LAST YEAR’S BEST AT A BARGAIN
Such is college basketball life when one season makes a career. The mass exodus to the NBA Draft for standouts like Kevin Love, Brandon Rush and Derrick Rose has bounced UCLA, Kansas and Memphis respectively from favorite to longshot for at least a repeat trip to the Final Four.
The Las Vegas Hilton dropped current champ Kansas to 20-1 to win the title. National runnerup Memphis, without Rose and Chris Douglas Roberts, is also 20-1. UCLA, which could lose four starters early, is 25-1.
Caesars Palace lists Kansas at 10-1, UCLA at 15-1 and Memphis at 25-1. Both books have North Carolina the favorite (4-1 Caesars, 6-1 Hilton). Texas is 5-1 at Caesars, while the Longhorns and Duke are 10-1 at the Hilton. Check p.14 for more odds.
HILTON ZAPS ESPN WITH NFL LINES
ESPN made a big spectacle of the NFL releasing its 2008 regular season schedule. Well, here in Vegas, it’s the Week 1 lines and Super Bowl odds that count and the Hilton has them. On Thursday, Sept. 4 the defending Super Bowl champ NY Giants are a 4-point favorite at Washington in the season opener.
In Sunday action: Cincy is a pick’em at Baltimore; the Jets are -3 at Miami; KC +15½ at New England; Houston +7 at Pittsburgh; Jacksonville -2½ at Tennessee; Detroit -1 at Atlanta; Seattle +2 at Buffalo; Tampa Bay +3½ at New Orleans; St. Louis +6½ at Philly; Dallas -3 at Cleveland; Carolina +8½ at San Diego; Arizona -3½ at San Francisco; and Chicago +9 at Indianapolis. In a Monday night twinbill on ESPN, Minnesota is +3 at Green Bay and Denver -2½ at Oakland – Mark Mayer.