Rudy Gobert became an NBA All-Star this year for the first time in his career. But that pales in comparison to what he became on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. That is a day that will live in infamy not just for the NBA but sports itself. To illustrate, Gobert and the Utah Jazz were set to tip-off at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Just as the ref was to put the ball in the air this NBA betting matchup was canceled. Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. A few hours later the NBA postponed its season.
2020 NBA Betting Futures
To be exact the NBA season is postponed, NOT canceled. The Association intends to resume action once COVID-19 is better understood. Most sportsbooks are still offering futures odds on conference and league championships. Props on such items as the Most Valuable Player Award are also still available.
The Dominoes Fall
At the onset of the announcement of the NBA postponing its season massive shock ensued. Earlier that day the NCAA said that March Madness would continue but with no fans in the stands. That was before the Gobert announcement. Worldwide, professional sports leagues followed the NBA lead. One by one the leagues announced postponements. The NCAA Tournament took it a step further. In view of the pandemic, the second-biggest offshore betting event in the world was canceled. College sport’s cash cow was not even post postponed. It was utterly called off with no chance of a later date.
On the whole, there will be a multitude of options that the NBA will consider once they get the go-ahead to resume play. Subsequently, the one thing we know at a time of unknowns is that completing the regular season is not an option. Even if the postponement ends quickly the logistics are going to be a nightmare. Available building dates and TV network contracts are all factors. Further, the longer the season goes into summer the shorter the offseason break will be for the 2020-21 campaign.
The Likely Plan
Accordingly, the most likely scenario is the cancelation of the regular season and diving right into the playoffs. And that is where the fun could begin. Naturally, a total of eight teams from the two conferences for a total of 16 make the NBA Playoffs. Conversely, the Association may change that with extra teams allowed into an abbreviated first round. Teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans with Zion Williamson would be attractive add-ons for the postseason. Television partners would much rather televise extra playoff games over a regular season that seems like preseason.
NBA Futures Board
COVID-19 or not, the Los Angeles Lakers remain the NBA betting favorite to win the championship. Most important of all they scored statement-making wins right before the postponement of the schedule. First was a major 113-103 win and cover against the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks. Next was a statement-making 112-103 win and payout over the Los Angeles Clippers. In sum, LA won games over the teams they are expected to meet in the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
NBA Betting Futures Pick: Los Angeles Lakers