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Behind the lines

Gamblers throwing support behind Spurs

May 29, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

It's probably not much of a surprise for gamblers to see the Lakers listed as eight-point home favorites over San Antonio for tonight's Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

After all, things do not look good for the Spurs, who trail, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series.

San Antonio, which suffered a 30-point defeat to the Lakers in its last appearance at Staples Center in Game 2, has lost six of eight road postseason games and needs to win three in a row over the Lakers in order to advance to the NBA Finals again.

The Spurs also have to deal with the streaking Lakers, who have not lost a home game throughout the playoffs and are coming off a two-point victory at San Antonio in Game 4.

Yet, early betting action had the Spurs getting more support than the Lakers for tonight's game.

As of Wednesday, San Antonio had received 63.38% of the picks against the point spread according to Wagerline.com, and the Spurs were the choice for 58% at theSpread.com.

But gamblers should note that San Antonio is 2-5 against the spread in its last seven games as an underdog, and 3-9 against the spread in its last 12 road games overall.

The Spurs do have one trend working in their favor and that's their 14-5 record against the spread over their last 19 games in the Conference finals. The over/under for tonight's game is 193.5.

Hockey

With Detroit holding an edge over Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals, several Red Wings have emerged as favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs.

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood is listed in the top spot with even odds, followed by Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg at 6-1.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby is also listed at 6-1 with his teammate Evgeni Malkin at 8-1.

Horse racing

The odds on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown have not really changed since the horse was diagnosed with a crack in his left front foot last week.

Big Brown is listed with 1-3 odds to win the Belmont Stakes on June 7th and is involved in several proposition bets available at Bodoglife.com.

Will Big Brown become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner? Yes (-300) or no (+250); Will Big Brown and Curlin race against each other in 2008? Yes (+330) or no (-500); Will Big Brown race again after the Belmont Stakes? Yes (+275) or no (-400) and Will Big Brown remain undefeated in 2008? Yes (-250) or no (+180).

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This story is not intended as a tip sheet, but is an account of significant betting taking place in the sports world.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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