NBA Props: LeBron James' Heated Return to Cleveland
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 12/2/2010
It's the day basketball fans in Cleveland have been waiting for: Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. Also known as the day LeBron James makes his return to the city he spurned to play for the Miami Heat.
Bodog's odds makers have come up with an overabundance of NBA props to celebrate the occasion. You can bet on anything from LeBron's total points to total fouls to total steals and everything in between.
For example, over at Bodog's online sportsbook we've set LeBron's points total at 26.5, which is slightly above his season average of 23.7 ppg. So far most of the wagering has been on the over with bettors likely thinking that LeBron will want to put on a show for his former fans.
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It'll be interesting to see if he can come up big on a night when the eyes of the sports world will be focused solely on him. LeBron doesn't exactly have a reputation as a big-game guy like, say, Kobe Bryant and admits that Thursday's game will be emotional for him.
"It's going to be fun, but at the same time it's going to be very emotionally draining," James said. "It's going to be difficult."
It's also worth noting that the Heat play Wednesday in Detroit, so physical fatigue could be a factor in addition to the emotional toll the game is sure to take. Also, you have to think that the Cavs will be guarding LeBron extra tight to make sure he doesn't stick it too badly to his old team.
Besides our usual slate of basketball-related props, we've come up with a couple more LeBron bets that go beyond the actual game.
The first prop asks whether or not LeBron will get into a physical altercation with a fan. Yes, you can actually bet on that. And if you think he will and he does, you'll get paid out at +3000. This is not to suggest you go to the game and punch LeBron to win a bet, because you'll probably go to jail for that.
Our second prop asks whether or not LeBron will do his pregame chalk ritual. You know, the one where he tosses a bunch of chalk in the air like it's magic or something. If you think he will, you'll have to risk $5000 to win $100. In other words, it's fairly likely that he'll do it according to Bodog's odds makers. And also according to teammate Dwyane Wade.
"I wouldn't expect him to do nothing different," said Wade. "He's done it for every game he's played so why change it just for one game? If he doesn't throw it up, I'll throw it up for him."
We're expecting a ton of action on this game that will be televised nationally on TNT. Let the betting begin.
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