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The challenge for the NBA as we move into the post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s portion of the schedule is to keep the fans engaged after a fairly decent December 25 quintuple header caused the top ESPN highlight to be a clip of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr complaining about the officiating after he watched Nikola Jokic go to the free throw line 18 times and make all 18.

Golden State is now a 15-15 team with an indefinite suspension of Draymond Green hanging over the team’s head, and we would be remiss if we did not mention that Steph Curry has missed 15 of his last 20 3-point attempts.

There is a ton of negativity surrounding the officiating, and at a certain point commissioner Adam Silver needs to find a way to change the narrative to get folks focusing on something positive. The Knicks did something yesterday to excite their fan base, and folks in Boston and Dallas should be rather pleased, too. But in terms of a national dialogue, we are not hearing a whole lot about the overachieving teams out there, especially Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Orlando and Houston.

All four of those teams are playing tonight, and here at Betway we are paying attention to all 30 teams – but especially the ones who are being ignored by the mainstream media. Of the four aforementioned teams, we are going with the Orlando Magic tonight as they take on a Washington Wizards team that is 5-23 for the third-worst record in the league.

NBA Schedule Today, Dec. 26, 2023 -- Game info -- Magic at Wizards

2022-23 NBA Regular Season Game
Orlando Magic (11-3 home; 6-8 road) vs Washington Wizards (2-8 home, 3-15 road)
Date: Dec. 23, 2023. Time: 7 p.m. EST.
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
TV Channel: NBA League Pass, Monumental Sports Network, Bally Sports Florida
Live Stream: NBAApp
Live Radio: 96.9 The Game in Orlando; The Team 980 in D.C.

Orlando at Washington Preview

We have an overachieving team with the reigning Rookie of the Year vs. an underachieving team that just made its home fans in the District of Columbia quite angry by announcing that they plan to build a new arena in northern Virginia and abandon the nation’s capital. The Wizards can thank the Pistons (losers of 26 straight) for keeping the negative spotlight from shining too brightly on them, while the Magic will need to sustain their strong start through January to silence their doubters.

Orlando vs. Washington Injury Report

Magic point guard Markelle Fultz (knee) and small forward Joe Ingles (ankle) and out, and Magic shooting guard Jalen Suggs (wrist) is questionable. Washington forward Kyle Kuzma (knee) is probable.

Best Magic vs. Wizards Player Prop Bets tonight: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023

Franz Wagner 30+ points (+400)

These teams have faced off twice this season, and the small forward from Germany scored 31 points both times, going 9-for-17 the first time and 11-for-14 in the second game, accounting for two of his three 30-plus point games this season. Last season he went for 20, 20, 20 and 28 in his four games against the Wizards, so there is a consistency thing in play. It is tempting to go for the +1100 line on Wagner scoring at least 35, but we will keep it dialed down and play the +400 line on him hitting 30 or more, which he has already done twice against Washington.

The pick: Franz Wagner to score at least 30 points (+400).

Daniel Gafford 10+ rebounds (+320)

Gafford is a shot-blocking specialist who had at least two blocks in 12 consecutive games before having none against Golden State on Friday night. He is inconsistent as a scorer, and as a rebounder he is steady but not spectacular. He has reached double figures in rebounds five times this season, one of those coming against Orlando. He has reached double figures in rebounds three times this month, and if he stays out of foul trouble then 10 is certainly within his capabilities. Since the Wizards miss a ton of shots, why not?

The Pick: Daniel Gafford to grab at least 10 rebounds (+320)

Tyus Jones 10+ assists (+625)

The Wizards point guard had a triple-double five games ago and has had nine or more assists in three of his last five games. He gets a break tonight in that he will be going up against Cole Anthony and Anthony Black, neither of whom is a great on-the-ball defender. If Washington allows the offense to run through Jones because of that defensive dynamic, Jones will most certainly have the opportunity to reach 10 assists. He needs his teammates to hit shots, something they are not terrific at, but the line is enticing given Jones’ recent history.

The pick: Tyus Jones to record at least 10 assists (+625).

Paolo Banchero 45+ points, rebounds and assists (+350)

The last time these teams played, the reigning Rookie of the Year had 28 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. He is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists this month while playing nearly 35 minutes per game, and he has topped the aforementioned 45 points plus rebounds plus assists combo four times in 10 December games. Players like Banchero tend to keep creeping upward in terms of production as they continue to build a career resume, and we like the way the kid from Italy by way of Duke is trending. Coach Jamahl Mosley is not afraid to give him heavy minutes.

The Pick: Paolo Banchero to have a combined 45 or more points, rebounds and assists (+350.)

Odds are subject to change*

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