Magic vs. Bucks: Showdown Strategy, Captain's Picks, Betting Trends

Saturday brings nine games in the NBA, so sit back and enjoy the ride. The evening’s featured Showdown contest will see the Bucks host the Magic, two teams which were active at the trade deadline. While the Bucks made a trade that should improve their team immediately, the Magic’s acquisition of Markelle Fultz might not start paying dividends until next season. Let’s dive into the matchup and highlight some players to consider for your lineup as you work your way through the options.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Bucks have won each of their past six road home games against the Magic.

— The Magic have lost 18 of their past 19 Saturday road games.

— The Bucks have covered the spread in each of the past six games.

— Games at Fiserv Forum average 227.6 total points.

— The average winning margin at Fiserv Forum is 16.1 points.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Magic

The Magic currently find themselves three games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With Fultz possibly not making his debut with the team until next season, they really didn’t do anything to improve their chances of making a run at the deadline. The good news is that they didn’t trade away Nikola Vucevic ($10,400), who has been the team’s anchor. He’s provided an incredibly high floor in DFS, scoring at least 41.8 DKFP in 11 of his past 13 games. With the Bucks playing at the fifth-fastest pace (103.2 possessions per game) in the league, Vucevic has by far the highest upside of anyone on the Magic in this contest.

Aaron Gordon ($8,200) has been on a bit of a bumpy road this year. His usage rate has dropped from 24.7 percent last year to just 21.7 percent this season, dealing a significant blow to his offensive upside. On the bright side, the Magic’s lack of quality point guards has enabled him to average a career-high 3.6 assists per contest. Considering the uptempo pace at which this game will likely be played, Gordon checks in as one of the better secondary options on the Magic. Evan Fournier ($6,800) has the potential to go off offensively any given night, but his inconsistencies and inability to contribute much outside of the scoring column has led to him scoring 28.3 DKFP or fewer in six of his past eight games. Terrence Ross ($6,400) has scored at least 26 points in three of Orlando’s past four games, helping him record at least 42.3 DKFP in all three of those contests. If you want to take a chance on a guard for the Magic, it’s hard to pick Fournier over Ross considering how well Ross is playing and the fact he checks in at a cheaper price.

Jonathan Isaac ($6,200) is starting to turn things on down the stretch, scoring at least 26.5 DKFP in eight of his past nine games. As long as he continues to receive consistent playing time, he’s a nightly threat to at least approach a double-double and provide juicy defensive stats. D.J. Augustin ($5,200) will continue to start at point guard until Fultz makes his debut, but he’s a risky option Saturday since the Bucks are fourth OPRK against point guards. If you’re looking for a cheap dart throw in tournament play, Khem Birch ($2,000) has taken over the backup center role with Mohamed Bamba (leg) sidelined. His upside isn’t great, but he has scored at least 15.8 DKFP in three straight games. That type of production shouldn’t be ignored at this price.


Bucks

Editor’s Note: Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for tonight’s game.

The Bucks have won six games in a row and now have the best record in the NBA. They aren’t just squeaking by, either, considering those six victories were by an average of 15.3 points. With that in mind, this game has the potential to be a blowout at home, especially since the Magic are 8-17 on the road. The clear top option for the Bucks is Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,600), who has scored at least 52.3 DKFP in 10 of his past 11 contests. Even with the blowout potential, Giannis has an extremely high floor.

There are plenty of great secondary options on the Bucks. Eric Bledsoe ($8,800) hasn’t played more than 31 minutes in any of their past seven games because of lopsided scores, but he still scored at least 30.5 DKFP in six of those contests. Khris Middleton ($7,600) sat out Friday’s game against the Mavericks for rest, so he’ll be fresh heading into this matchup. His ceiling isn’t as high as Bledsoe’s and he scored 23.3 DKFP the last time these two teams met, so he’s a bit of a risky option. Malcolm Brogdon ($7,000) might not be a headline name, but he’s been a valuable all-around contributor with averages of 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game this season.

Bringing in Nikola Mirotic ($7,800) was the big move that that the Bucks made Thursday. He provides a huge boost for their second unit and isn’t afraid to take big shots in crunch time. With that being said, he’s not an appealing option Saturday. He hasn’t played in over two weeks due to a calf injury, so even if he returns, he could play limited minutes. As far as cheaper options go on the Bucks, George Hill ($3,600) is locked in as the backup point guard and has scored at least 15.8 DKFP in four of his past six games.


THE OUTCOME

Everything points to the Bucks winning this one in deciding fashion. Antetokounmpo ($18,900 CP) has by far the highest upside of anyone on either team, making him a great choice for Captain’s Pick. Vucevic ($15,600 CP) also makes for a great option at a more budget-friendly price. If you want to take a walk on the wild side, rolling with Ross ($9,600 CP) in tournament play might not be all that crazy based on his recent hot streak. By going that route, you can comfortably fit both Antetokounmpo and Vucevic into your lineup without having to load up on a ton of cheap options with very limited ceilings.

Final Score: Milwaukee 116, Orlando 104



 
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.