I gave myself a window of 45 minutes this morning to accomplish a non-NBA diversion. When the 45 minutes were up, I was the proud owner of an ICAST Classics 50th anniversary calendar, a "Keep'n It Reel" ICAST convention bag, 29 print-outs from the Las Vegas Hilton Sports Book, and two WNBA betting slips. So needless to say, it was a successful 45 minutes.
To get from my hotel to the Hilton, you have to walk through the Convention Center, where the Fresh Wood convention will apparently be starting soon, and where the ICAST fishing convention is going full bore. There are people walking around carrying rods and wearing shirts that say things like "Joe's Flies," "Fish Alaska," "Cajun Line" and "Tru Tungsten." A thank-you luncheon for the media covering the convention had just began, and I ducked in for a minute, since I'm sort of media, but the bass conversations were beyond me, so I left.
I was going to the Hilton because I wanted to find the odds on all our local teams winning their respective championships, all of which seem like virtual locks to me. True Hoop author Henry Abbott pointed out that all of this information is available online, but I'll gladly walk 25 minutes through 105 degree heat to avoid a few pop-up ads. Plus it's dry heat.
Anyhow, here is what you want to know, and in case this is breaking any state laws, I'm just reporting this out of basic human curiosity:
* The Redskins are 4-1 to win the NFC East (lowest in the division), 20-1 to win the NFC and 50-1 to win the Super Bowl, ahead of just nine teams. The over-under for their-regular season win total is 7.5.
* The Redskins are also three-point favorites Week 1 vs. the Dolphins; the over-under is 36.5 for that game. The Skins are +7 at the Eagles in Week 2, +3 at the Packers in Week 6 (lock!!!!), +10.5 at the Patriots in Week 8, +3 vs. the Bears in Week 14, +5.5 at the Giants in Week 15 and +2.5 vs. the Cowboys in Week 17. I couldn't find preseason lines. Sorry.
* The Wizards are 17-1 to win the East in 2008, and 50-1 to win the NBA Championship, which is tied for 13th. That would also be the stupidest bet in world history. There is a 0.0000000000001 percent chance that this Wizards team could win an NBA title within 12 months. Actually, that's probably too high.
* The Caps are 25-1 to win the East, and 60-1 to win the 2008 Stanley Cup. Three teams have higher odds, none in the East.
* Virginia Tech is 30-1 to win the 2008 BCS National Championship. Maryland is 300-1. Virginia is part of the field.
* The Nats are 1000-1 to win the NL pennant, and 2000-1 to win the World Series. Those are a little bit old, though. I imagine it should go higher soon.
* Miguel Tejada is 5000-1 to win the regular season home run title.
* Georgetown is 12-1 to win the 2008 hoops title. That's behind just UCLA, UNC and Memphis, and tied with Louisville. Maryland is 75-1. Virginia Tech and Virginia are 100-1. VCU and George Washington are 200-1. George Mason is 300-1. Old Dominion is 500-1. I guess there's your Top Seven in next year's Local Hoops Spectacular Atlantic 11 Poll.
* The U.S. is 50-1 to win the 2010 World Cup, and 5,000-1 to win the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
* "Flowing"-haired golfer Charley Hoffman is 150-1 to win a remaining major in 2007.
* I did not see MLS Cup odds. Lame. But there were listed odds on Thursday's Houston-Chicago game, and also on this weekend's CFL and AFL action.
So this was all swell, and made me want to place a 14-way local and longshot parlay, with Jason Gore winning a 2007 major (250-1), Moldova winning the 2010 World Cup (5000-1), Namibia winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup (5000-1), Derby winning the Premiership (5000-1), the Lions winning the Super Bowl (200-1), the Caps and Wizards and Nats and Old Dominion hoops and Terps football teams winning titles, Todd Helton winning the home run crown (9999-1), Reed Sorenson winning the Nextel Cup (2000-1), Peter Sheperd winning this week's Truck Series event (200-1) and Sarah Fisher finding success in the IRL (500-1), which, if the bet came in after Moldova's inevitable 2010 victory, would pay approximately 8 gazillion dollars, bankrupt the Hilton family and earn me a job writing a nationally syndicated rugby-and-racin' picks column.
But that parlay didn't appear to be an option. Instead, I placed two modest WNBA bets, rapidly, since both games were about to begin. This might have been an ethical lapse, but I could barely name any players on any of the four teams involved, and I've certainly never met or talked to any of them, so I don't see what the big deal is. I went 1-1 on the games, making me 3-1 in my WNBA betting career.
Then I went home and briefly read some of my ICAST literature. Did you know that trout have been real hit-or-miss thus far this season at Crowley Lake, the crown jewel of the Eastern Sierra? Man, Vegas is just the greatest place on earth.