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Cavaliers @ Magic tips and picks: Well-rested Cavs looking to make an explosive start against leggy Orlando

The Cleveland Cavaliers (25-15) visit the Orlando Magic (23-20) on Monday night (0000 GMT Tues) looking to extend their winning streak to eight.

The Orlando Magic played just last night as they exacted some revenge against the Miami Heat 105-8. That game was circled on their calendar and they were highly motivated.

Tonight they’ll meet a Cavs team they beat 104-94 when they met here last month, but a lot has changed since then.


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Cleveland Cavaliers to win


Cavaliers @ Magic preview

Paolo Banchero recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter, Jr chipped in with 19 and 17 points respectively.

Orlando has been one of the best bets in the NBA during the first half of the season as they’ve gone an impressive 28-15ATS.

However, they’ve dropped four of seven, and more recently we’ve seen some issues with defence. They seem to be ironing themselves out, but they’re not on par with Cleveland.

The Cavaliers have held their last 11 opponents to 43 or fewer made field goals which is an insanely good run. 

On the other hand, the Magic have held their last eight opponents to 43 or fewer field goals which is great, but also a product of the pace they play at.

They’ve fallen flat on offence, though. They’ve made fewer than 40 in each of their last seven and that could come back to bite them here.

Due to their involvement in the NBA Paris games, the Cavs are the best-rested team in the NBA. This will be just their fifth game in 15 days.

Extended breaks aren’t always helpful, but it’s working for this team. They’ve won their last seven and a staple of their wins have been early intensity on defence and building leads.

Donovan Mitchell has led the way with 45, 34 and 31 points since NBA Paris, but he was off the mark against the Hawks, scoring 18 points and going 0 for 6 from three-point range.

We’re fine with that because it just means he’s likely to play with an attitude and bounce back this evening. Six other Cavs scored in double digits during that game.

If tiredness is going to take hold in a back-to-back, you typically see the efforts later in the game, and Orlando will have to expend a lot of energy to keep up with Cleveland early on.


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