It should come as no shock Vegas is taking action on NBA Summer League games

Posted: July 19, 2013 in NBA
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By W.G. Ramirez

Reminiscent of Captain Renault in Casablanca, who was “shocked, SHOCKED!” to find there was gambling at Rick’s Café Américain in Casablanca, NBA Summer League founder Warren LeGarie about fell over when I asked him if he knew there were betting lines on the games being played this week at the Cox Pavilion and Thomas and Mack Center.

I don’t know if looks are facetious, but I’m sure LeGarie’s was when he said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Nonetheless, lo and behold, the LVH Superbook is taking action on the summer league games taking place here in Las Vegas, while a scant few offshore joints are also in action.

And here’s the rundown: the underdogs have been the winning choice, as they’re 24-19 since the start of the league, with three games being a pick and a fourth not having a line. As for the totals, the Under has been an overwhelming moneymaker, with a 29-17 mark.

Actually, with the totals, since the Under broke out on a 16-2 run after the first three days, things have leveled off with the Over on a 15-13 streak since Monday.

There’s no telling how much action is coming in on the games, which are played by teams comprised of mostly no-names hoping to make the NBA. There are a few big names in the pack, and as LeGarie pointed out, the league is simply trying to put a good product on the court and a provide a good show for exuberant basketball fans still salivating from the exhilarating seven-game NBA Finals.

“All we do is want to make this more competitive, we want people to play for something meaningful, we think it adds another element, we think the fans get involved especially with our seating,” LeGarie said. “This is good.”

I’m sure there are some people having fun with the point spreads, and they’re showing up at the arenas with betting slips in their pocket. Why not, with an opportunity to wager on games and then watch the games in person?

With the championship bracket in the quarterfinals, I would imagine the LVH Superbook lines will be tighter and the totals could be a little truer to form. I would also have to assume the action will increase for the final weekend.

“I’m not a gambler, I’m not a bettor,” said ESPN NBA analyst Kurt Rambis. “From everything I’ve heard about betting and gambling they’ll bet and gamble on anything, so why not the summer league games?”

Exactly, and even Capt. Renault wouldn’t be shocked!


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