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Post trade deadline NBA title odds: Top four in East now even, Lakers fall

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When it comes to betting on who will win the NBA title, bookmakers wisely have the Warriors on very low odds and a big gap to everyone else.

But how did that change after the trade deadline?

After missing out on Anthony Davis, the odds of a Lakers’ title this season plummeted to 40/1. That it’s that low speaks to the power of LeBron James — and the fact bookmakers hedge against bets from the massive Lakers’ nation.

The arms race at the top of the Eastern Conference has bookmakers trying to figure it out like the rest of us — they now have Boston, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia all tied at 10/1 odds. (Meaning if you bet $10 on Boston and it won, you’d win $100).

Of course, it’s still Golden State way, way out in front in the bookmakers’ minds. As it should be. Here are the championship odds for the top 10 teams after the trade deadline, via Westgate. (In parenthesis is where they were on Feb. 4, days before the deadline.)

1. Warriors -250 (-250)
2 (T). Celtics +1000 (+800)
2 (T). Raptors +1000 (+800)
2 (T). Bucks +1000 (+1200)
2 (T). 76ers +1000 (+1600)
6. Rockets +1200 (+1400)
7. Thunder +1600 (+1600)
8. Nuggets +3000 (+4000)
9 (T). Lakers +4000 (+1600)
9 (T). Jazz +4000 (+5000)

If you can pick which team is coming out of the East there’s a little value in a bet — that team will make the NBA Finals, and while massive underdogs it will at least get to take its swings at the Warriors. But this NBA season does feel a little like Secretariat at the Belmont.

NBA ramping up security, education as sports gambling grows around United States

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You don’t have to look any further than today’s headlines — four professional tennis players in Europe arrested for match-fixing — to understand the NBA’s concern.

With sports betting cleared by the Supreme Court and more and more states in the USA making legal, the concerns about the integrity of the game increase as well. The NBA wants a cut of that sports gambling money — they’ve been asking for one percent, although that is a long process — and say part of that money will go toward not letting gaming become a problem within the sport.

With the NBA in London — where sports betting is legal and big business — for the Knicks vs. Wizards on Thursday, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum talked about it to ESPN.

The NBA is preparing to double down on policing its players, teams and staff amid the expansion of legalized sports gambling in the United States, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told ESPN…

That will mean extra resources to prevent the kind of in-house infractions that have plagued a number of sports, such as soccer, tennis and cricket…

“A lot of it has to do with education with respect to our players, with respect to our teams,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time learning from the mistakes that were made and what we’re seeing in sports betting in places around the world.

“We’re trying to educate our fans. We’re educating our players and our teams. We’re taking a little bit of a cautious approach here. … But generally, we think it’s a good thing for sports betting to be regulated, to be legalized, so there is better information being captured.”

In the NBA, the concern isn’t as much the old-school “we’ll pay Player X $10,000 to throw the game” type of operations because the handful of players each game who could actually influence a game that way make so much money the gamblers couldn’t give them enough and make it pencil out (that’s more of a college concern where NCAA players are unpaid).

However, a player with a gambling addiction that gets into deep debt could be another matter.

The NBA will have to go forward with these initiatives, regardless of how much — if any — money they get from states as a cut of gambling revenue. While all the professional leagues want their piece of the pie, the casinos and online betting industry aren’t going to just give that money away. Also, the states are going to want their cut. There are a lot of hands out with this newfound revenue source.

It’s all about the money and it’s something to watch unfold in the next few years.

 

 

 

Kyrie Irving out Wednesday vs. Timberwolves due to eye injury

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Monday night, Kyrie Irving had to leave the game against the Spurs midway through the fourth quarter after an inadvertent Marco Belinelli elbow caught Irving in the eye (Irving did return to the court for the final couple of minutes).

Irving now will miss at least a game because of it, he is out Wednesday night for a nationally televised game against Minnesota, something reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

That means Terry Rozier gets the start. Don’t be shocked if Rozier, who has been itching for a larger role after last season’s playoff run, goes off in an effort to show he deserves more run.

Irving has established himself at the top of the Celtics’ offensive pecking order and leads the team in points (23.1 a night) and assists (6.6).