Things have been a bit slow on the sports betting scene of late. The global spread of the coronavirus has forced pro sports leagues all over the world to temporarily halt operations. In the United States, the NBA was the first to take the dramatic step shortly after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, every other league in America has followed the NBA’s lead.
Commissioner Adam Silver said in an interview last week that he is working with those around the league in order to determine how to best proceed. Silver hinted at the possibility of playing a sort of All-Star game during the hiatus in order to help raise funds to help those in need, but no formal plans have been made as of yet.
For now, basketball is suspended indefinitely. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US is only going to rise in the coming days, so there’s really no end in sight to the NBA’s break.
The NBA playoffs were originally scheduled to begin in mid-April, but that obviously isn’t happening anymore. All 30 NBA teams had between 20 and 25 games remaining on their regular season schedules. When the NBA does resume, it’s safe to assume that we will see an abbreviated regular season schedule followed by some sort of postseason in order to determine an eventual champion.
Odds Favor Pre-August Return for NBA
You can’t bet on NBA games right now, but you can place a bet on when the NBA will return to action. BetOnline has posted 3 props with potential target dates for basketball’s triumphant return. They’re listed as follows:
|Next NBA Game to be Played June 1 or Sooner||Odds at BetOnline|
|Next NBA Game to be Played July 1 or Sooner||Odds at BetOnline|
|Next NBA Game to be Played August 1 or Sooner||Odds at BetOnline|
Silver also said that when the NBA does decide to return, it will likely have to stage games in front of empty arenas as a precaution. Remember, the league was already planning on hosting games with no fans before eventually opting to cease operations entirely. The Golden State Warriors were slated to host the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center in San Francisco the day after the league wound up shutting down.
Playing games in front of empty arenas will likely help basketball resume play sooner than later. If the league were to wait until it were safe to play games in front of thousands of people, there is a decent chance the NBA wouldn’t return until far later.
Sports are sports. Basketball fans and bettors alike will take anything they can get right about now.
NBA Discussing Possible June Resumption
Last week, ESPN reported that NBA owners and league executives have discussed the possibility of a mid-to-late June return as a best-case scenario. There are also some in the league that worry that the season could be wiped out entirely. Remember, the 2020-21 NBA season is set to begin in late-October. That gives the league a limited window to complete the current season, unless the league decides to push the start of next season back even further.
A number of NBA players, including Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert, have tested positive for COVID-19. Obviously, the league can’t resume play until it’s safe for the actual players to be around one another. Making sure every player in the league has been adequately tested is the first step of many toward getting back to basketball.
How to Bet
I don’t think it’s particularly likely that we see any NBA games take place before the start of June, so for that prop I would side with the heavily-favored “no” at -500.
Before July 1 is a more palatable option, and there is still some value on the “yes” side at +140. Oddsmakers are anticipating an even longer hiatus, though. The “yes” option on playing games before August 1 is the most likely outcome at -160.
Given the odds, I’d side with “yes” on games taking place before July 1 at +140. You obviously can’t go wrong with “yes” before August 1 at -160, but I like the plus-money value on the July option. I’d avoid the June prop altogether, especially considering you’re not making much money on the “no” side at -500.