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Despite loss, Lakers are a slight favorite

Times Staff Writer

The gambling response to Boston’s 10-point victory over the Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals has been mixed.

Although the Celtics won Thursday’s game, 98-88, and opened as a one-to-two point favorite to win tonight’s Game 2, strong support for the Lakers has forced the line to move.

As of late Saturday afternoon, the Lakers were a one-point favorite, according to the Las Vegas Mirage sportsbook.

Boston, which covered a three-point spread in Game 1, held only a 53% edge in bets against the spread at VegasInsider.com. Wagerline.com’s totals were nearly the same, with the Celtics receiving 51.84% of the picks.

In comparison, action for over-under combined points has been one-sided.

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The total of 190 -- higher than Game 1’s total of 186 -- has attracted a great deal of bets on the over.

InsideVegas.com’s betting trend has support for the over hovering between 70% and 75% since the line was released.

Bettors should be aware of a couple of trends.

In the playoffs, the Lakers scored 95 or more points in their first five road games but have averaged only 88.3 over their last three away from Staples Center.

Also, the under is 6-0 in the Lakers last six games overall and the under is 4-1 in the last five games between the teams in Boston.

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In Game 1, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 24 points but needed 26 shots and six points from the free-throw line.

A proposition bet at Sportsbook.com for tonight’s game has the over-under total for Bryant’s free-throw attempts at 8.5 with the over at (-105) and under at (-125).

Here are several other prop bets connected to Game 2 -- Bryant’s total combined points and rebounds: over 34.5 (-115) or under 34.5 (-115); Lakers’ Lamar Odom total points: over 14 (-105) or under 14 (-125); and will Boston’s Ray Allen miss a free throw? Yes (+220) or No (-300).

Pro Football

With the opening of NFL training camps still weeks away, it’s always interesting to see future odds listed for pro football bets.

For example, Bodoglife.com has a wager for the 2008 NFL defensive rookie of year and there are 35 players listed with “the field” as the 36th option.

Linemen Glenn Dorsey of Kansas City and Chris Long of St. Louis have the best odds at 7-1, followed by Jacksonville end Derrick Harvey and Cincinnati linebacker Keith Rivers at 8-1.

New Orleans lineman Sedrick Ellis and New England linebacker Jerod Mayo are next at 9-1, with New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston at 10-1.

At first glance, Rivers, Mayo and Gholston seem to be in good position when you consider that linebackers have won the award in seven of the last eight years.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com


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