Cavaliers vs. Magic: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 3

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
Cavaliers vs. Magic: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 3

The Cleveland Cavaliers come off a successful home stand against the Orlando Magic as they hold a 2-0 lead in the series after winning each game by an average margin of 12.0 points. The first two games were low-scoring contests with slow paces, which wasn't much of a surprise with each squad being among the top seven for the slowest paces and best defensive ratings in the NBA.

Will the style of Game 3 play out any different as the location shifts to Orlando? According to FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA odds, the total sits at only 201.5, which would be the lowest mark yet for this series. The Magic are favored in Game 3 after being 5.5-point underdogs in back-to-back contests.

Let's break down Thursday's matchup. Will Orlando find a way to flip this series?

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

NBA Playoffs Betting

Cavaliers-Magic Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m. ET

Spread: Magic -2.5 (-110)

Total: 201


  • Cavaliers: +118
  • Magic: -138

Cavaliers vs. Magic Advanced Stats Breakdown

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

  • Cavaliers:
    • nERD: 58.8 (tied 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:
    • 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 vs. Magic Best Bet

Over 201 (-110)
Cavaliers Team Total Over 99.5 (-118)

Through two games in this series, two trends have rang true. The Cavaliers covered both games and the under is 2-0. I'm going against the latter.

Both teams lean on exceptional defenses and play at a slow pace. The total was 206.5 and 205.0 over the last two matchups, and the two combined for an average of 181.0 points per game (PPG). The total has decreased in each game; it makes perfect sense when you see the low scoring totals thus far.

However, I believe it's only a matter of time before we finally see both teams eclipse the 100-point mark. Before diving into the stats for each team, let's focus on a pair of projection models. numberFire has this game finishing with about a 204-point total, providing support for the over. Massey Ratings is also suggesting a 209.5 total with a forecasted final of 106-104 in favor of Orlando.

The shooting splits of each team have been alarmingly low in this series. The Magic are carrying a 34.3% field goal percentage (FG%) and a 23.6% three-point percentage. The Cavs haven't been much better, cashing in only 42.9% of field goal attempts and 29.0% of three-point shots.

Both teams sit outside the top half of offensive rating, but the units aren't this bad. Orlando has a 47.3 FG% on the season (15th-best) and Cleveland makes 47.8% of their shots (12th-best). The efficiency of each three-point attack isn't eye-popping, but the Magic shoot 34.8% from deep and the Cavs make 36.6% of their attempts from three-point land.

Eventually, the shooting has to improve. These offenses are simply capable of more. Cleveland is in the bottom half of three-point percentage allowed, and Orlando has the 13th-worst mark in opponent two-point percentage. The defenses are not impenetrable. Each unit has its own flaws.

I especially think the Cavaliers are bound to hit at least 100 points tonight. Cleveland has won the paint battle in both games and boasts the eighth-best two-point percentage. This is likely the Cavs' best route to a solid scoring total due to the Magic's susceptible interior defense.

Some of the Magic's worst defensive ratings in the playoffs are in the frontcourt. Jonathan Isaac (111.5 rating) and Wendell Carter Jr. (110.1 rating) have the worst defensive ratings in Orlando's rotation in the postseason.

Jarrett Allen is averaging 16.0 PPG with a 60.0 FG%, and Evan Mobley has totaled 16.5 PPG through two contests. I expect Cleveland's frontcourt success to continue in Game 3, leading to the over for the team total. Plus, some points props could be worth targeting, such as Allen going over 15.5 points (-104).

Get in on the action today! All FanDuel customers get TWO Profit Boost Tokens to use on any NBA playoff games on April 25th! See all the details on the promotions page.

Looking for the latest NBA odds? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and check out all of the NBA betting options.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

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.