Hedging NBA Futures Bets Because Of COVID-19
The plan to restart the 2019/2020 NBA season is in place. All the games will be played in Orlando as part of a bubble plan. There will be a quick eight-game regular-season schedule to help seed the playoffs. The top eight teams in each conference will battle it out in the postseason as originally planned.Now, let’s discuss hedging NBA futures bets because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
How Can I Hedge NBA Futures Bets Because Of COVID-19?
The top team in the Eastern Conference is the Milwaukee Bucks. They posted a record of 53-12 when play was halted in mid-March. This happened to be the best record in the NBA. Intertops online sportsbook has them listed as +250 second-favorites to win the 2020 NBA title.
The No. 1 team on the list is the Los Angeles Lakers at +225 odds to win the league championship. They posted the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14. This was 5.5 games better than the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are third on the NBA championship futures list at +300.
After these three teams, the odds drop off rather steeply to +1200 for the West’s Houston Rockets. The next team on the list is the East’s Boston Celtics at +1800 betting odds to round out the Top 5.
The online NBA betting odds for next five teams are:
- Toronto +2000
- Philadelphia +2200
- Denver +2200
- Miami +2500
- Utah +2500
In a perfect world, there would be some level of value in betting any of the top three teams on the list. Only one LA team can play in the best-of-seven NBA Finals to sap value from the Lakers and Clippers. Milwaukee probably offers the best value as the clear favorite to play in the championship series from the East.
The big monkey wrench in the mix is COVID-19. The NBA is going to do everything within in its power to keep every player safe.
Some have already had the virus, so they are probably immune to another outbreak. To my knowledge (and the knowledge of the betting public), more than a few big-named players are still susceptible.
What happens if Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo contracts the virus heading into the Eastern Conference Finals? A small hedge bet on Boston makes quite a bit of sense. Especially given the overall depth of the Celtics’ roster.
Suppose LeBron James tests positive for the virus heading into the Western Conference Finals. How much would that impact the Lakers’ chance to win. The same could be said for the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.
The NBA can take all the precautions they want. There is still a good chance that more than a few impact players will get the virus. This would mean they are sidelined for at least two weeks because of COVID-19.
This will remain a very fluid situation right up until the NBA Finals. A few small hedge bets at longer odds on teams like Boston or even the Rockets might make sense. It is still a wait and see proposition when it comes to betting on the top-three favorites. They have everything to lose and little to gain when play does start back up heading into August.