For better or worse, vacation is over and it's basketball season.
Well, OK. Maybe not yet. But it will be before you know it. Training camp opens four weeks from today and the Mavericks have a full roster already. Not saying that detail will prohibit movement in the next month. But don't hold your breath.
What the return from down time means is that it is time for our annual public-service announcement of who Las Vegas believes will win the 2010 NBA title. A luckless trip to the desert at least was worth stocking up on future odds about the NBA.
The Lakers, not surprisingly, are the heavy favorite. Even Vegas couldn't come up with a better chalk pick. They were 3/2 at most betting establishments, slightly lower (12/5) at others like Planet Hollywood.
Boston (3/1) and Cleveland (7/2) were behind the Lakers at the MGM Grand and those odds were pretty consistent up and down the strip.
The intriguing flux came with the Spurs, who were anywhere from 11/1 at the Imperial Palace to 5/1 at the MGM, which had just adjusted its odds. By the time we left town, getting the Spurs at 11/1 was impossible.
By the way, remember a couple years ago when the Celtics were 300/1 and then got Kevin Garnett and won the title? The hot bet for that this year? The LA Clippers, although they already have dropped from 200/1 to 80/1 in just two months.
The Mavericks? They were a whopping 30/1 at Planet Hollywood, which is where you should bet them if you have a trip scheduled to Vegas this week. At the MGM Grand, they were 15/1.
Best non-basketball bet I saw? Odds on how many major titles Tiger Woods will win in 2010. One, at 6/5 is the favorite. Zero is 9/5, two 3/1, three 10/1 and the grand slam is 25/1.