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For the first time ever since the National Finals Rodeo competition has been coming to Las Vegas, there will be odds posted on a few of the events.

Jay Rood, MGM Resorts vice-president of race and sports, has been trying to post the odds for years, but the NFR requested to all sports books that Las Vegas not post the odds.

Here in Las Vegas, we take bets on just about every type of competition sanctioned by an official league, and by offering odds it almost gives the sport some credibility. We’ve seen odds on local events like NASCAR, NHRA, PBA bowling, and Rood even got odds on the Pro Bull Riders started a few years back, but the NFR didn’t want it, at least until this season.

Rood said he wanted to offer something to make the NFR experience in Las Vegas even more unique. He was looking to post odds on the overall cowboy, tie-down roping, saddle bronc and bull riding. His main dilemma, once getting approval, was getting the proper results in a timely fashion to post. Once he was assured that would be no problem, it was time to set the numbers.

“I got some help from the NFR and other outlets that cover the sport, including a rundown of every bull,” Rood said. “Essentially, the entire (bull riding) line is based on what bull the rider will draw.”

Rood says he plans to update and adjust odds along the way. The action has been slow so far, but it may take a while for all the cowboys in town to know betting is available and get them into a routine, because they’ve never done it before.

Dodgers odds drop

News broke Saturday that the Dodgers were close to signing free-agent pitcher Zack Grienke to a six-year $147 million deal, which would be the second most lucrative deal for a pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia’s $161 million deal. The news alone was enough to have the LVH Super Book drop the Dodgers odds to win the 2013 World Series from 10-1 down to 7-1.

Last season in an attempt to make the playoffs, which they failed, the Dodgers took on more than $300 million in salary obligations by trading for Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford.

Greinke was the top pitcher on the market and is a great No. 2 starter behind ace Clayton Kershaw. They look to have all the pieces in place to make a run for the playoffs this season, except for chemistry. There is something to be said for the teams that have the bulk of their players coming through their minor league systems, where the chemistry sometimes begins.

While the Dodgers and Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Kershaw are home grown, the rest of the key players have all been bought. Having said that, the Dodgers still need to buy a third baseman.

NBA favorites

Away chalk continues to be strong this season going 50-39 against-the-spread at a 56% clip. Overall, favorites are 154-135-8 ATS (53.2%) on the season. The top two cover teams in the league are the Thunder and Spurs, each at 14-6-1 ATS this season.

The Grizzlies had been up there as well and are still 12-5-1 ATS, but through Sunday had not covered in their past three games. The Heat are only 8-10 ATS this season as they battle inflated prices nightly. They are currently on a streak of covering only two of their last seven games.

The LVH Super Book has finally given in to the notion that the Lakers might need a lot more time and talent to jell before the playoff season starts. They raised the Lakers from 5-1 to win the NBA Championship up to 8-1, despite having extended risk of them when everyone jumped on the wagon after acquiring Dwight Howard. The Lakers have a 9-13 record, the same as their ATS record, and have lost two games in a row.

LVH still has the Heat 8-5 favorites followed by the Thunder (4-1) and Spurs (5-1). The most interesting looks of all right now might be three teams listed at 15-1 – the Knicks, Grizzlies and Clippers.

Moser Out

No. 21 UNLV beat Cal 76-75, but the victory celebration was short lived as All-American Mike Moser dislocated his elbow and might be lost for the season. The 6-8 forward has already been battling a hip flexor, but this is a huge blow for the team, and actually the city.

With all the four and five star recruits the Rebels signed over the summer, there was reason for optimism. A big part of that was having Moser leading the way. Moser averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds last season for the Rebels, the type of numbers that are hard to replace.

UNLV is currently 30-1 to win the NCAA title.

NASCAR testing

The new “sixth generation” car will get a two day workout at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Tuesday and Wednesday with most of the drivers expected to be present. It will serve as an early indicator on who will be fast in 2013 at the most important type of track to win the Championship – the 1.5-miler.

Because of the uncertainty of what’s about to happen with the new car, being able to take a look at these speeds could give bettors a boost on their thoughts for 2013. It’s especially a good indicator on who might do well early on at places like Las Vegas’ 1.5-mile track, which runs in March.

Aliante currently has odds posted for the Vegas race, so it could serve those well with favorable odds if checking the test times. Better do it fast because their guys there will be watching the testing as well.

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].

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