“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It’s a saying we often hear from football coaches, but now more than ever, it’s become largely apt for just about anyone in sports. This especially rings true for the sports betting industry. When the novel coronavirus broke out in early March 2020, it forcibly brought major sporting events to a temporary halt.
For regular fans, this surely feels like taking a massive blow. For gamblers, however, it feels like being put on pins and needles, especially since a number of leagues have adopted big changes to deal with the pandemic. Let’s take a look at the impact of COVID-19 on major leagues vis-a-vis sports betting.
The NBA, thankfully, has been seeing better days in the Disney Bubble in Orlando after players tested negative for COVID-19 for five weeks straight. With this, the final eight games of the 2019–20 regular season are going to push through within the isolation zone as planned. What this means, though, is that there is absolutely no home-court advantage. It is also expected that the absence of fans will take a toll on the team’s defensive strength.
Hence, the playing field is very much leveled. It might be safe to say that bettors could only rely on the leagues’ records as well as each team’s superstars when they take their own picks.
Recently the NHL laid down a new format for the Stanley Cup to address the pandemic. From 16 teams, 24 teams are now making the playoffs. Under this new format, 8 teams were also given a bye, which is obviously a big advantage to those teams. The expansion also means that other teams have a second shot, and a better one at that, at winning the title. The Canadiens are living proof of this. Before the playoffs paused, the team stood at 500-1. Now, they are at 66-1.
After months of negotiations, MLB decided to cut down the usual 162 games to 60. 16 teams are going to the playoffs. They are competing in a best-of-three-game series in the first round, which, if you ask us, makes it possible for just any team to advance. For bettors, this could feel like throwing a dart without a clear aim in sight.
Now that traditional sports have become somewhat unpredictable for bettors, most of them have turned to eSports. It’s true that events are on a hiatus, but competitions continue online amidst the pandemic. After all, no one is putting themselves in danger to play.
The odds of winning a bet in eSports have hardly changed, thanks to its digital nature. Meaning, it’s the safest place for bettors looking to place sure bets on a regular basis. As a result, bookmakers have seen a huge turnout in virtual betting. This keeps the eSports gambling industry at a robust and thriving position.
Of course, the only thing uncertain about this is how it will fare once the pandemic is over and traditional sports are back on their feet. Nonetheless, eSports is still one of the best ways to win bets given the present circumstances.
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