully motivated Sixers team that is 10-6 ATS at home against sub .500 teams. I don’t see the Magic being able to match Philly’s energy after the wake up call it received last night.
Trends to Know
The Sixers are 27-7 SU on the home hardwood, but, perhaps more impressively, are also 20-13-1 ATS at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philly is also 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS this season at home after a loss.
Meanwhile, Orlando has lost by an average of 9.1 points per game on the road this season and 11.2 points per game as an underdog. They have covered just three of their last 11 games after a straight up loss and just two of their last nine games after an ATS loss. With just two covers in their last eight games against winning teams, they should be primed to get blown out of the building tonight.
Philly has covered four straight games against teams with sub .400 win percentages. They have lost ATS just once in their last six home games and have covered four of the last five at home against teams with losing road records.
No rest hasn’t bothered this team of late either, as they have lost just two of their last eight games ATS in that role.
Magic vs. Sixers Pick
We would have loved this pick even more if Joel Embiid had sat out last night, but he played few enough minutes and made little positive impact, so we expect a dominant performance from the star big man tonight.
This team, especially its defense, goes as Embiid goes, and he doesn’t drop too many back-to-back clunkers.
The Sixers have had a different energy at home, even when they didn’t have fans. With bodies back in the building and a promise of more in the playoff rounds to come, expect this team to come out on a mission tonight in front of their faithful fanbase.
With just one ATS loss in their last six games after a double digit loss, look for the 76ers to move to 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Orlando here in Philadelphia.
Our Pick: Sixers -14.5 over Magic
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