Cavaliers at Magic: Betting Picks, Player Props and Prediction for Game 7

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
Cavaliers at Magic: Betting Picks, Player Props and Prediction for Game 7

The two best words in sports are "Game 7", and this year's first round of the NBA Playoffs only produced one for us. Of course, it's the series most of us have put on the backburner.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic were projected for a tight, seven-game series, and it's as been as tight as could be scripted. The teams have alternated wins when on each's respective home floor. Cleveland will have that advantage here in the deciding contest.

Though many aren't giving either squad much of a chance in the next round against the NBA's best team, the Boston Celtics, there is a great deal of pride in advancing to the East semifinals. Which club will do so?

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Magic-Cavaliers Betting Odds

Date and Time: Sunday, May 5th at 1:00 p.m. EST

Spread: Cavaliers -3.5 (-114)

Total: 195.0 (-110/-110)


  • Magic: +142
  • Cavaliers: -168

Magic vs. Cavaliers Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Magic:
    • nERD: 57.0 (13th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 112.7 (22nd)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 111.2 (3rd)
    • Pace: 97.2 (26th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 51-31
  • Cavaliers:
    • nERD: 58.8 (10th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.6 (18th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 112.6 (7th)
    • Pace: 97.5 (24th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 39-42-1

Magic vs. Cavaliers Best Bet

Magic ML (+142)

It's not lost on the public that a road team hasn't won a game in this series yet. That's why the Cavs carry a -168 moneyline that might be just a bit too steep.

In general, the Magic seem to be the better team despite being a younger squad that hasn't found a way to win away from Amway Center to this point. They've got a +8.1 net rating in the matchup to (obviously) Cleveland's -8.1. Their one-point loss in Game 5 was also the best road effort in the series so far.

When I average out the win probabilities from top prediction models like numberFire (32.4%), DRatings (47.6%), and Massey Ratings (50.0%), an average win probability of 44.9% would give the Magic roughly +125 odds of winning.

I considered Magic +3.5 (-106) given the basket margin, which is exactly what transpired in Game 5. However, in win-or-go-home situation, a moneyline of +142 also seems like a great bargain. These models combine to show value on both bets.

They are also showing value on Over 195.0 (-110), but they're 0-6 recommending overs in the series thus far compared to 4-2 predicting against the spread (ATS) winners. I don't think they've properly captured just how ugly these games have become.

Magic vs. Cavaliers Prop Bets

Wendell Carter Jr. Over 16.5 Points and Rebounds (-122)

Oddsmakers haven't quite caught up to Wendell Carter Jr.'s new role, but they're getting closer. His inefficiency could be gone in the next round.

The Magic have abandoned their platoon at center. Carter Jr. has played 34.5 minutes per game in the past two contests compared to just 13.5 minutes for Moritz Wagner. Wagner's energy and scoring was more helpful in the regular season than the rim protection (0.78 blocks per 36 minutes) WCJ can provide.

It's simply a numbers game from there. Carter Jr. posted 16.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes in the regular season, and he's largely underperformed to post no more than 20 points and rebounds (PR) in these two contests. That's due to ugly 1-for-9 (11.1%) shooting from deep that may or may not improve.

Nonetheless, as long as we're getting the minutes, this mark is too low. FanDuel Research's NBA projections are expecting 20.8 PR for Orlando's center on Sunday.

Donovan Mitchell Under 28.5 Points (-118)

Donovan Mitchell scored more points himself (50) in Game 6 than the rest of his team combined (42). That's not exactly the type of role you want to fade for scoring, but that effort was a blip on the radar compared to how the rest of this series has gone.

In the first five contests, Mitchell posted just 22.8 points per game behind poor shooting from the field (41.7%) -- and especially from three (22.7%). He took 36 shots and made 61.1% of them on Friday, which is in stark contrast to the larger sample. His usage rate in the first five games was a healthy 32.3% yet elevated to 46.2% during the hot streak. Will it stay there if he's not hitting as many shots? Probably not.

Mitchell's efficiency struggles were expected before the series started. Orlando was third in adjusted defensive rating (111.2), per DunksAndThrees, and they allowed the fifth-fewest points per game this season to opposing shooting guards (20.6).

Fading Spida in a must-win contest isn't fun, but we've got him projected for just 23.6 points in Game 7. Friday's outburst has certainly inflated this line.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.