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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.

 

 

 

Memphis ends gambling on flights

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Professional athletes gambling while traveling is far from some new issue — what do you think Babe Ruth did to pass the time on train rides, read? Today, when players travel by charter plane, card game gambling is commonplace.

Fights over money won and lost are not uncommon (very few make it public).

The latest fight was between Memphis’ O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen, which led Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins to announce a ban on in-flight gambling, a team spokesman told the Associated Press Wednesday. Gambling in team hotels also has been banned.

Whether or not there had been an official ban, there was going to be no more gambling on flights, Grizzlies captain Rudy Gay said on the Jim Rome radio show.

“From now on, we’re playing Candyland,” Gay told Rome.

Banning gambling is a step several teams took in the wake of the Gilbert Arenas/Javaris Crittenton dispute last year that ended up with the gun incident in the Wizards locker room (and the ensuing suspensions).

The league is not going to mandate the action and apparently will not take action against the players, keeping this an internal team matter.

Mayo did not play Tuesday night for the Grizzlies, officially because of “bronchitis” but nobody actually believes that. He was either still injured — all reports are Allen got the best of the fight by far — or it was a team disciplinary action because Mayo is said to have been the instigator.

The next Grizzlies flight will be Friday.

Charles Barkley has a couple words if you think he has a gambling problem

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Two years ago, Charles Barkley said he had probably lost $10 million gambling and that it might be a problem. That he liked gambling but had to learn to do so without losing so much money.

Now he tells GQ that he doesn’t have a problem (via TrueHoop):

“Yeah, I like to gamble. And I’m going to keep gambling. And I just have to tell people, if they don’t like it, they can kiss my a$%. F#@% ’em. You know, I quit gambling for a while. But then I was like, “Why am I quitting gambling? I don’t have a problem.”

It’s Barkley’s money. He’s earned it. If he feels the need to spend it to help make sure Steve Wynn has a roof over his head and a bed to sleep in, so be it. (I know we’re all a little concerned about the Wynn family and have tried to help out in our own way.) It’s America, he can do what he wants.

But gambling addition is a serious issue. Just because you can afford to lose is different than saying you do or don’t have a problem. Barkley may not have a problem, but the flippancy of the answer to what is a serious problem for many. I wish he would use his pulpit to help spread that message a little. But it’s America, he can do what he wants.