The Orlando Magic continue their quest for the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2020 Friday in Minnesota. Orlando is currently tied with Miami for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 108-98 road win over the lowly San Antonio Spurs.
The Timberwolves lost to those Spurs less than a week ago as a monster favorite, but have since bounced back behind its suffocating defense. Minnesota went on the road and held off the Thunder (107-101) before swarming Dallas (121-87) on Wednesday. Does the Timberwolves’ home dominance continue against the Magic Friday?
Here’s the betting preview for Friday night with a best bet.
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Magic vs. Timberwolves odds, spread and total
Magic vs. Timberwolves how to watch
- Date: Friday, Feb. 2
- Game time: 8 p.m. EST
- Venue: Target Center
- How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
- Magic record: 25-23
- Timberwolves record: 34-14
Magic vs. Timberwolves injury reports
Orlando Magic injury report
- Gary Harris (calf): probable
Minnesota Timberwolves injury report
- Jaylen Clark (Achilles): out indefinitely
Magic vs. Timberwolves key players to watch
Paolo Banchero: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft has been the key cog behind Orlando’s turnaround and why the Magic are on pace for their first winning season in five years. Banchero has been a consistent stat-stuffer for Orlando, averaging 23 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game. He’s coming off a 25-point, 9-rebound, 7-assist performance in Orlando’s win over San Antonio Wednesday.
Rudy Gobert: Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns get the headlines for their explosiveness on offense, but Gobert is the enforcer on a Minnesota defense that has stymied opponents this season, specifically at home. Gobert is averaging a double-double for the eighth consecutive season and is part of a key frontcourt tandem with backup center Naz Reid that has helped the Timberwolves wreck opponents in the paint this season.
Magic vs. Timberwolves prediction and pick
Minnesota had its sleepwalking period with embarrassing losses to Charlotte and San Antonio. The Timberwolves know how tight the race is for the Western Conference No. 1 seed and have turned up the intensity in winning four of its last five games.
Minnesota is the No. 1 scoring defense in the NBA, giving up 107 points per game, and the No. 1 scoring defense at home, as that number shrinks to 103 points inside the Target Center.
As is the case with most opponents visiting Minneapolis, this is a tough matchup for Orlando’s offense, which is No. 22 in shooting percentage on the road and just No. 20 overall.
Orlando’s defense can battle, too. The Magic are No. 3 in defensive efficiency this season and are No. 2 in rebounding, yielding just 9.4 offensive rebounds per game.
That’s a key nugget in a matchup with Minnesota’s dangerous frontcourt with Gobert, Anthony-Towns and Reid. In a battle of two great defenses, go under.
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.