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Behind the lines

Some picks are off beaten path

May 16, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

Imagine having money placed on Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the same bet. It may sound crazy, but it can be done.

Thanks to websites such as Bodoglife.com, imaginative crossover proposition wagers are gaining in popularity.

Here are a few available regarding Saturday's Preakness Stakes: Which will be greater, Big Brown's margin of victory or Bryant's total assists in tonight's Game 6: Big Brown +2.5 lengths (-120) or Bryant 2.5 assists (-120); will the "all-sources" Preakness Stakes handle exceed the 2007 total of $57,360,494? Yes (even) or No (-140); will all NBC announcers pick Big Brown to win the Preakness Stakes? Yes (-330) or No (+230).

Pro basketball

It's win tonight or start summer vacation for the Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers, two solid teams on the brink of being eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

Both trail 3-2 in their best-of-seven series but will enjoy the role as home favorites for tonight's games.

Utah is listed as a four-point favorite over the Lakers, and Cleveland is a three-point favorite over Boston.

For bettors who like to play favorites, a two-team $100 parlay wager on the Jazz and Cavaliers would pay $260.

Although the home team has won every game in both series, the road team has not been shut out when it comes to covering the point spread.

For example, the Jazz entered Wednesday's Game 5 against the Lakers as 8.5-point underdogs but covered the line in the Lakers' 111-104 victory. It was only the third time in the last 14 games between the Jazz and Lakers that the road team covered the point spread.

In the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers began Game 5 as nine-point underdogs and covered the spread in the Celtics' 96-89 win. It was the eighth time in the last 12 games between Cleveland and Boston that the underdog covered the line.

The Lakers, 3-7-1 against the spread in their last 11 games at Utah, opened as 3.5-point underdogs for tonight's game, but the line quickly grew.

Hockey

In the history of the NHL, only two teams have rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series (the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942 and New York Islanders in 1975), and Las Vegas oddsmakers do not give the Dallas Stars much of a chance to pull it off against Detroit this year.

The Red Wings lead the series, 3-1, and are favored (-250) to win tonight's Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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