We were disappointed Friday night here in Las Vegas when then-No. 18 UNLV was shocked at home as a 10 ½-point favorite by Oregon. But, it’s fair to say the faithful in Westwood can hold the crown as being the most disappointed group of fans in college basketball after watching their No. 11 Bruins stink up Pauley Pavilion Sunday night.
UCLA was a 19-point favorite against Cal Poly-SLO and well on its way to a cover leading by 18 with 12 minutes to go only to lose 70-68. Cal Poly has never had a 20-win season in D-1 basketball and never made the NCAA tournament. They beat a UCLA squad full of future NBA players for the first time in school history. It was also the highest ranked team ever beaten by Cal-Poly, a team picked to finish seventh in the Big West.
Obviously with talent pool UCLA has, along with expectations, the rating most sports books have placed on the Bruins to make their point spreads has been out of whack, which isn‘t uncommon at this stage of the season with such a large pool of teams to rate.
The Bruins (4-2) are now 2-4 ATS and haven’t covered in their past three games. They have been favored in all six games this season.
This week UCLA welcomes Cal-State Northridge on Thursday and San Diego State on Saturday. The group of four and five star recruits on UCLA are going to jell soon, but the process may take a little longer for the books to adjust.
Will the numbers not be adjusted enough this week, or too much?
That’s the question all bettors will have to ask themselves when the numbers are posted. It’s likely the Bruins will still be over-inflated for the next week or so, or at least until the Aztecs take them down Saturday.
NBA Basketball Notes
• Denver has covered all eight of their wins through last Sunday’s. None of that winning, but failing to cover stuff that irritates so many bettors. The Nuggets also covered in one of their losses this season.
Ty Lawson has been a beast on both sides of the court and Andre Igoudala has fit in nicely. The big X-factor has been the emergence of Kenneth Faried who is constantly winning on the hustle meter with his defensive play, averaging 11½ rebounds per game.
• Charlotte only won seven games last season and has already matched that with a 7-5 record. The Bobcats have only been favored twice and covered both. Through Sunday, they had won three of four and six of eight.
A pair of former U-Conn Huskies have been leading the charge with Kemba Walker scoring 18.8 points game and Ben Gordon chipping in 13 a game. Maybe this will prove that Michael Jordan can be a good NBA executive.
• Phoenix has been the best OVER team this season at 10-4, but one of the worst cover teams at 4-10 ATS. Memphis is 9-2 ATS this season.
• As if football was enough of a killer for the sports books on weekends during the month of November, the NBA has been doing the same on a nightly basis.
“Basketball has been a struggle thus far, especially in the NBA,” said LVH Super Book vice-president Jay Kornegay. “Sharps have done well with their games and the public has done exceptionally well with their key feature games.”
The public betting trends are no different in football from basketball. They love to bet the favorites. And thus far, NBA favorites are 101-88-6 ATS.
• LVH is a great place to watch and experience NBA action daily just because of the crowd. The place is packed for pro hoops like no other on a weekday giving it the feel of being at a team’s hometown sports bar on game night. Every game is displayed prominently with halftimes offered on all and in-progress wagering available on a few key games.
• South Point is another good choice for an exciting NBA environment. They have a packed house on weekdays and also offer halftime wagering. Between the always .75 cent hot dogs and cheap beer – comped if your betting – it’s a very close second to the LVH.
• Michael’s is one amazing dining experience. The best in town!
I was fortunate enough to finally experience all the good things I had heard about it at South Point. I have lived in Las Vegas since 1982 and had always heard about Michael’s as being the best in the city when it was at Barbary Coast, but either between my dining budget or bad eating habits, I never found my way there.
Before even tasting the food, I was sold just from the atmosphere created and service. The place treated my family like royalty with up to five servers waiting near our table for anything and actually attending to my needs before I even knew it.
I like to chat with all the servers everywhere I go, and maybe I shouldn’t as much here as I would at a Macaroni Grill, but I wanted to know about some of the history of the place. Almost the entire staff left the old Michael’s at Barbary to follow Michael Gaughan – the Michael in the name of the place and president at South Point. I found that type of loyalty impressive and it says a lot about Gaughan’s character.
When the food came out, I was blown away by the quality and flavor. I had the best stone crab of my life as an appetizer. For an entrée, we had a full Maine lobster and the peppercorn New York strip. Both presented and tasted better than I had ever known it could be.
College Football Predictions
Here’s my call on this weekend’s college football conference title matchups.
MAC: N. Illinois -5 vs. Kent (NIU 48-41)
Pac-12: Stanford -9 vs. UCLA (Stanford 30-14)
C-USA: UCF pick vs. Tulsa (UCF 27-23)
SEC: Alabama -7 vs. Georgia (Alabama 30-13)
ACC: FSU -14 vs. Ga Tech (FSU 38-17)
Big Ten: Nebraska -2½ vs. Wisconsin (WIS 27-24)
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].