Some more fuel for conspiracy theorists came last week when “like Magic” Dwight Howard finally appeared on the Los Angeles Lakers roster in a four-way trade benefitting everyone except the dealer.
All the Magic received were some B-listers and three first round selections all of which figure to be late picks since the Lakers, Rockets and Sixers have an excellent chance of making the playoffs.
The focus here is on Howard, the NBA’s top center and future franchise player for the Lakers. Naturally the Vegas books dramatically shifted the NBA championship odds after the move, which figures to place the Lakers right with, if not past, Oklahoma City in the West.
R.J. Bell, founder of Pregame.com, immediately posted updated odds on the NBA championship. Before Howard, the Lakers were +700 or No. 3 in the league. After Howard, +300 and No. 2 behind Miami.
Here’s the top six (using a $100 wager as the model)
Heat +200; Lakers +300; Thunder +400; Bulls +1200; Spurs +1200; Celtics +1800.
There was a lot of social chatter that the NBA wanted Howard on the Lakers to guarantee fan interest and as a ratings grabber for years to come when Kobe Bryant decides to hang it up.
Confirmation of this laborious trade, when Orlando seemingly could have fared better dealing Howard to Brooklyn directly, suggests there is reason for thinking somebody got to Orlando ownership.
Emmels = OVER
Bell also provided some interesting trends when Paul Emmels umpires major league baseball games, particularly behind the plate.
• 21 times MORE runs were scored in the game than the early posted totals from Las Vegas sports books.
• Only ONCE were less runs scored in the game than expected.
• Rocket science: Betting OVER involving Emmels, we would have been 21-1. That’s a pretty good trend.
According to Bells, the odds of this occurring randomly are more than 182,000-to-1 against. History though suggests this may just apply for 2012. In 13 prior seasons as an umpire, Emmels games had gone OVER just 48% of the time.
Judging from post-game comments after last week’s 27-17 loss at Kansas City, you might want to consider betting on Arizona as a highly motivated team this Friday hosting the Oakland Raiders.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t play better,’’ said Cardinals HC Ken Whisenhunt. “I don’t accept that. I just don’t think it was a good effort by our team and I’m glad we’ve got three games left to clear that up.’’
The cloud still hovers over the QB position with neither John Skelton nor Kevin Kolb able to step up as the No. 1 guy. Management is banking on Kolb, who they spent big bucks for in luring and signing him from the Eagles. That’s, of course, the money talking.
The reality is Arizona’s offense performs better with Skelton in the lineup. Sounds like the Tim Tebow episode in Denver last year.
On the upside is Andrew Luck’s nice opener against St. Louis. Thus bettors are playing the Colts to go OVER 5½ wins for the season.
The down is Chad Johnson getting the boot at Miami. The doppler radar shows “Ocho affect” as in 0.