For the second time this season, the New York Knicks (29-26) will face the Orlando Magic (22-32) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Take a look at our NBA odds series, with our Knicks-Magic pick and prediction.
A 32-18 scoreline in the fourth frame was key to the Knicks’ 11-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers. All-Star Joel Embiid’s double-double of 31 points and 14 rebounds wasn’t enough as two-time All-Star Julius Randle and snubbed All-Star Jalen Brunson combined for 45 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists to give to New York the victory at Madison Square Garden.
The Orlando Magic are looking to build on their two-game winning streak against the Timberwolves and Hornets. 2023 NBA rising stars Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner record 20.3 and 19.5 points to lead the team. The Magic are currently ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference
Here are the Knicks-Magic NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Knicks-Magic Odds
New York Knicks: -1.5 (-110)
Magical Orlando: +1.5 (-110)
Plus: 225.5 (-110)
Less: 225.5 (-110)
How to watch Knicks vs. magic
Television: Bally Sports Florida, MSG Go
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE on fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Why the Knicks could cover the spread
The New York Knicks have a 29-26 record. They rank seventh in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the Atlantic Division. The team is third in rebounds (47.2), fourth in free throw attempts (25.8), eighth in field goal attempts *89.9), ninth in 3-point attempts (34.9) and 10th in net plus-minus (+1.7) .
Tom Thibodeau’s team has a fairly young squad with an average age of 25.8 players. The Knickerbockers have three left-handed starters capable of producing 20+ points per game: Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett. Immanuel Quickley is the team’s spark off the bench, producing 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per night. Rising star Quentin Grimes has been elevated to the starting shooting guard job and is posting 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and two assists every night.
The Knicks have yet to see Mitchell Robinson on the court as he is still recovering from thumb surgery and is optimistically expected to return on February 27. RJ Barrett also reportedly has doubts about appearing for him due to a non-Covid related illness. Trevor Keels and DaQUan Jeffries are also out as they spend the majority of their two-way contract in the G-League.
The keys to the Knicks’ victories of late are their explosions in the first and third quarters. If the Knicks continue to produce 30 or more points in these quarters, they could close out the games in their favor. Thibodeau has also given extended duties to Isaiah Hartenstein and Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride in recent games, and they, too, have produced points and rebounds in limited minutes. Evan Fournier has also gotten limited action off the bench and the Knicks hope he can replicate his 17-point performance against Philly.
Why magic could cover the spread
The Orlando Magic are 22-32 this season. They are 13th in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the Southeast Division. Jamahl Mosley hopes his team can clinch the Play-In tournament spots, but they still have to catch the Indiana Pacers in four games if they want to settle for 10th place. The Magic make 47.1% of their field goals, 35.1% of their 3-pointers, and 78.9% of their drive-thru chances.
The Magic have a significantly younger team with an average age of 24.5 years. What stands out about the Magic this season is their tendency to play big men in their rotation, despite the tendency for the NBA to get small. Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, Garry Harris and Jalen Suggs are the guards Mosley uses the most this season. However, using these big men who can rebound well and stretch the floor has paid off for the Magic this season. Banchero, Wagner, Fultz and Anthony produce 12-plus points per game, while Mo Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr. and Bol Bol also produce double-digit points this season.
Chuma Okeke, who is still recovering from a knee injury but is expected to return on February 9, will be out for this game and could warm up for G-League action before returning to the rotation. Mo Bamba will not see court time for quite some time after the league imposed a four-game suspension following a fight with Minnesota guard Austin Rivers.
The key for the Magic to snatch victory is to use their size to their advantage. With a rotation that employs big men, Mosley should continue to field his forwards to dominate the boards and convert paint points. If the Magic are able to post 30-plus two-paint marks, 40 rebounds and six steals, as they did in their wins over Charlotte, Minnesota, Boston and Oklahoma, they could take home the win.
Final Knicks-Magic Prediction and Pick
The Magic are on a longer winning streak as we head into this game, but Orlando has been more dysfunctional than New York. The Knicks are a bit off the pace, but their strong performances against potential play-off contenders give them a slight advantage here. Back off visitors to cover the spread.
Knicks-Magic final pick and prediction: New York Knicks 1.5 (-110)