Tag Archives: Orlando Magic

Will to Win

If you read the last post you may have been worried that your new second-favourite blogger had gone bust. Lost his bank betting on the NBA and was forced to sell a kidney. Fear not loyal readers, Flash is back on track! Going 3-1 this weekend, with a couple of hefty wins opposing Orlando this weekend.

The first came in-play opposing Orlando v Toronto, and the second came a day later backing the New York Knicks at Orlando.

Orlando were 1.13 (-769 US)  at home to New York 6.50 (+550) on Saturday night. Both teams were on the second game of a back to back and neither team has anything to play for at this stage of the season. I would describe this matchup simply as a crap team against a super shit team. Backing a team like Orlando at those odds is a one way ticket to the poor house, even at home against a team as horrendous at this year’s New York Knicks.

Perhaps the betting market has forgotten that the Magic is a bad team, or maybe people are starting to appreciate their rookie point guard’s haircut:

Elfid Payton – It looks like a wig that’s on back to front

Silly haircuts aside, something important at this stage of the season, when there’s a handful of games before the playoffs start, is that some teams have nothing to play for, while others have everything to play for.

Some teams have secured a place in the playoffs, and their seeding, and may (and should) rest their star players for the playoffs. Some teams have to win every game to qualify for the playoffs. While it’s easy to say that some teams have nothing at all to play for, with no chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Some of the players at those teams have everything to play: their future in the league with getting a new contract.

Evaluating a team’s will to win is as important as evaluating a team’s ability to win.

This brings up the following question: How do short priced favourites do at this stage of the season?

With recent results in mind, there does seem to be a lot of blowouts. So does the betting market overvalue or undervalue favourites?

So, I fired up my trusty NBA database, and had a look at the final 10 games of the season. This is what we get when looking at the moneyline odds of the home team:

40% - 0% was grouped together due to a really small sample size in the 20% - 0% range
40% – 0% was grouped together due to a really small sample size in the 20% – 0% range

Backing short-priced favourites at home (1.02 – 1.24) , in the last 10 games of the season has a return on Investment (ROI) of -9%. The interesting thing to note is that opposing the short-priced home favourite (backing the long-priced road team) has ROI of 11%. Nice, retirement is coming early!

“So you’re saying that I should just wait until the final 10 games of the NBA regular season, take out a loan, and start lumping on the long-priced road team?”

Er… no. You could look at whatever section of data and something may pop out. Be it via using a small sample size, or just random chance.

What I have done is provide a little bit of evidence to my opinion that you should be careful when backing short priced favourites at this time of year, looking to oppose them is a better idea.