Vegas Gamblers Betting Heavy on the Lakers’ Title Chances

According to many gamblers (and their wallets), the Los Angeles Lakers are the surest bet to win the 2013 NBA championship. Reports the LA Times: “Bettors have such robust faith in the refortified Lakers that they have placed more wagers on them to win the 2013 NBA title than any other team at nearly a dozen Las Vegas sports books. Yes, that includes the defending champion Miami Heat and the same Oklahoma City Thunder that quickly bounced the Lakers out of the playoffs this year. The Heat has slightly more money bet on it at several sports books but lags far behind the Lakers in terms of number of bets. ‘People just keep betting them,’ Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports for the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, said of the Lakers, ‘and I can understand why.’ Adding the game’s best center and a soon-to-be Hall of Fame point guard to a roster already featuring Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol has made many bettors consider the Lakers a (purple and) gold ticket. Kornegay said the Lakers have ‘by far the most tickets on them’ to win the title at his sports book, where they have drawn more than twice the money to win the title than the Heat. The Lakers have four times as many bets placed on them at MGM Resorts than does the Heat. This avalanche of wagers on the Lakers turned them into co-favorites to win the title this season, matching the same 9-4 odds as Miami and topping the Thunder’s 4-1 odds, according to the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.”