Friday, May 30, 2008

Beat the Bookies!

Last night, the Lakers were beating the Spurs 97-92, and with a second left, Laker guard Sasha Vujacic drains a three, giving the Lakers the victory by 8, covering the 7.5 line.

The story was picked up by CNBC.

The Los Angeles Lakers were up 97-92 as the clock was winding down in last night’s Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers were guaranteed a victory and thus a spot in their first finals in four years.

But as the final seconds ticked off, Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic passed the ball to back-up guard Sasha Vujacic.

Instead of dribbling out, Vujacic squared up and threw up a shot from outside the arc towards the hoop.

The shot went in as time expired. The Lakers had prevailed by eight points, instead of five.

I don’t bet, but I cover the industry. So I started to look into this as soon as I got a note at 2:31 am from reader Erik Schuman.

While Vujacic’s taking of the shot was a joke in the Lakers locker room, it turns out it was hardly a laughing matter for people that had bet on the Spurs to cover the spread. The line opened with the Lakers being eight-point favorites, but quickly moved to 7.5 points, meaning that Vujacic’s heave either cost people money (who bet on the Spurs) or turned their winning bet into a push.

So I called R.J. Bell of who is really good at number crunching, to ask him how much Vujacic cost those that took the Spurs. Bell said that, from looking at betting data he had access to, that 66 percent of people took the Spurs and the 7.5 points or 8 points.

Bell estimates that the game did about $3 million in bets in Las Vegas, but he estimates that worldwide, the game did about $300 million in action. Bell said that, when considering the line move, that shot swung at least $100 million in bets.

Laker fans cared. Listen to how much they cheered when he drained it!

And that shot is like the market. The bears are trying to make a stand, talking about a housing depression and financial destruction of homeowners and banks balance sheets. They warn us that higher gas prices coupled with all time low consumer confidence will sap the consumer.

But the world doesn't care. This news isn't new! So why is short interest at an all time record? It'll be at all time highs when we hit new all time highs in stocks! They'll never cover! They believe their own baloney after drinking their own Kool-Aid!

They world economy is now calling the shots, and the rules that the bears play by, aren't followed in this market.

Last night, Spurs players felt they had their bet sewed up, just like those that shorted the refiners on Lehman's call Thursday, and Citigroup's today.

But the stocks went up, just like the Spurs bet went down!

It's a new game, and the bears haven't learned the new rules!

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