Magic vs. Pelicans NBA expert final score, prediction and odds for Wednesday, April 3 (Go under the total)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Magic-Pelicans. 

Mar 21, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the rim against the Magic.
Mar 21, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the rim against the Magic. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff seeding is on the line when the Orlando Magic visit the Bayou Wednesday night to face the New Orleans Pelicans. Orlando is currently the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, but are trying to fight off the New York Knicks while within striking distance (1.5 games) of the No. 3 seed Cleveland Cavaliers. 

New Orleans is trying to avoid the play-in tournament and currently have the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference, but hold just a one-game lead over the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. New Orleans has lost three of four games, but is a short home favorite.

Here’s the betting preview of the cross-conference matchup with a best bet. 

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Magic vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Magic vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, April 3
  • Game time: 8 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Magic record: 44-31
  • Pelicans record: 45-30

Magic vs. Pelicans injury report

Orlando Magic

  • Caleb Houstan (ankle): questionable

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Jose Alvarado (oblique strain): out
  • Brandon Ingram (knee): out

Magic vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Orlando Magic

Wendell Carter Jr.: The 6-foot-10 center has been at the forefront in Orlando’s back-to-back wins, combining for 32 points and 26 rebounds in a pair of double-double performances. Carter averages 11.2 points and 7.2 boards per night this season while shooting 52.5% from the field. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson: With Brandon Ingram sidelined for at least the next week, Williamson has upped his scoring in a big way. Williamson has scored 25-plus points in five straight games and averaged 24.1 per game in March. He opened April with 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting in Monday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns. 

Magic vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

In the previous matchup between these two teams on March 21, Orlando used a big second and third quarter to pull away for a 121-106 home victory. However, New Orleans lost Ingram after just 21 minutes (14 points on 7-of-12 shooting). 

New Orleans has hung around in the playoff race with Ingram sidelined, going 3-3 overall with a 2-3 mark against teams with winning records. Both of these teams have been above-average from an ATS standpoint in this spot. Orlando is 22-14 ATS on the road; New Orleans 20-17 ATS at home. 

Orlando’s below-average offense hasn’t traveled well, though. The Magic are No. 26th in the NBA in road scoring and don’t thrive from the perimeter as the No. 22 three-point shooting team in the NBA. New Orleans is elite at defending from downtown and can still pack the paint without Ingram in the lineup. 

Both teams are top-10 in the NBA in points in the paint and second-chance points allowed. With New Orleans lack of firepower without Ingram, the defenses set the tone in this matchup. Go under the total. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.