NBA betting continues to be strong

May 8, 2001 9:32 AM

With the NBA playoffs wide open, reports each week indicate that betting is above average this year.

"I’m getting good play on the NBA," said Bert Osborne, Gold Coast sports book director. "It’s been back and forth between the house and the public. One day we win and on another day we’ll get beat."

Last week at Coast Casinos, Sacramento’s Game 4 win over Phoenix in the first round was a big win for the public. Sacramento was a 1-point favorite and rallied from a big deficit to win the game and clinch the series.

The house did well on Toronto’s Game 4 win over New York Friday and Dallas’ Game 5 win over Utah. The Knicks were -4, and the Jazz were -3.

"The public got the Sacramento game right," Osborne said. "But with those other games, the public went with the home teams. A lot of people had the Knicks."

As for betting on who will win the series, "We’re getting fair play," Osborne said. "But that’s a whole different animal."

Props on NBA

The Mirage sports book is offering odds on by how many games a team will win their series.

In the Sacramento Kings series with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Lakers are 13-2 to sweep, 2-1 to win in five, 7-2 to win in six and 5-2 to win in seven. Meanwhile, the Kings are 20-1 to win in four, 17-1 to win in five, 11-2 in six and 17-2 in seven.

"These will be more prominent in the finals," said The Mirage race and sports book director Robert Walker.

In the Charlotte-Milwaukee series, the Bucks are -1 to sweep, 5-2 to win in five, 9-2 to win in six and 5-2 to win in seven. The Hornets are 12-1 to win in five, 9-2 in six and 8-1 in seven.

As of last weekend at The Mirage, the Los Angeles Lakers are +130 to win the NBA championship. The San Antonio Spurs were 8-5, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers at 5-1. The Milwaukee Bucks were 9-1.

NHL betting

At The Mirage, the Colorado Avalanche (-120) have emerged as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The New Jersey Devils are next at 11-5, followed by the St. Louis Blues at 7-2.

According to Walker, the coolest game on Earth burned the house on Saturday.

In Toronto’s Game 5 win over New Jersey, the public liked the winning Maple Leafs.

"There was a lot of play on the Maple Leafs," Walker said.

Stratosphere bets

Even though the Stratosphere race and sports book has taken phone bets since January 2000, phone betting there has recently taken off.

But why the recent success? The system was automated but is now handled by ticket writers. The process is quicker with a writer than via automation.

"It is now really starting to take off as we build a niche with customers who prefer our live system to an automated one," said Keith Williams, vice president of casino operations. "Our system is for customers who do not want to risk mistakes with an automated system and those who want up-to-the-minute updates by the actual ticket writer."

Phone accounts are set with a $500 minimum deposit. Customers are assigned account numbers and an 800 number to place a bet. A customer then uses a password (chosen by the customer) for security purposes. There is a $25 minimum wager on phone account transactions and a $2,200 maximum limit per day.