The emerging regulated sports betting market is proving to be a difficult one to predict. While it’s not surprising to find that Americans are gaga over over betting, it’s what they’re betting on that’s turning out to be very interesting for sportsbook operators. After all, when ping pong markets dominate the spring season and the NBA takes the lead in July, something very weird is happening.

Of course, something weird is happening in the United States and the rest of the world as businesses of all kinds struggle to adapt to the strange, new quarantined landscape. It’s a landscape where sports of all kinds have been thrown off kilter or simply not happened at all. That’s exactly why the NBA was the most wagered on sport at Bodog last week, accounting for about 45 percent of all the action the sportsbook saw, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com. The site also reports that nine of the top ten most wagered-on events for the weekend were NBA games.

Again, that’s not one expects in August. What you would expect is for MLB to be dominating the sports betting world this time of year but baseball only accounted for about 28 percent of the action last weekend.

So why are players picking basketball over baseball? It’s likely that the NBA’s bubble idea for quarantining players and staff has created a more reliable product than baseball, which has already seen multiple cancellations due to COVID-19 breakouts.

The real test for American sports betting will come this fall when, and if, football season starts. With actual football being played, it’s likely to be a huge season for sports betting. If football isn’t played (and college teams are already dropping out of the season) it could be a very bleak fall for US-facing sportsbooks.


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