NBA Best Bets April 6: Cavaliers Giving Starters Some Rest in Orlando 

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Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic shoots over Mamadi Diakite #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP.

NBA Pick of the Day

Cavaliers vs. Magic: Magic -8.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Magic -8.5 (-110)
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Picks Summary

  • Cavaliers vs. Magic: Magic -8.5 (-110)
  • Nuggets vs. Suns: Suns -7.5 (-110)

It’s the final Thursday of the 2022-23 NBA regular season and includes a TNT doubleheader among the five games on the schedule. Here are two leans we have on the side with NBA odds from Bovada. 

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic

Thursday, April 06, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Amway Center

Why would Cleveland play any of its key guys here? It’s the final road game of the regular season and utterly meaningless because the Cavs are locked into the East’s third seed for the upcoming playoffs and will face the New York Knicks in Round 1.

If I’m coach JB Bickerstaff, I’m not playing my starters. And he’s not – plus some.  

Banchero Playing as Expected

Meanwhile, the young and improving Magic are looking to close the season with some momentum.

Paolo Banchero, the top pick in the 2022 draft, has lived up to expectations in averaging 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists and will become the third Magic player to win Rookie of the Year along with Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Miller. Banchero has led or tied for the team lead in scoring 30 times, rebounding 21 times, and assisting 16 times. 

While the Magic are 0-3 in the season series and lost at home to Cleveland on Tuesday, 117-113, they have still won seven of the last eight matchups at home in the series.

Markelle Fultz had 23 points and eight assists Tuesday, and Banchero had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Fultz has scored 20 points or more five times since the beginning of March in 17 games after having six such outings in his first 41 appearances. 

Mitchell Reaching a Whole New Level

Donovan Mitchell scored 43 points Tuesday to lead the Cavs, his fourth straight 40-point game. He’s the first player in the NBA to do that since James Harden had five straight in the 2018-19 season.  

It was Mitchell’s 13th game this season with at least 40, marking the second-most 40-point games all-time for an NBA player’s first season with a new team, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain (32 in 1959-60 with Philadelphia).

The win secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro are all out for this one as are a few other guys. It’s truly a JV roster.   

The Pick

Orlando is 20-20 at home and you know the players would like to finish with a winning record there. So, let’s take them for our NBA picks.

  • Cavaliers are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games. 
  • Magic are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall. 
  • Magic are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight-up loss.  

NBA Pick: Magic -8.5 (-110) at Bovada

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns

Thursday, April 06, 2023 – 10:00 PM EDT at Footprint Center

This is the second game of a TNT doubleheader on Thursday with the first featuring Miami at Philadelphia. It’s also a possible preview for the Western Conference semifinals.

Both teams are good enough to reach the West Finals, but because Denver will be the No. 1 in the West and Phoenix likely the No. 4, they would play in the semifinals if chalk held in Round 1. 

No MVP for Jokic

The Nuggets are limping to the finish line in losing three of four, including an inexplicable 124-103 defeat in Houston on Tuesday. Nikola Jokic was rather average for him with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.

His chance to join Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird as the only players to win three straight MVP Awards is now gone. Philly’s Joel Embiid will win it.  

Jokic also is going to come up short in averaging a triple-double as he’s 9.8 assists and would have to go historically bonkers in that category in the final three games to get to 10.0. Frankly, it wouldn’t shock me if the Nuggets rested Jokic in the front end of a back-to-back. He is questionable. So is Jamal Murray. 

Durant and Suns Flying High

Phoenix improved to 7-0 with Kevin Durant in the lineup following a ho-hum 115-94 win over San Antonio on Tuesday. Durant had 18 points and Devin Booker had 27.  

Durant is shooting a career-best 56.2% from the field this season and 92.4% from the free throw line (second in NBA). Over the last 17 games, Booker is averaging 31.2 points on 54.4% shooting along with 5.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds. 

The Suns’ six-game winning streak is the NBA’s longest active. With one more victory in the final three games, Phoenix would assure itself of the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round. 

The Pick

Denver leads the season series 2-1 with the home team winning all three. They played on March 31 in the desert and the Suns won 100-93. Durant scored 30 points, and Booker added 27. Jokic, Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Michael Porter Jr. were all out for Denver.  

It seems like history will repeat so let’s grab the Suns as 7.5 favorites at Arizona betting sites.

  • Nuggets are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 1 day of rest. 
  • Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. 
  • Suns are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win. 

NBA Pick: Suns -7.5 (-110) at Bovada 

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Suns -7.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.