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Recently, network coding has been applied to reliable multicast in wireless networks to improve the transmission efficiency. The expected value of network coding gain, i.e., the ratio of the average number of transmissions per packet when using the conventional non-coding transmission to that when using the coding-based transmission, is an important metric to understand the benefit from using network coding. It is notable, however, that the direct calculation of expected coding gain is computationally infeasible. This paper introduces an efficient estimation for the expected coding gain with much lower computation cost. A formula is also derived to bound the error from our estimation.