If you are on our website, you love sports. It really is that simple. With sports leagues currently all on pause due to the coronavirus, you probably love them more because, as the saying goes, “don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. So, since we are all missing sports, I’m sure most of us are asking the same question, “when are sports going to come back”? In fact, we had that very discussion today during our team meeting. Some of us think this summer, while others say they don’t think sports will be back in 2020. Grimm reality, I suppose.

BetOnline Odds Amid Sports Return

But, there is a group of people whose job it is to predict these types of things and to put odds on them. We know them as the oddsmakers. Of course, nobody knows when the coronavirus will be contained and when sports will return. But the offshore sportsbook BetOnline.ag has made MLB a -175 favorite to play a game by Aug. 1.

Again, it’s their job to do this, so take this with a grain of salt. But, for all you sports lovers and gamblers out there, this is at least somewhat of a good sign. That, there is still hope.

So where did this stem from? Well, a couple of reporters, including Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported that July 4th has been one of the options floated as a possibility in MLB circles for Opening Day.

Picture this: The coronavirus is under wraps, and we get baseball to go along with our barbecues and fireworks on Independence Day. How sweet would that be?

Now, while those MLB odds seem like a positive sign, the NFL and NHL ones come in on the other end of it when you look at the odds posted on BetOnline:

NFL Regular Season start on time:
Yes +185
No -275

NHL game Aug 1 or sooner
Yes +100
No -140

The NFL one made me raise my eyebrows a little, since everything we’ve heard from the NFL makes it seem like they don’t have any regard for the coronavirus. Per multiple reporters and beat writers, the league has still not pushed back many dates yet and plans to kick-off on time.

The NBA, who was the first major sports league to shut down, is reportedly considering finishing its regular season and a somewhat modified postseason in Las Vegas, as the league already has rented the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion in July to host the annual Summer League.

Expect NBA Back First

Personally, again this is just my opinion, but I see the NBA being the first league to come back. They have also floated around potential ideas and venues between Las Vegas and the Bahamas. Vegas is already planned for just because of the Summer League.

Also, NBA owners were in fact the first one to really bring up the Force majeure clause and are likely to use it if the season is cancelled. This is big, because reports say that most of the NBA players have not gotten their full salaries yet. Not to mention incentives and bonuses for not only the players, but coaches, staff, and everyone within the NBA community. There are also tv rights, sponsorships and partnerships issues that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars if the season is fully cancelled.

I see them creating some sort of bubble that involves no fans, no friends, no family, daily player and staff testing. A reality show of sorts, like something Ice Cube and the Big3 had floated out a little while back.

Again, this is just pure speculation by me at this point. The biggest concern now is with everybody’s health and safety.

At the end of the day, if anyone thinks they really know what is going to happen, they’re lying. There’s no way to predict which way this virus is going to go. If this was not serious, sports would not have been shut down in the first place.

How BetOnline Breaks Down Odds

Here is BetOnline’s head oddsmaker Dave Mason’s thoughts on how coming up with the odds and his thoughts behind coming up with them:

“Doing these odds has definitely been challenging as this is such a fluid situation with so many unknowns. Additionally, this is the first time we’ve ever had to offer odds on something like this so there is definitely a learning curve on our end as well.

As far as my opinion, I think it is obvious that the leagues and players will side with caution. This pandemic needs to get under control before any of these sports can start back up. That’s what makes this so hard to predict as the leagues are dependent on events they have little control over – the spread of the virus slowing down big time.”

Since the NFL season is so far out, there is a chance the coronavirus curve gets flattened by then. Which means, even if the NBA and MLB do not startup as I anticipate, the NFL might.

Might being the key word there. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for sports to return, because if that happens, then that should mean we are a step closer to returning to normalcy and even more importantly, a step closer to containing and eliminating this virus.