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What do the real experts – the bookmakers – think of the Magic this year?

2011 December 23
by Brian Serra

As an amateur gambler, I can assure you nobody knows the outcomes of potential sporting events like bookmakers. Their ability to handicap games never ceases to amaze me. I classify myself as an amateur, because I am fully aware that as often as I think I have a mental edge over the board… I never do.

Before each sporting season, Bodog.com always sends out a press release detailing the preseason odds for each time along with fun props. Bodog, which has since become Bovada.lv, sent out their NBA outlook today. Let’s take a look at where Bovada and some other more prominent sportbooks predict the Magic will fair this season.

Odds to win the NBA Championship:

  • Bookmaker.eu – 20-1 for Orlando. The Heat are the overwhelming favorites at +185. The other teams ahead of Orlando are the Bulls, Mavs, Lakers, Celtics, Clippers, Thunder, Knicks, Blazers and Spurs. So, basically, a lot of teams.

Over/Under Wins:

  • Bovada.lv – 38.5 for Orlando. BOLD MBO PREDICTION – Orlando will finish the regular season with a record of 39-27 or 38-26.  Although, it does look as if some Dwight Howard trade risk has been added into that number. I’d lean OVER with Dwight and way way UNDER without him. If traded at the deadline, it comes down to how many wins they can pick up in 2 months.

Magic Props:

  • BetOnline.com – Leading Rebounder – Kevin Love at +115. Dwight Howard came in at a close second at +185. Quake Grifffin is next at +300.  I’m assuming this prop comes down to which team will miss more shots. Judging from the preseason, it could be close.
  • Bovada – Will Dwight Howard be traded this season? Yes, 1/6 and no 4/1. In layman’s terms, they REALLY think that Dwight will be traded.
  • Bovada – Over/Under on technical fouls for Dwight at 16.5. Last season Dwight finished the season with 18 with 4 more that were rescinded and did not count. The majority of those came in the beginning of the season with harsher rules. Easy bet here on the under.
  • JustBet.cx – MVP Award – Dwight listed as 4th at +475 behind Durant (+345), LeBron (+350), and Derrick Rose at (+450)
  • Bovada – Who will be the First Coach Fired during the regular season? This one is a little shocking in that they include Stan Van Gundy as the SECOND most likely coach to be fired at 4/1, tied with Paul Silas (Bobcats) and Flip Saunders (Wizards). This would be a gigantic mistake of it were to actually go down. Even if Dwight says Stan must go for him to stay, which is unlikely, I have a hard time seeing the franchise following the demand. Especially after how the franchise has seen past transgressions go down with Penny and T-Mac. The Kings Paul Westphal leads the list at 3-1.

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