COVID-19 led the shut-down of the major sports in the world and crushed the sports gambling industry. Online bookmakers and betters took a significant hit, as they no longer were able to place bets on any sports.
However, some professional leagues are back now!
Yes! America’s four major sports leagues, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL, have already moved ahead with plans to start their seasons. It implies that sports betting is returning too.
Let’s have a look into these leagues and betting implications in detail.
Baseball is back! It started on 23rd July 2020. This time, it is a 60-game season, instead of 162 games. Perhaps there will also be a neutral site World Series.
It is a Moneyline game, in which you have to pick and bet on a team that you think will win the game.
The Yankees and the Dodgers are the most stacked teams in baseball and favorites to win the World Series (+350). The COVID-19 pandemic helped them more than any other team in the sport. As per the BetMGM, the percentage of the betting handle placed on the Dodgers is 19.98%.
The NBA started just after MLB, on 30th July 2020.
The New Orleans Pelicans saw the big odds jump after landing the number one pick in the NBA Draft.
Currently, the Milwaukee Bucks are the favored team to win the NBA title in 2020. The Milwaukee Bucks have odds of +240, which is slightly higher than the Los Angeles Lakers at +260. Oddsmakers and bettors are expecting an NBA final between Bucks and Lakers.
This season, the NBA championship has some of the best values. They are the Denver Nuggets at +2500, Houston Rockets at +1300, and the Los Angeles Lakers at +340. Odds for these teams will go up as they advance in the game.
NHL started on 1st August 2020. It has the new playoff format in which eight teams out of 24 teams get a bye. These teams have the lowest odds.
In this season, we have a few surprises in the round robins and qualifiers. The biggest being the Flyers claiming the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Colorado’s MacKinnon is prepared to have a big playoff. It is advisable to take him to score on prop bets more often than not. As Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are now out of the picture, MacKinnon is probably the best offensive talent still standing in these playoffs.
The season has to begin with the NFL kickoff game on September 10, with the defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans in a rematch of the previous season’s AFC Divisional Round. The season will end with Super Bowl LV, the league's championship game on 7th February 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
There is an expectation that fan attendance will be either non-existent or extremely limited. The pre-season kick off Hall of Fame game is already canceled. However, the NFL has designs on playing out its season as scheduled.
You still have a high volume of opportunities to bet within those games. However, the pace is still slow to give time to the operators to get the data to set odds and make it accessible to sports bettors.