Sunday, August 24, 2003

I feel lucky tonight!


Want to know the odds? Read on, and we'll tell you

By Ryan Ernst
The Cincinnati Enquirer

More than Kobe Bryant's personal future will be riding on the outcome of his sexual assault trial.

Billy from Brooklyn put a bill on it. His buddy Tommy's in for a C-note, too. Tommy's little brother Johnny threw in a fin, ya know, "for the action."

That's right, online gambling reached a new low when BetCBS.com put odds on the upcoming Bryant trial. Whether he is found guilty (+110) or acquitted (-150), people will gather around the TV as they did for the O.J. Simpson verdict, only this time with betting slips in hand.

"C'mon hung jury! Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!"

It's a dangerous precedent, but think of all the sports-related bets this could lead to:

LeBron James will suffer an absolutely horrific torn ACL during his rookie year (50-1 odds): The odds would be higher, but this is Cleveland, the Fredo Corleone of professional sports cities. The Cavs barely dodged a bullet by passing on Lenny Bias in '86. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and DeSagana Diop or no Zydrunas Ilgauskas and DeSagana Diop, they're due for something like this to happen.

Number of times Rickey Henderson will refer to himself in the third person during any given interview (+/-3): " 'Cause Rickey like talkin' 'bout Rickey."

The Bengals will make it to their bye week without a quarterback controversy (8-1 odds): Things just seem a little too cut-and-dried right now. The staff is happy. The players are happy. The front office is happy. And the fans are ... gulp ... happy. But look at it this way: Bengals fans are like Charlie Brown. The organization is Lucy. No matter how many times she pulls that ball away, we keep lining up to kick it.

Right now it's "they're not going to make the same mistake with Carson and throw him to the wolves." Next thing you know, it's "UGGGH" and we're all lying flat on our backs like box turtles.

Players involved in the next NBA trade (+/-8): This is just getting completely out of hand.

The Baylor basketball program will have a top-25 recruiting class this year (150-1 odds): A player is killed, supposedly by his teammate; the coach tries to downplay a tuition-paying scandal with a fabricated drug-trafficking story before resigning; then pretty much the entire team transfers. Something tells us the blue-chippers aren't going to be lining up.

The length of the Mandy Moore-Andy Roddick relationship (-8 months) vs. the length of the Anna Kournikova-Enrique Iglesias relationship: Didn't these guys learn anything from John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal? We already know how this story ends. And it ain't pretty.

Maurice Clarett's grade-point average for the fall 2003 semester (+/-2.5): The Bucks don't want him to have to miss any late-season games or, heaven forbid, a bowl. But they don't want to make it look too suspicious, either.

Pete Rose will admit to betting on baseball in a deal to end his lifetime ban (5-1): Get in on this one now, because the odds are dropping like Reds Opening Day starters. Hall of Fame, Schmall of Fame. Even Pete would get in on this action.

Kerry Wood will become the third person to have two Tommy John surgeries in one career (4-1 odds): How many innings has this kid thrown this year, a thousand? By the time his career's over and his arm's hanging from its socket like a mobile, they'll rename it Kerry Wood surgery. Odds on that are in the works.

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E-mail rernst@enquirer.com




BENGALS
Titans 23, Bengals 15
Daugherty: Bengals not there yet
Bengals-Titans stats
Bengals Q & A
Notes: Newcomers split time at end

MORE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
Jets' Pennington breaks wrist
Eagles' Staley ends holdout
OSU linemen trim down
K-State handles Golden Bears
2003 College Football Preview

U.C. BEARCATS
Linebackers heart of Bearcat defense

XAVIER
XU could be Paulus' pick

REDS
Reds 3, Astros 1
Larkin on DL once again
Reds Q&A
Notes: Team's roster holes hard to plug
Reds chatter
Down on the farm

MORE BASEBALL HEADLINES
3-time Gold Glove winner Bonds dies
NL: Giants find little joy in big victory
AL: Red Sox slip past slumping Mariners
MLB power ratings

PREP SPORTS
St. Xavier 21, Covington Catholic 16
Anderson 20, Moeller 6
Colerain 42, Boone County 6
La Salle 14, Hamilton 6
Lebanon 38, Harrison 0
Other Saturday football games
Scores, how poll teams fared
Nigerian native enjoys his first taste of American game
Groeschen: High school insider
Ernst: Kentucky insider
Other prep sports results
2003 Prep Football Preview

ENQUIRER PAGE TWO
I feel lucky tonight!
Private resort pushed into Bryant spotlight
Page Two power rankings

TENNIS
Roddick in territory Agassi knows well
5 men's favorites
5 women's favorites
Sampras 'doesn't want to unretire'

MOTOR SPORTS
Busch bumps way to win
Kenseth can't coast to Cup season title
Tagliani wins CART pole

GOLF
Clarke may be on verge of another WGC victory

BASKETBALL
U.S., minus Duncan, tops Virgin Islands

ON THE AIR
Sunday's sports on TV, radio