Thursday, October 31

Orlando Magic vs New York Knicks, 10 am
Magic -8.5

The Magic have gotten off to a relatively poor start this season, going 1-2 straight up and 0-3 ATS. They’ve been heavily bet against by punters all season and the perception of them is generally bearish in the current market.

That said, I’ve liked most of what I’ve seen from this bunch and feel as though they’re somewhat underrated. They destroyed Cleveland in the season opener, with some garbage time points ultimately meaning they missed out on a cover by 0.5

This was backed up by a very competitive game in Atlanta, which they really should’ve won but for a lack of outside shooting. They were again competitive last time out in Toronto, falling just a few points short of a cover in a relatively close game.

In looking at the action for this game so far, I’m somewhat surprised to see 70% of action on the Knicks. If this game were in New York and Orlando were laying 2.5, I think they’d definitely get a lot more action.

This is still one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, particularly with Isaac and Gordon as the starting forwards. Their offence should do more than enough in this one, with very favourable matchups for both Vucevic and Fournier. They were a strong home side last year and Steve Clifford has a history of his sides beating up on weaker opponents.

The Knicks are certainly no great shakes either, however 3 covers in 4 has the punters on side. I think this is another overrated New York team that likely has a poor performance against the spread this season. Orlando by double digits for their first cover of the season.

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks, 10:30 am
Celtics +2.5

Boston have had a stellar start to the Kemba Walker era, going 2-1 straight up and ATS so far. After a tough opening game in Philly, they’ve managed consecutive strong wins over Toronto and New York.

They’ve been great as a home underdog in recent years, and they find themselves getting 2.5 points here. Milwaukee is getting all the early action, with 71% of punters favouring the Bucks.

To me, this seems like the classic 1-minute analysis of a really good team laying such a small number. Without having spent too much time together, I feel as though this Boston side is somewhat underrated by the market.

Although they lack options on the interior, I love both their guard and wing rotations. I think they’ve got a few bodies to throw on Giannis and at least do a decent job of containing him.

Their 3-point defence has also been excellent under Stephens, a great tool against a team like Milwaukee. So many Bucks players are heavily reliant on making 3’s, which likely won’t come easy in this one.

After a breakthrough season last year, we’ve got a mixed bag from the Bucks thus far. They managed a comeback win over Houston and a drubbing of Milwaukee, while also losing at home to a Butler-less heat.

Their defence hasn’t looked that impressive in any of the 3 games, giving up an average of 117 points so far. This bodes poorly against a Boston side with a plethora of capable offensive creators.

Overall, this is a contrarian play on an excellent home underdog looking for revenge after the playoffs last season. I expect Boston to keep this very close, if not manage a win outright. Keep an eye on the line before tip-off, as the pro-Milwaukee money could shift this further in our favour.