Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls Free NBA Pick

Wednesday, January 2 at 8:00 PM ET

United Center

Coverage: NBA League Pass

The Orlando Magic continue their road trip when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. This will be the third game between these two teams in less than a month, the Magic won the first meeting 97-91 on December 13 in Mexico City but the Bulls beat them 90-80 on December 21.


Magic need D.J. Augustin healthy as soon as possible
Magic difference-making point guard D.J. Augustin (11.5 points and 4.9 assists in 35 games this season) finished with 26 points in Sunday's 109-107 win against the Pistons, making 4 of 7 3-point attempts and dishing out eight assists but he tweaked his ankle Sunday and could miss time, which is a cause for concern.

Jerian Grant and Isaiah Briscoe are getting more minutes and Grant struggled to close the game against the Pistons and didn't run the team effectively against the Hornets, finishing with just nine points and five assists on 4 of 10 shooting and his defense against Kemba Walker was poor. Walker scored 24 points with seven assists in just 27 minutes to lead the Hornets to a 125-100 win on Monday.

Like Grant, Isaiah Briscoe had a chance to play meaningful minutes and although he held his own offensively with six points on 3 of 5 shooting in 27 minutes, his struggles on defense against Kemba Walker and his three turnovers explain why he's struggled to find playing time.


Bulls lose to Raptors despite well-rounded effort
The Bulls put up a fight against the Raptors on Sunday, trailing by just three points with 1:21 to play after a long Lauri Markkanen 3-pointer, but two Kawhi Leonard free-throws, a missed Kris Dunn jumper and one last offensive rebound for the Raptors helped them earn an ugly 95-89 win. All five Bulls starters scored in double figures and Markkanen lead the way with 18 points, six of those in the last minute and a half.

The 18 turnovers by the Bulls were key and helped the Raptors outscore them 13-2 in fast break points but rebounding made the difference. The Raptors grabbed 17 offensive rebounds for 24 second-chance points to just 10 by the Bulls.


NBA Trends:

The Orlando Magic are:

2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss

2-5 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game

2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss

2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall

2-7 ATS in their last nine games against Central Division opponents

2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings

1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Chicago

The Chicago Bulls are:

4-0 ATS in their last four games against Eastern Conference opponents

4-1 ATS in their last five games overall

4-1 ATS in their last five games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game

20-6 ATS in their last 26 games against Southeast Division opponents

I can't trust the Magic if Augustin doesn't play. The Bulls kept their last two opponents under 100 points and not having Augustin at point guard can cost the Magic this game.

NBA Pick: Magic at Jazz Sports

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