Sports Betting Industry Could See Boom Period As Soon As This Summer

Posted By Matt Schoch on April 2, 2020 - Last Updated on April 6, 2020

It might seem far down the road as the tattered sports calendar gets even more roughed up by the novel coronavirus spread, but Michigan bettors can find a silver lining if they look far enough into the future.

One hopeful consideration for Michigan gamblers: What about a summer buffet of betting options when sports resume, as the NHL and NBA playoffs could pair with the start of Major League Baseball?

That could be a reality this summer, as what is usually a slow time on the sports calendar could be a bonanza for Michigan’s new sportsbooks.

Greektown Hotel-Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino all opened sportsbooks in downtown Detroit in March, right before the COVID-19 spread stifled the sports world. Many of the state’s 23 tribal casinos have intentions to open sportsbooks this year as well.

This summer could be the perfect time for sportsbooks to be up and running. And since leagues could consider games without fans at the beginning of their resumptions, laying down action at a sportsbook might just be the place to be.

US sports betting: Is there hope for hockey?

The city of Toronto announced Tuesday a shutdown of all public events through June 30, with the declaration by Canada’s largest city further unsettling the country’s most popular sport.

The NHL season is technically “paused,” and the league this week moved back its recommendation for players to self-quarantine through April 15.

According to ESPN.com, the NHL had hoped to start training camps in late April or early May, though this week’s developments could push back that timeline.

If there is a return, ESPN reports that the league hopes to finish its regular season.

As for gambling odds, FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Boston Bruins at +600 favorites to win the Stanley Cup, followed by Tampa Bay (+700) and Colorado (+850).

As for the locals, the Detroit Red Wings are the only NHL team eliminated from postseason contention. With 39 points, the Red Wings are 23 points behind Ottawa, the league’s second-worst team.

US sports betting: What about hoops?

There are murmurs that some in the NBA might be viewing the calendar flip as a positive, with a possible shuffling of the league’s schedule to come.

The idea would be a permanent shift to a Christmas start to mostly avoid NFL competition and also to own the summer sports scene during the playoffs.

As for a return to this suspended season, ideas range from resuming without fans, having the league play out at a neutral site, such as Las Vegas, and playing the NBA Finals into September.

“I think there is some optimism if you look hard enough for it,” Marc Stein of the New York Times said on Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board podcast. “But there’s also a lot of frustration and confusion.”

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are co-title favorites at +250 with the LA Clippers next at +333.

The Pistons are focused on the upcoming NBA Draft, entering the suspension with the fifth-best lottery odds.

Back to baseball?

It’s sad times for baseball fans as many cities would’ve otherwise celebrated Opening Day this past week, the unofficial start of spring in many places.

ESPN.com reported this weekend the “best-case scenario seems to be that players head to camp in mid-May and target a return in early June,” adding “that might be wishful.”

According to DraftKings, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the World Series favorites at +375, the New York Yankees are +400 and the Houston Astros are +550.

The Tigers, MLB’s worst team last season, are tied with Baltimore and Miami with baseball’s longest odds (+75000).

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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