You could almost hear every digital board across Las Vegas change simultaneously when Derrick Rose tore his ACL late in the Bulls first round playoff game Saturday against the Sixers.
The sports books either took the NBA futures off the board immediately or rapidly updated their numbers because without Rose playing, the Bulls chances of winning the NBA title go from very strong to very small.
The LVH Super Book gets into the habit of taking down future prices when the day’s first game starts and then re-setting them first thing the next morning. They miss a little business on the weekend because of the early start times, but it’s events like what happened Saturday that keeps them on the cautious side.
“We take down all of our futures while live playoff games are going on for all sports just because of possible injury situations that can occur and completely change the dynamics of a particular team,“ said LVH assistant manager Jeff Sherman who raised the Bulls NBA title odds from 4-to-1 up to 12-to-1 due the Rose injury. “It helps us stay protected from bettors rushing to the windows trying to bet odds on other teams at very advantageous prices.
“In this case, it’s one of the most important players in the playoffs and we adjusted all the odds with the assumption that the Heat now have a much clearer path through the East.”
The Bulls were the second choice (4-1) to win the title behind the Heat (8-5) – just above the Thunder (9-2) and Spurs (9-2) prior to the injury. Now with Rose out of the Bulls picture, everything has changed in both conferences with the Heat now 5-4, Thunder 7-2 and Spurs 4-1.
The biggest beneficiary according to the odds is the Celtics who dropped from 20-1 to 15-1 to win the title and from 10-1 down to 6-1 to win the East. The Heat are now a massive – 225 favorite to come out of the East.
The Bulls had been cautious with their reigning MVP all season in hopes of having Rose completely healthy for the playoffs. He only played in 39 of the 66 regular season games with a variety of injuries. Despite the Bulls playing well without Rose (at times looking like they didn’t miss him at all) Sherman doesn’t like their chances at all moving forward.
“This is a big blow for the Bulls, not just from missing his contributions on the floor, but also from the mental side, said Sherman. “You could just see the deflated look on all the players faces after the injury.”
Now that the Bulls know what’s in store for them without Rose, it should be interesting watching what happens and who steps up to take his place. All season they knew Rose was close to coming back and taking over the reins of his team. Now they are on their own which certainly changes the complexion of the team.
“I think we all feel awful for him,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s practice. “Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”
The only positive to come out of the injury for the organization is that they’re plenty prepared for playing without Rose who was almost non-existent on the floor since the All-Star break.
The bookmakers are also plenty prepared moving forward because they’ve had plenty of experience in making lines of the Bulls this season without Rose. For Tuesday’s Game 2 at Chicago, the Bulls were posted as 6-point favorites, a drop off from the Game 1 number of – 3½.
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