Fresh off a win last night over the Bulls, the Orlando Magic will head to Toronto tonight to take on the Raptors. We’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
After deciding to become buyers at the trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors turned around and lost their first game after acquiring Jakob Poeltl. They were able to get back in the win column on Sunday against the Pistons in a game that saw them hold on at the very end after allowing 41 points in the fourth quarter.
In their now two games since the deadline, the Raptors' NET efficiency of -2.5 ranks 19th in the league. Their NET rating over the last five games is ranked 10th in the league, so the inconsistency they’ve shown all season is still present. Non-existent bench scoring has also become something of note, as in the past two games, the Raptors bench has only scored 17 and 19 points.
Over the past ten games, Toronto’s bench is ranked 30th in the league in offensive efficiency rating, which can help explain why every Raptors box score features one quarter with exponentially worse offensive numbers. This overall lack of scoring depth could continue to play a factor tonight as they take on a Magic team, whose bench ranks 2nd in the league in NET rating over the past ten games.
Orlando is also fresh off their second-best defensive performance of the season, as they held the Chicago Bulls to just 91 points last night on 41% shooting. Across the past ten games, the Magic’s defense has been the team's strong suit, as their defensive efficiency rating is ranked 5th in that span.
Even with playing some of the best defense in the league, the Magic are still 5-5 over their past ten games, primarily due to a 28th-ranked offensive efficiency rating in that span.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be taking Fred VanVleet under 3.5 three-pointers made at (-115). VanVleet is making an average of 3.2 a game over the past ten games and has gone over his total in six of those games. Up to this point in the season, VanVleet also has the worst three-point shooting percentage of his career across a season at 34.4%.
Tonight will be a tough match-up for VanVleet in terms of three-point scoring as well, as over the past five games, the Magic are holding opponents to a 30.8% three-point percentage, which is the 4th lowest in the league. Additionally, opponents are averaging just 10.4 made three’s a game in that same span.
Limiting three-point shooting has been a strength of the Magic all season, as they rank 3rd in opponent three-point percentage, and they are fresh off holding the Bulls to a 3 for 21 shooting night from deep. I think this a bad spot for VanVleet to get hot from three, especially with the way the Magic’s defense has played lately.
Fred VanVleet Under 3.5 Three-Pointers Made (-115)