NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Fade the Orlando Magic’s League Low Total?
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Suggs #4 of the Orlando Magic.
- The Orlando Magic have the lowest preseason win total in the NBA with an over/under set at 21.5 wins.
- Matt Moore analyzes their win total odds below.
Check out this post for updated season win totals and this post for my other 29 season win total picks.
Orlando Magic Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
The power of the unknown?
You have a new coach in Jamahl Mosley. Maybe he’s the kind of coach who raises the floor for a young rebuilding team.
There’s a vast number of players who could make a leap. Markelle Fultz has shown some real potential in between injuries. RJ Hampton has shown flashes and will get minutes. Jalen Suggs has the potential a top-five pick carries.
Jonathan Isaac has been derailed by injuries as well, but the potential is incredible. Cole Anthony and Wendell Carter Jr. is a good combination of pick-and-roll playmaker and finisher.
The number is understandably the lowest in the league, so the bar to get above it is also low. The Magic have to win less than 1-in-3 games just to slide over the number.
I dunno, I’m reaching here.
The Case for the Under
Good God, everything else.
The roster doesn’t have a star; Terrence Ross is the best player on the roster, and is available for trade. Fultz, Isaac, Mo Bamba, and Cole Anthony all have had injuries in the past year, and those are the young guys. I’m pretty sure Robin Lopez signed to be closer to Disney World. Gary Harris is either a buy-out or trade candidate.
The eighth overall pick Franz Wagner looked R-O-U-G-H in summer league. Suggs is battling with Fultz, Harris, Hampton, and Anthony for guard minutes, and that’s before MCW gets back.
But wait, there’s more! The schedule is a nightmare.
Every year there are a few teams who have broadcast they’re not looking to compete and are tanking/rebuilding, and the league obliges by giving them nightmare schedules. The Magic are this year’s team.
- Most brutal strength of schedule according to rest-adjusted rates at PositiveResidual.com
- Second-fewest rest advantage games
- Most back-to-backs
- Second-most miles to travel behind Miami among East teams
- Plays the Heat and Hawks four times
- Have 22 of their first 37 games before New Year’s Eve on the road;
By the time their schedule balances out, they’ll be tanking. The team has a lot of defensive talent but is super young, and while there are exceptions (the Grizzlies in recent years), most young teams are poor defensively.
The offense will likely be even worse. Mo Bamba is the only player still on the roster from last year’s team with a positive OBPM per Basketball-Reference.com.
Chuma Okeke is the only Magic player still on the roster with a positive DBPM. Orlando lost by 13.4 points per 100 possessions after their deadline trades and shifted to a rebuild.
This team has the worst roster and the worst schedule and the most incentive to tank.
Magic Win Total Bet
I’m going to bet the under, and will look for them for the worst record.
A word of warning: the team with the lowest win total has hit the over in 9 of the past 12 seasons. (This includes Charlotte in 2020, who had 23 wins against a win total of 23.5 when play stopped due to COVID.)
A few differentials, though. The East is not nearly as bad as it was for most of the 2010s. Gone are the process Sixers (though you can argue OKC is taking the same approach) and the hapless Bobcats. The West has more teams looking to rebuild at this point. The Southeast Division isn’t even a cakewalk anymore; Washington and Charlotte have intentions of being good.
Orlando has more incentive to tank than Detroit, given their lack of a franchise star.
I can’t point to anything on the Magic that suggests anything but a year to determine who is good and who isn’t, with the hope that Suggs or someone else steps into the role of star.
The number is the lowest in the league, and I still think this is too high. I have this team in the teens for wins, and I don’t mean 19.
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