Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls (February 10, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic continue their pre-All-Star Break homestand with a vital game against the Chicago Bulls. The Magic can put more distance between themselves and the Bulls for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic aim to put a stamp on this homestand and get a cleaner grip on the 8-seed against the Chicago Bulls.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic aim to put a stamp on this homestand and get a cleaner grip on the 8-seed against the Chicago Bulls. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Magic by 5 (O/U 216.5). 25-27. Feb. 10, 2024. Magic Bulls Matchup 02.10.24. 28-24. 38. 24. Bally Sports Florida, NBC Sports Chicago. 7P

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Season Series:
Magic 96, Bulls 94 in Chicago on Nov. 15; Magic 103, Bulls 97 in Chicago on Nov. 17; Tonight in Orlando; April 7 in Orlando

Pace

Off. Rtg.

Def. Rtg.

eFG%

O.Reb.%

TO%

FTR

Chicago

97.0

113.3

114.8

53.2

28.9

12.7

23.8

Orlando

98.6

112.5

111.6

53.4

29.9

14.7

30.1

OMD Prediction

Our Record: 32-20/28-24 ATS

The Orlando Magic seem to be in a better spot and position now. They are back to playing solid defense, and the offense is flowing. There is release and comfort playing back at the Kia Center. The Magic did not let the loss Tuesday beat them twice.

It feels like the Magic are back to being the team that tore through the league back in November.

If you remember, that nine-game win streak in November started with a pair of buzzer-beating wins against the Chicago Bulls. Both games saw the Magic race out to a big start and hold on for the win. Some of that starts with Zach LaVine and his spark as a scorer -- and also how he seems to drain a lot of the Bulls' offense.

The Bulls are obviously a different team now too. Coby White is having a moment.

White is averaging 23.3 points per game, shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from three in his last 10 games. White scored only nine total points in the two previous meetings on 4-for-16 shooting.

With the Magic holding a three-game lead on the Bulls for eighth, this is a big statement game that keeps the Bulls at arm's length in the standings and clinches a season series victory for the Magic.

24. Magic Bulls Predictions 02.10.24. 112. 38. Prediction. 108

3 Keys to Watch

Home Cooking

It feels like a while since the Orlando Magic have had a long stretch at Kia Center. The Magic have been on the road a lot, having finished their season-long five-game road trip on Tuesday in Miami.

There is some relief to be back home, where the Magic have established a homecourt advantage at 16-7. The team knows it will have to build success at home with 18 of the final 30 games of the season at Kia Center. Winning at home is the path to the postseason.

The big difference? The team's 3-point shooting is much better at home.

The Orlando Magic shot 16 for 27 from three in Thursday's win over the San Antonio Spurs. That is the first game shooting better than 50 percent from three since the Jan. 3 loss to the Sacramento Kings. It is only the sixth game this season where the team shot better than 45 percent from three and the 11th game shooting 40 percent or better.

The Magic are a better shooting team at home.

Orlando is 29th in the league, shooting 34.8 percent from three this season. The team shoots a more respectable 35.9 percent at home. That would still be just 23rd in the league. But it is better.

Going Big

The Chicago Bulls are seemingly willing to try anything to create some traction with how poorly their season has gone.

They have likely lost Zach LaVine for the season (that may not be bad). And they still have an interior-oriented game based on defense. They are not unlike the Orlando Magic in that way.

The latest trick the Bulls are trying to use is going big. They started Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond together in the win earlier this week in an overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves to match up with their size. But it is something they have turned to recently.

Despite concerns about the fit and spacing -- and flashbacks to Nikola Vucevic starting alongside Bismack Biyombo -- it is netting results. The duo have a +19.3 net rating in their 77 minutes on the floor together -- with a 131.0/111.7 offensive/defensive rating split.

They are not likely to start that way, knowing Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are so mobile. But do not be surprised to see the Bulls try to press a size advantage and lock out the paint from the Magic's drivers.

From Bench to Starters

One of the hallmarks of the Orlando Magic's early season run -- including their two wins over the Chicago Bulls -- was their bench. The Magic outscored the Bulls' bench 50-8 in the second game and tied 34-34 in the first game.

The Magic are still fourth in the league in bench scoring with 41.8 points per game. But they have struggled in that department, scoring only 35.0 per game in the last 10 games.

A lot of that can be credited to Cole Anthony and his struggles.

Next. Path to 4 seed 02.10.24. Orlando Magic have path to climb to 4-seed. dark

Anthony had a nice bounceback game Thursday with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting. But he had only nine points in his previous three games (3-for-9 shooting) combined and has scored in double figures only three times in his last 11 games. He had 16 and 11 points against the Bulls back in November.