How Does the Coronavirus Affect Sports Betting?

How Does the Coronavirus Affect Sports Betting?

How Does the Coronavirus Affect Sports Betting?

How Does the Coronavirus Affect Sports Betting?

“The Raptors are a very solid team, but they play in a very weak East, and they lack star power without Kawhi Leonard,” said Pat Morrow, head oddsmaker at Bovada. “Without that legitimate No. 1 player on the team, there is a limit on how far you can go.”

On the other hand, the Rockets, who have the league’s ninth-best record, are a well-bet 12-1. “Casual bettors want to back superstars,” Murphy said. “The James Harden-Russell Westbrook-led Rockets are perceived as a better team than the Pascal Siakam-Serge Ibaka-led Raptors.”

This despite the uncertainties after Westbrook tested positive for the virus and was quarantined.

Depending on how they fare in the final eight regular-season games, the Rockets could be as low as the seventh seed in the West. But “the seeding shouldn’t make much of an impact because there is no travel and no home-court advantage,” Mason said.

So where’s the value?

“The ‘sharps,’ at least the ones I know, really like Boston and Dallas as well as Toronto,” Murphy said. Boston is about 18-1 to win the title and Dallas can be had for 35-1 or even more at some sports books.

Under the new playoff format, eight of the 24 teams that will contest the Stanley Cup playoffs get a bye, obviously a significant advantage. And not surprisingly, those teams have the lowest odds.

But one other team joins them. Despite not having a bye, the Penguins are as low as 12-1, the kind of price that bye teams are getting, despite having to beat the Canadiens in a best-of-five-game opening-round series.

Once again, it’s because of a star. “It’s the Sidney Crosby factor,” Murphy said.

He pointed out that in the 2016 Eastern Conference finals, the Penguins were favored in every game even though the Lightning fought them tooth and nail before falling in seven games. “It was amazing how the money kept coming in for Pittsburgh despite the parity in that series,” Murphy said.


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