Online sports betting has been doing quite well for 2021. With professional sports coming back to near pre-pandemic levels and sports betting posting record revenues, it seemed like things were getting back to normal for the sports and the sports betting world. However, December is proving to be a horrible month for professional sports teams. The NBA, NHL, and NFL are all having COVID outbreaks, causing the leagues to reschedule games.
The outbreak is affecting sports betting as well. NFL games where players are out due to COVID see the NFL lines move from one team to another.
To the everyday person who isn’t into gambling, they may wonder why COVID-19 would affect odds. COVID-19 affects the odds because it causes a team to play without that player. When the player is a critical piece to the team, it can reduce its chances of winning. In the case of the NBA, a team could lose all their starters due to COVID protocols in place.
The Chicago Bulls are a prime example of this. Earlier in December, the team had ten players out due to COVID-19 and COVID-related protocols. That is the equivalent of two complete sets of starting players. The outbreak with Bulls players and staff caused the league to postpone their next two games. The team won’t be back to full strength by the time their next game comes, but they will have enough players to suit up for the game.
With sports like the NBA and NHL having a slate of games on a nearly daily basis, it’s somewhat easier to keep up with the news before you make a bet on one of their games. But with the NFL, most of the odds for NFL games come out nearly a week before the game starts. That can lead to odds changing as new news comes in about players with COVID-19. BetUS moves the odds in real-time as the information on critical players from a team is made public.
Odds changing after a bet is placed concern most gamblers. No one ever wants to bet on a favorite giving away points, only to wake up the next day to see that same team is now an underdog due to players being out from COVID. Odds changes affect early wagers the most. People place bets early because they can get good odds on a team before game day. But the downfall to that strategy is things like COVID affecting a player or multiple players.
So how can you combat changing odds due to COVID? The best answer is this, wait until game day. Right before game day is when odds will align with all available information. A great example of this from earlier in the NFL season was during the Chicago Bears versus the Baltimore Ravens game. The day before, the Bears were six-point underdogs to the Ravens. However, right before kickoff, the Ravens announced that their starting QB Lamar Jackson would be out for the game. That announcement shifted the odds, making the Ravens only 1.5 point favorites. As the odds keep moving due to more players testing positive for COVID, sports betting sites like BetUS keep up with all the changes.
The people who took the Bears early won, while early wagers on the Ravens didn’t cover the spread they got. Those who took the Ravens right before kickoff could cover the 1.5 point spread. The Ravens won the game 16-13.
So with COVID wreaking havoc in sports now, it’s best to sit back and get all the information before the game starts. Once you have all the info before game time, you can place a bet knowing who will be playing and who will be out.
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