Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (March 17, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic begin an eight-game homestand as they look to solidify their Playoff spot and prepare for the Playoffs ahead.

The Orlando Magic start an eight-game homestand as they get a rematch with the Toronto Raptors as they aim to correct mistakes from their first meeting.
The Orlando Magic start an eight-game homestand as they get a rematch with the Toronto Raptors as they aim to correct mistakes from their first meeting. / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Magic by 12.5 (O/U 216). 6P. Bally Sports Florida, SN. 81. March 17, 2024. Magic Raptors Matchup 03.17.24. 39-28. 38. 23-44

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Season Series:
Magic 126, Raptors 107 in Orlando on Nov. 21; Magic 113, Raptors 103 in Toronto on March 15; Tonight in Orlando


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OMD Prediction

Our Record: 43-24, 33-34 ATS

The Orlando Magic traveled north to Toronto on Friday and took care of their business. That is the best way to describe it. And that is what the Magic have to do in a lot of these kinds of games. They have to take care of their business one way or another. The wins are what matters.

Orlando though still has a lot to clean up. It has been a while since they put together a complete effort. An effort that would be worthy of a playoff team. That is just not something the team has had to do in a while with the level of opponents they have played.

The Raptors will again not be that kind of a challenge. Although the challenge of playing a team in back-to-back games is something like the Playoffs. Orlando should be looking to play better in Game 2 than the team did in Game 1. That should be what everyone expects from the Magic.

There are no changes to either team's roster from Friday's game with RJ Barrett still out mourning the death of his brother. This is a good playoff challenge, in a way.

81. Magic Raptors Prediction 03.17.24. 120. 38. Prediction. 105

3 Keys To Watch

Fast Break and Transition

The Orlando Magic dominated their win Friday in every way but one. And that one may have nearly cost them the game. Or at least made the game more interesting than it needed to be.

The Raptors, who lead the NBA in fast-break points per game, scored 20 of their 37 fast-break points in the first half of Friday's game. It was the most fast-break points they have allowed all seasons.

The Magic are typically not great at protecting the ball, but turnovers were not the issue against the Raptors. They had a lot of misses near the rim that led to runouts and they looked disorganized defensively in transition.

Outside of transition play, Orlando's defense shut down Toronto. The Raptors made only 25 of 63 (39.7 peercent) of their shots outside of transition play. Orlando's defense can shut down Toronto if it can get set up properly.

Gary Trent Jr. catches fire

Someone has to score for the Toronto Raptors with all these players out. That person turned out to be Gary Trent Jr.

Trent had one of his best games of the season, scoring 31 points on 7-for-11 shooting from three. It was his second 30-point game in his last three outings. Someone had to score. And it was good time for Trent to find his shooting stroke again.

Trent is shooting 40.9 percent from beyond the arc, the first time in his career he has shot better than 40 percent from three despite his reputation as an excellent shooter. But it has ben a rough season for Trent this year. He has averaged just 12.7 points per game, the lowest since his rookie year.

It is a good sign for him and the Raptors. But more for him with his free agency on the horizon this summer.

Is this Anything at home?

The Magic's broadcast presented an interesting statistical quirk during Friday's game.

The Orlando Magic are 24-6 against teams with records below .500 this year -- three of those losses are to the Atlanta Hawks, two to the Brooklyn Nets and one to the Memphis Grizzlies.

None of those six losses have come at the Kia Center -- the lone home loss was to the Hawks in Mexico City. The Magic have simply taken care of business this year against the worst teams in the league. They are as dependable as anything else in these games.

Of course, that is what good teams should do. But the Magic have been among the best teams in the league in taking care of their business in these kinds of games. Nobody should take them for granted.

Jonathan Isaac will be huge for Orlando Magic's playoff push. dark. Next. Isaac huge playoff push 03.16.24

And while Orlando still looks young and a bit green in games of bigger importance, the team finds itself in the hunt for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference because of counting on wins like the one the team had Friday night.