COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world of sports; Here’s a quick check-in to look at which leagues are coming back soon, and some that are still hosting events regardless.
The opening day of Major League Baseball (MLB) came and went with little fanfare last week. Zero fanfare to be exact. It was the same with March Madness, the Stanley Cup playoffs and countless other major sporting events in the United States. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread, every major sports league around the world has suspended or delayed their respective seasons.
Just one of the many facets of our daily life to be put on hold. An especially painful loss to sports fans because watching a good game is the perfect way to pass the time when at home. Gone are the hours arguing with friends over whose team is better, obsessing about your fantasy lineup or watching late-night replays on an endless loop. To fill the void, many have gone back to the archives to watch classic games or even turned to things such as marble racing or darts for entertainment.
But what about sports bettors? One can’t exactly wager on a game that has already occurred. Sports bettors want to know when can we look forward to majors sports returning and what can we bet on in the meantime?
NBA Season is still on hold.
The NBA became the first major sports league to suspend their season after Rudy Gobert coughed on a microphone.
He is getting the full scapegoat treatment and has become hated by even his closest teammates. I think this is an overreaction and his juvenile behavior might have actually saved lives. If the NBA waited for longer to halt play, it could have been the cause for many more problems.
This week Adam Silver said they will not be looking to resume activity until at least may — at the soonest.
So, what to do if you are an NBA fan bored to the max?
Well, lucky for us, the players are clamoring for action just as much as we are. Last weekend we were treated to the start of a players-only tournament on NBA 2K20 which league games go head to head in a round-robin format. Players include Zach LaVine, Demarcus Cousins and Devin Booker are participating and yes, you can gamble on it.
There are a number of outlets that are also using the NBA 2k20 platform to host simulated games. These are games in which two AI-controlled teams face off against each other, with games taking place daily. Again, this is something you can actually gamble on and might even stick around after the league resumes play.
Our PayPerHead agents have the luxury of being able to offer these events to their players so check them out if you haven’t already.
The Major League Baseball season is delayed.
The MLB was one of the first major leagues to halt play in response to COVID-19. They originally set Opening Day back two weeks, but as we all now know, that was an optimistic move. March 26th came and went and we are no closer to a solid answer as to when we might have our first regular-season action.
The league is reportedly considering a number of options at the moment.
The most likely idea being kicked around is to have the entire season take place at one location. The plan is to have all the teams head to Arizona, where half of the league already is. There are a number of stadiums within a 50-mile radius which might allow the league to play almost a full 162 games. These games will obviously take place without fans but it’s better than nothing.
A number of questions remain surrounding the lead up to another opening day, however. Baseball is unique in the fact that players routinely require months of simulated action to ramp up for such an intense season. Where and when players will be stretching out remains to be seen. Some teams have kept pitching staff throwing regularly, but how long can they continue to do so before fatigue sets in?
Unlike other leagues at the moment, the MLB does not even have any significant simulation events or players-only tournaments to keep fans entertained.
Will the NFL season kick off on time?
The NFL is probably in the best position as far as the major four leagues go. The season ended in early February, just weeks before all hell broke loose. This gives them ample time to plan alternatives if the outbreak is still active when the season shifts to fall.
The biggest issue in the short term was what to do with the NFL draft. Many expressed a desire to push that back from its original April 23rd date, while others saw no reason to delay an event which could be done remotely. It appears the latter voters have won as the date has yet to change. It makes sense. There is no reason the draft has to have anybody in attendance and can easily be done and broadcast virtually.
Meanwhile, all team facilities are to remain closed to actual real-life players. And the status of this pandemic in the coming weeks will be the determining factor on whether we can start the season in September as planned.
Lucky for us, the NFL is also seeing virtual action similarly to the NBA, with virtual simulated games going on daily. Be sure to let your clients know this and pass the odds along for these new but exciting events.
The NHL season is still on ice.
March 12th marked the day the National Hockey League pulled the plug on their regular season. Originally scheduled to culminate on April 4th, we are now left wondering when the Stanley Cup Playoffs might actually start. If at all.
Commissioner Gary Bettman echoed what many other league leaders have said, they just don’t know. League officials had expressed hope to relaunch before the end of April, but that is looking more and more like a pipe dream.
We might be looking at the summertime before NHL is back live on TV.
Pay Per Head agents, much like everyone else involved in sports, have felt the squeeze since the world began to fall apart. But, we have worked hard to ensure that you won’t be left out of the action completely.
We have begun to not only offer the simulated sports mentioned above, but also have expanded to offer fringe events such as darts, billiards and plenty of eSports in the meantime.
There are a few International leagues still playing. Russian hockey and basketball are still a go, along with the Nicaraguan soccer league. These are all viable options that your players might not be privy to and which could keep your profits rolling in during these tough times.
Right now we are offering new agents our sportsbook services 100% free of charge until major sports return to the United States. If you can find a better price than free, we’d love to hear about it. Get started with your free sportsbook today; now is a better time than any to start making money online, from the comfort and safety of your own home.