Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/01/2022

by James Q

Saturday, Jan 01, 2022

Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/01/2022

Game Time: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 
Venue:  TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Where to Watch:  NBA League Pass

Opening NBA Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: NL
BetMGM:  Spread:  NL
VegasInsider:  Spread:  NL

Season Record

Magic: 7-29, 14th place Eastern Conference
Celtics: 17-19, 9th place Eastern Conference

The Orlando Magic are the junk drawer of the NBA’s kitchen.  There are a few shiny treasures in there, but you rarely find anything good when you open it.  The Magic started the big rebuild last season when they traded away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier… all quality players who couldn’t manage to win together.  The returning haul was a treasure trove of future draft picks and an assortment of young guys who had only recently been drafted.  Right now winning isn’t the goal (as if they could if they wanted to)... right now they are figuring who to start, who to have in the rotation, who needs more development, and ultimately who to try and move when they start drafting all those extra picks.  At point guard alone they have Cole Anthony (2020 1st round pick), Markelle Fultz (2017 #1 overall pick), Michael Carter Williams (2013 #11 overall pick, and Jalen Suggs (2021 #5 overall pick) who they have to play out of position at the shooting guard spot to find time for… The other positions are the same… 2-3 guys who are young and looking to prove themselves and only some may be worth the wait. The Magic are on a four-game losing streak and are only winners of 2 of their last ten games.  They would be the worst team in the league if the Detroit Pistons weren’t hanging around.  In fact, if Detroit and Orlando blended rosters, it might not make a winning team.  Right now Orlando has been hit hard with the injury bug and the Covid protocols.. There is no telling what starting five will take the floor against the Celtics.  They have been the underdog in all of their previous ten games and are 4-6 ATS.  They lost their last two games to the Milwaukee Bucks and couldn’t cover a Mil -15 point spread in each game.  This team is rarely a safe bet even with large spreads.

The Boston Celtics have stumbled in just a few seasons.  They went from contender to having been jumped in importance by the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Washington Wizards… all those teams used to have to look up if they wanted to see the Boston Celtics… add in the perennial powerhouses of the East: the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat… not to mention the Philadelphia 76ers are barely hanging on to previous glory and you get a Celtics team on the outside looking in.  Fortunately for Boston the season will end with a play-in tournament like last year and maybe every year going forward.  The blame ultimately all falls on Danny Ainge the now former GM.  Danny was able to pull off some great trades in his time that brought him tons and tons of draft capital… he didn’t know how to do anything after that.  Instead of packaging the picks for good players… he kept using them.  Draft picks are like cars… once you drive them off the lot… they tend to lose value.  The Celtics still have a core of two great young players… SF Jayson Tatum and SG Jaylen Brown.  Center Robert Williams III shows promise, but he has been in the league since 2018 and we should no longer be worrying about his potential… he is what he is: athletic, can block shots, offensively limited.  Veteran power forward Al Horford is a spent fighter, he has the skills of a vet that has seen it all, but the 20 point games will be few and far between as we get further into his 16th NBA season.  They have only won 4 of their last ten games and just behind the middle of the pack… that just won’t get it done.  This team needs to either make a big move for now… or a big move to rebuild.  Either way, this can't be all it is.

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Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

The Magic are 7-29 on the season, but 15-21 ATS.  They have logged 18 Overs and 18 Unders.  They are a calamitous 5-16 in road games and unfortunately it’s better than their home game record.

The Celtics are 17-19 on the season, but 19-16-1 ATS.  They have notched 15 Overs, 20 Unders, and 1 Push.  They are 10-7 in home games.  They tend to feed off the crowd’s energy at home.

Offensive Analysis

The Magic are 28th in scoring with 101.7 ppg, 22nd in rebounds with 43.8 per game, and 28th in AST/TO ratio with 1.5.  As a young team they are doing what you would expect… missing shots.  They are 28th in FG%, 27th in 3PT%, and get a nice little boost from the foul line where they are 13th in FT% with  a 77.8% mark… that may seem pedestrian, but is actually pretty good for such a young team.

Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics Prediction 

Our prediction for Sunday, January 2nd is…. Celtics 118 - Magic 96

The Magic are missing everybody… and that everybody wasn't great when they were all available.  The Celtics and the next several opponents should stampede this den of cubs.

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NBA Betting Trends

Orlando is 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games.
The total has gone Under in 5 of Orlando’s last 5 road games.
Boston is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Eastern Conference.

Injury list

Magic: PF Jonathan Isaac (knee) Out indefinitely ** SG Etwaan Moore (knee) Out indefinitely ** SG/PG Jalen Suggs (thumb) Out indefinitely ** PG Markelle Fultz (knee) Out indefinitely ** PG Cole Anthony (ankle) Out ** C Mo Bamba (ankle) Quest… plus they have 5-6 guys that need to test back in from Covid-19 protocols.. Some will.

Starting Lineups

Magic: SF Franz Wagner, PF Wendell Carter JR, C Freddie Gillespie, PG Tim Frazier, SG Gary Harris

Celtics: SF Grant Williams, PF Al Horford, C Robert Williams III, SG Jaylen Brown, PG Marcus Smart

Statistical Leaders

Points: Cole Anthony 20.0
Assists: Cole Anthony: 5.8
Rebounds: Wendell Carter Jr 10.1
Steals: Chuma Okeke 1.2
Blocks: Mo Bamba 2.2

Points: Jayson Tatum 25.6
Assists: Marcus Smart 5.5
Rebounds: Robert Williams III8.9
Steals:  Marcus Smart 2.0
Blocks: Robert Williams III 1.9


Magic: Jamahll Mosley
Celtics: Ime Udoka

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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