Lakers continue to provide full coverage

Times Staff Writer

The Lakers are three-point road underdogs for today’s Game 4 against Utah in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals.

In Game 3, the Jazz was favored by five points and won, 104-99, for a betting push (no winner), giving the Lakers nine consecutive games without a point-spread defeat.

The last time the Lakers failed to cover a point line was April 11, when they were five-point favorites over New Orleans and won, 107-104.

Utah, which trails, 2-1, in the series, is 6-0-1 against the point spread in its last seven games as a favorite of 4 1/2 points or fewer.

According to, the Lakers had received 61.39% of the picks against the point spread as of Saturday afternoon.

In the NBA’s other playoff game today, the San Antonio Spurs are listed as six-point favorites over the New Orleans Hornets, who lead the series, 2-1.

In Game 3, the Spurs were 7 1/2 -point favorites and covered the spread with a 110-99 victory. It was the fifth consecutive time that the favorite has covered when San Antonio has played the Hornets.

College football

Ohio State has played in two consecutive BCS championship football games and lost only three players to the NFL in last month’s pro draft.

With starters returning at nearly every position, including quarterback Todd Boeckman and running back Chris Wells, it’s easy to understand why big things are expected around Columbus, Ohio, in the fall.

But Las Vegas oddsmakers are not exactly sold on next season’s Buckeyes, who will play USC at the Coliseum on Sept. 13.

In the latest post-NFL draft odds posted by, Ohio State and Georgia are both given 7-1 odds to win the BCS title.

The Trojans, who had 10 players selected in the NFL draft and will have a new starting quarterback, are listed as favorites at 3-1, followed by Oklahoma and Florida at 6-1.

Defending BCS champion Louisiana State is listed at 12-1. UCLA is listed at 75-1.’s board also has the Trojans as the favorites at 3-1, with Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State tied at No. 2 with 6-1 odds. LSU is at 12-1 and the Bruins are listed at 40-1.


Bettors who have not taken advantage of the Florida Marlins’ strong start should know that they have played well against right-handed starters this season.

Florida, 5-0 in its last five games against right-handers, will face Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill today in Washington.