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NBA Betting: LeBron’s return Causes Mayhem in Markets


Half the battle of handicapping the NBA these days is dealing with injuries and late scratches and additions. No matter how much legwork you do, the team you thought you were betting at 8 am PT can be vastly different than the one at tip-off. A prime example of that was last night’s unexpected return of LeBron James. Earlier this week it was reported James returned to practice but there was no date set on his return. Then yesterday, he was quietly upgraded to “doubtful” — which was enough of a reason for bettors to take the Lakers down from +6 to +4 where it stood for much of the afternoon. But once it was officially announced, chaos ensued. CRIS reopened the game with the Clippers -2 and the total adjusted from 229 to 231.5. The betting markets felt both numbers were short. Lakers and over money steadily flowed in over the next two hours hitting peaks of -2.5 and 233 before closing -2 and 232.




The outcome? Well, let’s just say that the house wasn’t please as Lebron’s return resulted in a 123-120 overtime victory for the Lakers. In the end LeBron played 40 minutes and gets a day off before facing Golden State on Saturday.

“The message for the team is we’re all ready to make this push,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin after the win. “That’s it. Let’s make that push. … We’re on the road. We’re on the road for the whole month of February. We got two home games. So if you want to make a push, why not make it on the road? That’s the best time where you can come together as a team when you’re on the road and it’s just us. So, let’s do it.”