Orlando is sitting on eleven points through nine games and is currently sitting in fourth place in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. Many would look at this and show excitement for the future, seeing how the Lions are in the playoff hunt and have been earning points--even though draws are prevalent so far this season.
Orlando has spun together an unbeaten record at home with one win and four draws and the team has one win, two losses and one draw on the road. Considering that Orlando has been earning points on average at home at a 1.4 point per game (ppg) clip and 1.0 ppg on the road we can take a quick look at where it might end up for the season.
With 34 total games in the MLS season and nine already played, Orlando has 25 games left to earn points with 12 of those at home. So, if the Lions continue the trends in points per game would end up with 24 points at home and 17 points on the road. That total of 41 points would be good enough for eighth in 2015.
Perhaps this speaks to how as a whole the Eastern Conference is underperforming, or how tightly packed the teams are. Through week nine there is only seven points separating the first-place Montreal Impact (14 points) from the last-place Chicago Fire (seven points). This tight grouping of teams up until this point may allow some teams in the near future to escape the pack, but with Orlando's current form in which over the last five games being no wins, two losses and three draws, an escape to separate itself from this middling Eastern Conference may be improbable.
Looking ahead, The Mane Land has updated the favorites or underdog look:
Needing to set guidelines to determine a team's winning potential, a range from +1 to -1 was used. A +1 point in the differential will result in the team having a high chance of winning and vice versa, if they have a -1 point differential they have a high chance of a loss. If the range is between +.5 points to +1 point the team has a chance to win or draw and from -.5 to -1 points may result in a loss or draw. Lastly those matches that are within the +.5 to -.5 point differential would be considered "up for grabs." Using this data, we can see by how much Orlando is either a favorite or an underdog.
Below is the visual associated with the favorite or underdog look using point differential from matches so far in the 2016 season, where anything in green is a positive point differential and anything in red is a negative point differential. Anything in yellow is within the .5 and -.5 spread to show that the game is too close to call:
Moving forward, it does not look like Orlando will have many opportunities where it is favored to earn points in bunches, but the Lions do seem to hit some rough patches in July and September that could derail hopes for the playoffs.
And yes, Orlando was pretty heavily favored just this Friday versus NYRB, but only came away with a single point. It is about time they kick this 2016 season into gear and start earning the W's.