The Orlando Magic are in the middle of one of the hottest betting starts in the NBA right now, and most people are missing it because the basketball world is focused on the Golden State Warriors. Yeah, Steph Curry is spectacular, and, yeah, the Warriors are still undefeated, but you can keep all those highlights and advanced stats and give me the 3-5 Magic any day. Why, you might ask? Because while Golden State is a solid 5-3 ATS, Orlando currently has the best ATS mark in the league with a 7-1 record after covering seven straight games to open up the season.
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Teams like Orlando fall under the radar all the time in the NBA, even with bettors who look for this stuff, because we all get caught up with all the amazing things that teams like the Warriors or San Antonio Spurs are doing on a nightly basis. However, Orlando, a team that might struggle to reach the .500 mark, could be the best ATS bet in the league this season. Let's take a closer look at the Magic and figure out why they are covering so many games in this edition of ATS report card.
Overall ATS Record: 7-1
ATS +/-: +4.5 points
Orlando hasn't been on most people's radar since Dwight Howard left the team a few seasons ago. However, the organization has spent those post-Howard years wisely rebuilding with young talent through the NBA draft, and those excellent choices are starting to pay dividends (for bettors at least). If you don't follow the NBA with a nerd-like attention to detail, start keeping an ear out for names like Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, CJ Watson and Shabazz Napier.
Underdog ATS Record: 6-1
ATS +/-: +4.4
This is the category where Orlando will continue to shine throughout the rest of the year. That gaudy 85 percent win rate will certainly drop into the 66 to 70 percent mark (where the best ATS underdogs end up at the end of the season). Orlando isn't necessarily a great defensive squad-the team gives up 101 points per game-but it has enough talent on offense to keep games close and even score back-door points late in games to cover those underdog spreads. The Magic's key to success will be the huge points they will receive throughout the year. The team is currently receiving +6.28 points on average as an underdog through seven games this season.
Favorite ATS Record: 1-0
Orlando is a team with potential, but bettors shouldn't go to the opposite extreme of thinking of the squad as an actual "good team". Last season the Boston Celtics ended up as one of the best ATS underdog groups, but they managed to produce only an 18-15 mark as a favorite, which is slightly above the break-even point. Orlando averages almost the exact amount of points that they give up, so expecting them to give up points is a bit farfetched.
The biggest key to Orlando's potential ATS success is the fact that the team plays the "new-school" style basketball. They focus on assists, spacing, passing, ball movement and playing as a team. And even though the Magic are not great at it just yet, the fact that they play that way will lead to future success. Orlando at the moment is ranked in the Top 10 is assists, which allows them to score easy buckets and keep games close.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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