Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 12/27/19 NBA Pick, Odds & Prediction

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 12/27/19 NBA Pick, Odds & Prediction Photo by

Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic

Friday, December 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM (Amway Center)

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Philadelphia will look to extend its three-game win streak on Friday when the 76ers (23-10) travel to Amway Center to take on the Orlando Magic (13-17). Orlando has been on the other end of things, winning just twice in its last eight attempts.

The 76ers were most impressive in their last three games on Christmas day when they knocked off Milwaukee -- the team with the best record in the NBA -- by 11. But Philadelphia also crushed Washington and Detroit by 17 and 16 points respectively prior to that big win over the Bucks, and it has scored between 121 and 125 points in those three games. It has been a dominating stretch of basketball, but the 76ers had lost three in a row prior to this current win streak, including a 20-point loss to Brooklyn and a 19-point defeat against Dallas.

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Joel Embiid recorded his 16th double-double in his last 18 games in the win over Milwaukee with 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead the 76ers. Tobias Harris added 22 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, Josh Richardson scored 18 points, and Furkan Korkmaz came off the bench for 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long range. Ben Simmons joined Embiid with a double-double at 15 points and 14 assists to go along with seven rebounds, and Al Horford also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, along with five assists.

Embiid leads five 76ers scoring in double figures with 23.3 points per game. He averages a double-double with 12.6 rebounds per game as well. Harris adds 19.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and Richardson scores 14.8 points per game. Simmons averages 14.4 points, 8.7 assists, and 7.0 rebounds per game and Horford scores 13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. 

Orlando’s current poor form has come just after the Magic won five of six to pull their record up to 11-11. But since that time, Orlando only holds wins over New Orleans and Chicago, while racking up losses to some of the NBA’s elite teams such as Milwaukee, the Lakers, Houston, Utah, and Denver. The Magic have not been incredibly close in any of those losses, falling by nine or more in five of those six recent losses with a 109-102 loss to Utah being the closest loss in that stretch.

Terrence Ross came off the bench for Orlando to equal the game-high in scoring with 26 points while making six shots from behind the arc along the way in the 103-95 win over Chicago on Monday. Nikola Vucevic scored 21 points with seven rebounds, while Aaron Gordon added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jonathan Issac and Markelle Fultz added 13 points apiece. Isaac had nine rebounds and five assists as well.

Evan Fournier leads the Magic in scoring this season with 19.2 points per game, but was held to just eight points in the win over the Bulls. Vucevic averages a double-double with 17.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, and Gordon scores 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Ross comes off the bench to score 13.0 points per game, Fultz adds 11.7 points per game, and D.J. Augustin adds 10.2 points per game despite scoring just two against Chicago on Monday.

It’s easy to forget these two teams’ first matchup of the season, a 112-97 Magic victory also at Amway Center on Nov. 13. Of course, Embiid did not play in that game, deciding to sit with a sore knee, but how much of an impact will he have against a defender like Vucevic? Against true big men, Embiid has shown that he can be slowed, as the 20-point, eight-rebound performance Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons on Monday portrayed. Embiid was also held to 16 points against Rudy Gobert earlier in the year. And when Vucevic sits down, Orlando has Mo Bamba to come in.

Does this mean that Orlando will win? Of course not. But the Magic has rested since Monday in preparation for this game while Philadelphia has a potential letdown coming into this one on the road after such an emotional win over Milwaukee. Adding that this is a bad matchup for Embiid makes it even tougher to take the 76ers. Consider the under in this matchup of two top-five defenses and Orlando coming in as the 29th lowest-scoring offense in the NBA, but the play here is definitely to take the Magic plus the points.

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Kevin’s Pick Orlando +3.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.