Now that the season’s started and we’ve closed our submissions to the contest, I figured it would be fun to share some of the data about what you all expect from the Magic. I’ll offer a few takeaways first, and you can see the full list of percentages in the table at the end.
In total, we had 39 submissions into the contest. If you don’t remember all the bets off the top of your head, you can find them listed at the bottom of the original article here.
In general, I set most of the lines projecting some modest improvement over last year’s numbers, such as “Over/under: 21.0 FTA/g.” Despite that, the community consistently favored the “over” on most of these bets, including Orlando’s free throw attempts, wins against the Southeast Division, defensive efficiency, and their offensive rebounds.
Interestingly, this trend didn’t carry over as much to the individual player props, which saw more even-to-negative reactions (e.g. Elfrid Payton’s TO/g). More on those player props in a bit.
Areas of agreement
There were a few categories which the community overwhelmingly agreed on. 92.3% of entries figured that the Magic would be a top-14 defensive team, and 84.6% thought that Orlando should win at least 7 games against the Southeast. For the record, I think I agree on both counts, but let’s not think about that first game against Miami too much, ok?
The most unified response, however, came in the “Biyombo fieldthrowovers” category, which 95% of you agreed would go “over” his previous season total. I’ll be honest here, I have no idea how you all came to the same conclusion. Do you think he’s going to shoot way better? Do you think his turnovers are going way up? I suppose if you think he’s going to play more that the “over” was the safer bet, but I was surprised to see so much unity behind such an arbitrary category.
Nearly even splits
A couple of prop bets featured nearly equally divided answers. When it came to Serge Ibaka’s long range accuracy, 53.8% took “over 34.5%,” against the 46.2% taking the under. Jeff Green’s playing time was an even more contentious issue, with exactly 19 picks on each side of the line before the final entry came in for “under 23.5 mpg.”
Nikola Vucevic’s games started was the last of the bets coming in within a 60-40 split, with 56.4% of you saying he’ll start under 60.5 games for Orlando.
Tiebreaker trivia and early marriage controversy
I asked you to predict the total number of points scored by Orlando this season as a tiebreaker in the likely event that two or more people get the same number of questions right. The low guess was “87.3,” which I’m sorry to say is already out of the picture now that Orlando scored 96 points after one game. The high guess was “82000,” which comes out to a 1000 ppg average. I like to imagine this person uses their Twitter account to exclusively tweet “#letsgomagic #puremagic” over and over again, at least 27 times a day.
(It’s probably safe to say that these were mistakes, with the former taking the per-game number and the latter slipping in one extra 0. I’ll probably take these as 7159 and 8200, respectively.)
Lastly, I wanted to offer some insight into an early controversy surrounding what qualifies as a “marriage proposal.” I’ve been promised by several other writers that they’ll track the occurrence of these proposals, if only because they loathe them so much that they can’t help but notice. We found ourselves debating the definition, however, when a “Will you marry me?” flashed on the jumbotron (the name of the hypothetically lucky lady escapes me). Did this count? What if the couple wasn’t there? Does it matter that the message was sponsored by a diamond company? Is it really a proposal if we don’t know if it’s a “yes” or “no”?
Ultimately, we decided it does not count. Our primary reason was that we had no evidence that the proposal actually took place, as there were no cameras trained on the couple, and no obvious signs of fanfare in the arena. Furthermore, this wouldn’t really capture the essence of the “sports event proposal,” which needs to happen mid-court, or at least up on the big screen. We here at Orlando Pinstriped Post take our fake proposition bets very seriously, and moving forward only visually obvious and public proposals will be considered.
|6.5 SE Division Wins||84.6%||15.4%|
|Defensive efficiency rank 14.5||92.3%||7.7%|
|2.5 players traded away||25.6%||74.4%|
|3.5 Marriage proposals||15.4%||84.6%|
|Ibaka, 34.5% 3FG%||53.8%||46.2%|
|Payton, 2.4 TO/g||64.1%||35.9%|
|Green, 23.5 mpg||48.7%||51.3%|
|Vucevic, 60.5 games started||43.6%||56.4%|
|Biyombo, 2.07 fieldthrowovers||94.9%||5.1%|