[7:00 PM] Heat @ Magic

Who will WIN this matchup?

Miami Heat (0-0)

@ Orlando Magic (0-0)


Current odds:

Miami Heat: (+135)

Orlando Magic: (-155)


ESPN simulations have Orlando as XX% favorites to win the game.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Miami to win as (TBD) underdogs.

The line for this game is Orlando by 3 points.

The Orlando Magic changed direction in the offseason and enter the 2016-17 campaign with high expectations as they host the re-vamped Miami Heat on Wednesday in the opener for both. The Magic dealt second-leading scorer Victor Oladipo, hired coach Frank Vogel and brought in Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo, D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green – among others – to spur confidence that a four-year postseason drought will end.

Miami gave Whiteside (14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds) a max contract to keep him around in the middle and hopes to open up the lane with some better outside shooting. The Heat brought in Derrick Williams, Luke Babbitt, James Johnson and Wayne Ellington while they hope for more health from big man Josh McRoberts, who played 59 games combined the last two seasons and is currently recovering from a foot injury. Justise Winslow, who averaged 6.4 points as a rookie, is also expected to get a bigger role on both ends.

Vogel told reporters he wants to win “the war in the trenches, in the paint with defense and rebounding,” and the former Indiana coach might have the roster to do it. Ibaka and Biyombo, after he sits out the opener due to a suspension, will team up front with last season’s leading scorer and rebounder Nikola Vucevic (18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds). One of the keys will be the continued development of point guard Elfrid Payton (10.7 points, 6.4 assists last season) while Evan Fournier (15.4 points) is the best outside threat.

Miami G Josh Richardson (knee) is expected to miss the opener while Ellington (quad) and Babbitt (groin) are questionable.

Orlando finished 18th in both scoring and points allowed in 2015-16.

The Heat have won five of the last six meetings, with the Magic’s lone victory coming in Orlando last April.


StreakSmarts Pick: Orlando Magic

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick