Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Can the Cavs Fight to Hold Their Spot?

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic prediction and pick for Tuesday night's game. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic, plus Nuggets vs. Spurs, in his best pick for Tuesday's NBA slate.
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Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Can the Cavs Fight to Hold Their Spot?

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

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Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Line Movement

Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

Given how much has conspired against them, give Cleveland credit for holding things together. They've faced major injuries basically from the start of the season, when Collin Sexton was lost for the year with a torn ACL. That was followed by Sixth Man of the Year candidate Ricky Rubio going down with the same injury, and then assorted maladies being suffered by All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen and Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Mobley.

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Through it all, they have persevered, and while they no longer have the best net rating in the East - a designation they held for about half the season - they are still a respectable sixth at positive 2.1. Since the All-Star break though, the Cavs have won just eight of 21 games, with a negative 3.7 net rating that ranks 21st in the league over that time.

Those less than flattering numbers, plus the continued absence of Mobley and Allen, are why you're getting this line at what it is. It's still a mistake. The Orlando Magic are not currently fielding an NBA team. They lost by 30 at home on Sunday night to the Knicks, and while both Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner have the questionable designation for tonight after missing the last few games, the safe bet is that neither will play.

If that's the case, this is an easy decision. Even if they suit up though, there's a good chance the Cavs - who need to keep winning to avoid falling to 8th, and have games in Brooklyn and against Milwaukee remaining - will take care of business. Give the points on the road.

Magic vs. Cavaliers Pick

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Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs Prediction

  • When: 9:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs Line Movement

Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs Prediction

Of the two teams in this game, the Spurs would seemingly have the much greater motivation to win. They are currently two games up on the plummeting Lakers for 10th in the West and only a game back of the Pelicans for ninth place. Making the play-in during the season in which Pop became the NBA's all-time wins leader would make the accomplishment extra special, even if they were a quick out.

On the flip side, there's a serious question as to whether the Nuggets should even want to win. They're fifth in the West at the moment, slated to head to Dallas for Game 1 of the playoffs when the time comes. Right now, no one should want to face off against Luka and the Mavs, who are coming off a nice win in Milwaukee and have shown recently that they're a real threat to do damage in the postseason.

If, however, the Nuggets drop to sixth (they're just a half game up on the Jazz at the moment), they'd face off against the Warriors, who have had their well-documented struggles over the last few months. Then again, Dallas is only a game back of Golden State, so who knows which matchup the Nuggets would be tanking themselves into.

Long story short, it's a bit too early to forecast any intentional losing on the part of Nikola Jokic & Co. They also have a clean injury report, whereas San Antonio is still labeling Dejounte Murray as out for this game. Yes, the Spurs have overcome Murray's absence in their last two wins, but those came against Portland, but the Blazers have been by far the worst team in the NBA since the break. Those wins should be taken with a shaker of salt. Give the points at home.

Nuggets vs. Spurs 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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