Betting Man’s Guide to the Upcoming Magic Season


It’s that time of year when every talking head and nerd with a laptop (me) makes their predictions for the upcoming season.  In a refreshing break from this, the NBA actually puts out an annual survey of the league’s GM’s on different topics ranging from whom will win the championship, all the way down to which players get the most from the least (J.J. came in third).  Andrew Melnick took a look yesterday at some of the specific Magic highlights from the GM survey.

I’ve decided to take a different spin on the annual preview.  Nobody cares what some Orlando Magic homer blogger thinks is going to happen this season (Magic over Lakers in 6), so why not take a look at what the experts think.  The REAL experts, not ESPN or TNT “analysts”.  I am talking about the Vegas handicappers. The oddsmakers.  These people are brilliant and put their money where their mouths are.  If I gambled and if gambling were legal, I would be able to tell you how many times I’ve lost to the spread by ½ point or thought I had outsmarted the oddsmakers only to find out that my account balance was zeroed out.

After the jump, I will take a look at some popular online betting sites and their analysis of the upcoming season as well as how they believe individual awards will play out.  Take a look!

Odds the Magic will win 2011 NBA Championship:

Bodog – 12/1 – For every one dollar you bet, you would win $12.

BetUS – 10/1

5dimes – 14/1

The Heat are the favorites on all three sites to win it all, with all three having them at roughly 1.7/1.  The Lakers come in as the second favorite with a mean of around 2.7/1.  Needless to say, the Heat and Lakers are the overwhelming favorites.  The Celtics and Magic are pretty even in the next tier of two, with Boston coming in with slightly varying lines across the three sites (9/10/11 to 1).  The next closest consensus line is the Oklahoma City Durants at 14/16/19 to 1.  The oddsmakers are extremely confident that the champ will come from the pool of L.A., Miami, Orlando or Boston.

Odds the Magic will win the Eastern Conference

Bodog – 4.5/1 – For every one dollar you bet, you would win $4.50.

BetUS – 4.5/1

5dimes – 5/1

Once again, the Heat are the overwhelming favorites.  Head over heels favorites.  The best line you can get for the Heat to win the ECFs is with Bodog at 2/3.  Meaning that for every dollar you bet, you would only win 67 cents.  The lines for the Celtics come in virtually the same as the Magic, but slightly lower.

If the oddsmakers are correct, the 8 playoff teams would look like this:

1)      Heat

2)      Magic

3)      Celtics

4)      Bulls

5)      Hawks

6)      Bucks

7)      Knicks

8)      Bobcats/Nets/Wizards – no consensus

Consensus worst team in the Eastern Conference?  The Toronto Raptors.

The Lakers are clearly the overwhelming favorites in the Western Conference.  If the oddsmakers are correct, the 8 playoff teams in the west will look like this:

1)      Lakers

2)      Thunder

3)      Mavericks

4)      Nuggets

5)      Blazers

6)      Spurs

7)      Jazz

8)      Suns/Rockets

Consensus worst team in the Western Conference?  The Minnesota Kahn’s.

Dwight Howard to win the MVP?  Dwight is listed as the fourth most likely player to win the MVP award next season.  While he very well may be the most valuable player to his team due to his defensive presence and rebounding ability, he doesn’t have the sexy scoring average.  Although, if he is able to dominate the way he has so far this preseason, these odds could change.  Call this a sleeper bet at 6.5/1.

Surprisingly though, LeBron is NOT listed as the MVP favorite. Kevin Durant and Kobe are listed as the favorites with LeBron the consensus third.  Apparently the oddsmakers think voters will count against LeBron the fact that he is playing alongside Wade and Bosh.

The oddsmakers have made their statement.  While these lines are not locks, nothing ever is, there is a high likelihood that the NBA season will play out the way it was listed above.  While lines are somewhat skewed depending on how the money is coming in for each team, the odds are still a scientific and expertly analyzed prediction.  Remember though, every team is only one elbow injury away from the lottery and in the end, the games are played on the court and not on paper.  Place your bets now and sit back and enjoy the show!


Because I know you care so much, here are my personal predictions.

–          NBA Finals: Orlando over L.A in 6 games.

–          ECF Finals: Orlando over Miami in 7 games.

–          WCF Finals: L.A. over Oklahoma City in 7 games.

–          NBA MVP: LeBron James

–          NBA Rookie of the Year: John Wall

–          NBA DPOY: Dwight Howard

–          NBA Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks

–          Most Blown Out Knees on One Team: Boston Celtics (5)

–          Games before Dan Gilbert openly sobs on camera:  18. LeBron returns home to Cleveland on December 02.  Expect a lot of signs spewing comic sans scripted hatrid.

–          Miami Heat Record: 65-17

–          Orlando Magic Record: 57-25

Write those down in stone pencil!

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.