Orlando Magic vs Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction: Magic and Thunder Engage in a Tank-Off

Orlando Magic vs Oklahoma City Thunder prediction and pick for Wednesday night's games. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down the Magic vs. Thunder, plus the Knicks vs. Hornets in his best picks for Wednesday's NBA slate.
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Orlando Magic vs Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction: Magic and Thunder Engage in a Tank-Off

  • When: 8:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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Magic vs. Thunder Line Movement

Orlando Magic vs Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction

With fewer than 10 games left on the schedule for some NBA teams and playoff races officially heating up, it's easy to forget about teams on the opposite end of the competitive spectrum. Betters know better than to ignore them though (pun fully intended).

Even if you have been paying attention to the Thunder, they're not exactly an easy team to figure out, as has been the case all season. On one hand, they remain in the conversation for the worst team in the league, with 20 wins, which puts them one ahead of Detroit and two ahead of Houston, and a negative 7.9 net rating that puts them 28th.

Since the break, things have gotten even worse. After a frisky 2-2 start after the All-Star break, OKC has lost 10 in a row, having been outscored by 160 points in that time. And yet, even with that level of futility, they are above .500 against the spread, with six covers against four drops. They are now neck and neck with the Grizzlies for the best record against the spread in the league.

Part of that has to do with the fact that they always have a plan, always play hard, and always play to the final buzzer, but it's also due to the size of their spreads. All but two of their last 11 betting margins have been at least 11.5 points.

One of those exceptions was three days ago against these Orlando Magic when Orlando was favored by just eight. The Magic won, but the Thunder covered in a 5-point loss. It wasn't one of Orlando's better games of late, shooting just 38 percent overall and just 22 percent from deep, and certainly not representative of how they've been playing. Since the break, they're 7-6 overall and have a respectable negative-3.9 net rating.

This brings us to the most important factor here: the spread. It's essentially a pick'em game, and the smallest spread the Thunder have experienced in nearly two months. OKC fights but loses. Orlando keeps playing to win. Between the tankers, give the points on the road.

Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Pick

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New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction

  • When: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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Knicks vs. Hornets Line Movement

New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction

The final nail is in the coffin.

As I predicted yesterday, New York fought hard with their season essentially on the line, and they had a 10-point home lead against the Hawks. But even playing a similarly abysmal crunch time team couldn't help the Knicks overcome their woes in clutch situations, and they again imploded, allowing the Hawks to end the game on a 28-12 run. It was one final reminder that if a game is even remotely close in the last five minutes, New York will find a way to implode.

Enter the Charlotte Hornets, who have been taking care of business well before the final buzzer. The Hornets have won five straight and are charging up the standings to potentially get into the 7/8 game in the East. They have the third-best scoring margin in the league over their last five, four of which have come against teams better than the Knicks.

Crazier things have happened, but unless New York blows out Charlotte, the Hornets should be trusted if they're even remotely close in the fourth. That's enough to feel comfortable giving the points at home.

New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets Pick

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insightpicks

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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