Pro Basketball's James Harden fine with Rockets

Nov 6, 2012 3:07 AM

If you think Alabama can’t be stopped for the Championship, the best value you’re going to find in set odds is 4-to-5 placed on them by the LVH Super Book.

The Crimson Tide play Texas A&M this week as 15-point favorites and then get a tune-up game against Western Carolina – really, they needed this game on their schedule. Then Bama plays an uncompetitive Auburn team before likely facing Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Kansas State and Oregon are both listed at 3-1, with outsiders like Notre Dame and LSU at 10-1. Georgia’s hopes are still alive based on the SEC title game and are listed at 20-1. Florida is 25-1 and needing a lot of help to get in.

Oregon still has a long way to go. The Ducks play ranked Stanford and Oregon State to close out the season and then it’s on to the Pac-12 Championship game.

Kansas State’s road isn’t easy either. The Wildcats play at TCU, at Baylor and host Texas, but don‘t have a conference title game to play. 

If able to be here in Las Vegas through this entire period, rather than take the set odds, the best thing to do is bet each game on the money-line and roll the winnings over each game, all the way through the Championship.

You’ll get a little better payout on each team, and especially more with Kansas State and Oregon. Alabama would be a 5-to-6-point favorite over Oregon and 10-to-11 over K-State.

Harden Impact

James Harden has been lighting up NBA teams through his first three games with 106 combined points, carrying the Rockets to a 2-1 record. Because of the sudden trade that sent him from the Thunder – just days before the season started, the sports books didn’t know how to react initially with each teams rating. 

After watching Harden put up 82 points in two games, LVH Super Book assistant manager Jeff Sherman made an adjustment of 2 points on the Rockets rating and subtracted a half-point from the Thunder. However, no changes were made on the futures with the Rockets still being 300-1.

Lakers Chemistry 

The Lakers avoided an 0-4 start for the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles by defeating the Pistons 108-79 on Sunday. It was their first win on any kind since May 18, a span of 12 games that included the playoffs, preseason and regular season. 

The blowout win may have kept the media off their backs for a few days, but their chemistry looks like it’s going to take a lot longer than a few weeks before getting into prime conditioning. It’s hard putting big time talent on the same floor together for the first time. These Lakers haven’t played together as a unit, except for one half of play. Steve Nash will be out another week, 

Dwight Howard’s back kept him from being on the floor for much of the preseason and Kobe Bryant’s foot is sure to have him miss plenty more games. 

The Lakers were able to mask all their defensive issues and turnovers against the Pistons because Detroit might be the worst team in the league. Fortunately for the Lakers, they play only one road game until Thanksgiving, this Wednesday at Utah. It will be a lot easier for them to jell at home than on the road.

Between the bench, age and being slow footed on defense, this team looks a long ways away from being a Championship type of club, but yet they’re still 4-1 to win the title at sports books – second choice behind the Heat (8-5). 

Part of the reason for the low odds is because of the jeopardy incurred when the Howard deal was announced. The Thunder (9-2), Spurs (10-1) and Clippers (15-1) all look to have a better chance of advancing through the West than the Lakers do. The biggest reason is team chemistry and bench-play. Have you seen the Clippers bench with Jamal Crawford? And the Clips still have Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups set to join the team soon.

The Election

We don’t take odds on the Presidential election here in Nevada, but our friends do across the pond and are doing amazing business. Through the weekend, over $16 million had been wagered on the U.S. election at English bookmaking giant William Hill.

President Obama is -400 to be re-elected and Mitt Romney is +300. They even posted odds on states the candidate would win with Obama being -500 in Nevada.

William Hill had rapidly adjusted their odds based on the polls after each of the three debates, where Romney gained some ground after the second debate with Obama being only -250. But between the third debate and actual cash pushing the number, Obama has gained substantial favor at the betting windows in England.

Hello, Aliante

The new sports book operation at Aliante opened without a hitch last Thursday. Credit Marc Nelson and his staff along with Stadium Technologies for getting the new wagering system up and running in a short 10-hour window after the property was taken over from Station Casinos.

Ideally, a changeover of wagering systems would be best suited for the summer months when only baseball is going, but the Aliante crew got thrust right into the action with the Breeders’ Cup on a busy football weekend in the fall. As timing would have it, their first football weekend also happened during one of the biggest losing football weekends ever for Las Vegas sports books.

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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