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The Orlando Magic stunned the NBA world in taking Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks, but things have flipped since that point. The Bucks have won three straight games and, in Game 5 on Saturday, Milwaukee will attempt to complete the Eastern Conference Semifinal field by finishing off Orlando. The Magic will be short-handed in Game 5, with Aaron Gordon (hamstring), Jonathan Isaac (knee), Michael Carter-Williams (foot) and Mo Bamba (post-COVID) ruled out of action. Milwaukee is close to full health with only George Hill (finger) listed as probable.
Tip-off for this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup is 3:30 p.m. ET at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando. William Hill lists Milwaukee as the 13.5-point favorite in the Bucks vs. Magic odds, up half a point from the opening line. The over-under is set at 225.5. Before making any Magic vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 59-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. It’s also 7-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Bucks vs. Magic. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Magic vs. Bucks:
Following a Game 1 hiccup, the Bucks have shown to be the dominant force that many expected in this series. Over the last three contests, Milwaukee has outscored Orlando by 14.5 points per 100 possessions, especially succeeding on the defensive end. Even with the Game 1 struggles, the Bucks are third in the NBA Playoffs in defensive rating and, over the last three games, Milwaukee has held Orlando to 0.99 points per possession.
That is in line with Milwaukee’s season-long success as the most effective defense in the league, and the Bucks make things difficult on opponents by protecting the rim, maintaining the NBA’s best mark in effective field-goal percentage allowed. Offensively, the sledding is a bit more difficult for Mike Budenholzer’s team, but Orlando isn’t quite as stout defensively in the absence of Isaac. The Bucks have a 59.7 percent true shooting rate and a 57.8 percent effective field-goal clip in the series, both of which rank in the top five in the playoffs.
Orlando is at a talent disadvantage, both in the series and for Game 5. With that said, the Magic have been effective at leveling the playing field by taking advantage of some of their own strengths. Standout big man Nikola Vucevic has been tremendous in the series, averaging 29.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and his ability to spread the floor as a shooter from the center position is crucial to attack the Bucks. Orlando is also adept at avoiding turnovers, giving the ball away on only 12.9 percent of possessions during the regular season, and variance increases if the Magic can simply get shots to the rim.
Defensively, Orlando has been solid in this series, limiting the Bucks to only 1.11 points per possession. That isn’t an elite figure, but Milwaukee’s offense is usually hyper-efficient and the Magic have forced turnovers on 16.3 percent of possessions. At this stage, that is the best defensive turnover rate in the NBA Playoffs, and it could continue in Game 5 to give Orlando some fuel for its transition offense.
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Middleton and Evan Fournier projected to fall short of their season-long scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Magic vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread cashes over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bucks vs. Magic spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.
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