The official if-gambling-on-sports-were-legal gambling guide to the NBA playoffs
Whether you’re an avid gambler or just a sports editor for a college newspaper who wagers a blueberry pie on his NCAA bracket (and loses), the world of favorites, underdogs, spreads, over/unders and odds can be an interesting field for sports fans. Even though the majority of sports fans don’t actually put money on sporting events on a regular basis, there’s still plenty of talk on sports radio and television about how many points a team is favored by on this week’s Monday Night Football game.That’s exactly why I thought the perfect gambling tie-in to the “Out of Bounds” page would come at the time of the NBA Playoffs. David Stern ultimately had no problem putting the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas, so it seems like a natural fit. Without further ado, here’s an exclusive look at the gambling lines for this year’s 2007 NBA Playoffs (use for actual betting purposes at your own risk):
The amount of times Shaq elbows a defender in the face and the defender is the one that gets called for the foul: 27
Rasheed Wallace technical fouls: 7
Rounds it would take Tim Duncan to knock out Joey Crawford in the proposed fight: 2
Number of times Stephen A. Smith’s voice is able to penetrate your remote control’s mute button: 8
The total amount of times Mark Cuban has to be held back from jumping on to the court and doing something that would put him in the Dennis Rodman-Ron Artest Hall of Fame: 10 (Double it if Dallas goes to the NBA Finals.)
Number of times Kobe drops 50-plus and the Lakers still lose: 2
John Cougar Mellencamp already has another “This is Our Country” commercial filmed just for the NBA Playoffs. 1:1
While you’re changing the channel away from “This is Our Country,” that same ad is on another channel. 4:1
The Wizards can win a first-round playoff series without “Hibachi.” 300:1
Charles Barkley says something you wouldn’t want your grandmother hearing: 1:3
LeBron and the Cavs struggle in their first-round matchup but get the “benefit of the doubt” from the refs and advance anyway. 3:1
Teams that have marketable stars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant that David Stern wants to promote to increase the TV ratings (-25) over the Raptors, Jazz, Nets, Warriors, etc.
Complaints about the officiating (-150,000) over compliments about the officiating
WRITINGS ON THE WALL:RUNS NOT FOR SALE IN SAN FRAN
If you don’t get the joke, the headline for this section is, indeed, paying tribute to the fact that the Giants’ offense is so bad that they can’t buy a run. In its first nine games, San Francisco scored 20 runs, thanks in large part to three shutouts. A little simple math tells us that the Goliath by the Bay averaged a whopping 2.2 runs per game. Well, surely that’s enough to win some games … if your starting rotation is Roger Clemens, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Bob Gibson and Greg Maddux in their primes, maybe. The good news is that the Giants have improved a little bit over the last few days. Barry Bonds recently hit two home runs in a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The dingers helped the Giants climb up the league’s home run leaders list. They’re so high, in fact, that if “the Giants” was a player instead of a team, they would have surpassed Jimmy Rollins and tied Alex Rodriguez for the MLB lead in homers. Good job, Giants.
BULL MARKETJIMMY ROLLINS
Rollins is absolutely on fire, leading the National League in home runs and slugging percentage, and leading the Phillies to … last place in the NL East. C’mon Phillies, you’ve got the friggin’ Nationals in your division. J-Roll is almost outhomering the Giants (see above) and you’re neck-and-neck with a AAA team. It’s got to be Pat Burrell’s fault somehow.
BEAR MARKETCHICAGO CUBS
Star third baseman Aramis Ramirez and new 2007 signee Mark DeRosa are dinged up. Lou Piniella already went on his first tirade. Well, at least Alfonso Soriano, this year’s marquee free agent, is healthy and performing. Wait, he’s hurt, too? Wow, that’s tough luck. I think I can hear the groaning all the way from the North Side … or is that a billy goat I hear?
Yankees at Red Sox (Sunday, 8 p.m., ESPN): Not sick of this rivalry yet? Well, prepare to be, as ESPN’s two most talked-about teams (usually pro-Sox and anti-Yankee) are taking center stage. But that’s not the best part. Dice-K is pitching! It’s about time this guy got some national recognition. I haven’t heard a thing about him since he got to the States. He’ll be opposed by equally-heralded Yankee rookie Chase Wright. Wait, who?
NBA Playoffs (Starting Saturday): Whew! Thank God, the Lakers are in the playoffs … David Stern would have had a heart attack. Now we can get down to business. The first round should feature some big upsets from little-known teams and plenty of excitement. Oh, this is the first round of the NBA we’re talking about? In that case, get ready for no upsets and tons of butt kicking to the “nth” degree.
YouTubin’Clip of the Week
See the video atyoutube.com/villanovansportsJust in time for the NBA Playoffs, here’s the clip of what is perhaps the most memorable and clutch postseason moment of the last 15 years. On May 7, 1995, the New York Knicks met the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks were up 105-99 with 18.7 seconds left, when Reggie Miller … who am I kidding, you know the rest.
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