The spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, across the globe is very real today as sports cancellations and postponements are moving at an exponential rate. The NBA and NCAA Basketball are the latest leagues to suspend the season or conference tournaments, halting all games for the foreseeable future after news of Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell testing positive for the virus.
This has a massive impact on all sports as leagues are either suspending games, canceling events or considering playing games with no fans in attendance. From a betting perspective, this means bettors will be unable to wager on most, if not all, games while futures bettors are likely in the dark on whether sportsbooks will refund these bets or hold funds until leagues resume.
Since most North American leagues will be following the NBA’s lead sooner rather than later, Odds Shark has compiled a list on the status of altered sporting events:
This one moved rather quickly as it unfolded in real time on social media late Wednesday with murmurs that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had contracted COVID-19. It has since been reported that teammate Donovan Mitchell has been confirmed to have coronavirus. League officials moved promptly to halt the Jazz-Thunder game on Wednesday night while also canceling the Pelicans-Kings game in the wake of the news.
The NBA then made the swift decision to suspend the season until further notice. The league will likely delay games and extend season/playoff play into the summer.
|Before April 15, 2020||-115|
|After April 15, 2020||-125|
Odds as of March 12 at Bovada
Conference Tourneys Cancelled, March Madness In Doubt
All conference tournament games went on as scheduled Wednesday but the NCAA announced Thursday morning that nearly all conference tournaments have suspended play. March Madness is likely soon to follow.
Bettors were preparing to wager on games with no fans in attendance but handicapping a matchup with no fans in the arena would likely have impacted spreads and totals.
There is still the possibility that games will be played but sportsbooks have already released betting odds on whether the whole NCAA Tournament will be canceled:
Odds as of March 12 at Bovada
Major League Baseball has announced it will suspend spring training and the regular season effective immediately.
Regular-season games for 2020 will likely be unaffected at this stage but the upcoming NFL draft could see an impact both in attendance and coverage. NFL teams have been limiting travel to potential draftee pro days at colleges, with the league also floating the idea of doing the draft in April in Las Vegas without spectators.
English Premiership League
The sport that was hit early was soccer, especially in Europe. The most recent news is that Leicester City of the English Premier League has three reported cases of coronavirus with the players now in self-isolation. The match between Manchester City and Arsenal on Wednesday was also suspended amid fears some Gunners players may have contracted the coronavirus.
La Liga has suspended its season for two matchdays following the coronavirus outbreak. Teams like Real Madrid have been placed in quarantine and the league had already taken the step of moving all games behind closed doors without fans for the foreseeable future.
Serie A in Italy has been suspended until April 3 with games being postponed and some teams in quarantine after Juventus’ Daniele Rugani tested positive for the coronavirus.
No details have been confirmed on whether Champions League or Europa League will continue as scheduled. The status of Euro 2020 is certainly up in the air with that tournament expected to be played in 12 cities in 12 different European countries.
The MLS has suspended its season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The NHL season was officially suspended Thursday afternoon due to the coronavirus. Certain teams in the league had already been fairly proactive in trying to limit the spread of the virus, with the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets planning to play regular-season games with no fans in a closed arena.
ATP and WTA events have been suspended for six weeks due to health and public safety concerns from the coronavirus.
The Players Championship has already started with fans in attendance on Thursday but the PGA Tour has announced the tournament will resume on Friday with no fans in attendance. As of this writing, there is no word on how the coronavirus will impact The Masters in April.
Olympics and Other International Events
Other international events like the 2020 Olympics could very well be canceled. Dick Pound, a senior member of the IOC, said in an interview with the Associated Press at the end of February that if it was deemed to be too dangerous in Tokyo due to coronavirus, the Games would be canceled altogether rather than postponing them or moving them to a different venue.
The betting odds of the Olympics being canceled were -260 as of February 26 at Bovada but that betting prop has since been taken off the board.
The health crisis has taken a toll on events in China. The Chinese Grand Prix that was scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai has been postponed while the World Athletic Indoor Championships set for mid-March in Nanjing will be put off until 2021. South Korea has pushed back the World Table Tennis Championship until late June. The World Figure Skating Championships scheduled to take place in Montreal in March have also been canceled.
This is a developing story and as Odds Shark gathers more news, we will update this list accordingly.