With the sports world, much like wider society, currently experiencing a global lockdown, the betting industry is understandably experiencing a lot of uncertainty.
While wagering on Chelsea’s next Premier League match might seem a long way off at the moment, it doesn’t mean that sports betting is completely off-limits to Blues fans. With that in mind, today, we take a look at sports betting during a pandemic and the best options available to users.
1. Futures Markets
Although match-specific and even many outright markets are currently unavailable to bettors, that doesn’t mean bookmakers have completely shut off access to their futures market. For example, most major operators currently offer odds on the winner of the delayed Euro 2021, with England somewhat surprisingly heading the market alongside Belgium at 5/1. Meanwhile, the NFL Draft is still scheduled to go ahead at the end of April, with sports betting in USA available for markets such as the overall number one pick and position-specific options. There are even markets available for the Rugby Union World Cup in 2023.
2. Niche Leagues
While most of world football has been experiencing lockdown, that’s not the case for the domestic competitions in Nicaragua and Belarus, respectively. Fixtures in the Liga Primera de Nicaragua and Belarusian Premier League have proceeded largely as normal, with sportsbooks keen to offer all of their standard markets to football bettors as customers hungry for sporting action turn their attention to two normally unheralded leagues. Dynamo Brest ended a 13-season title-winning streak by BATE Borisov in the Eastern European country in 2019, but both sides have had an indifferent start to the season, with Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino top with three wins from four games played.
If you’ve exhausted your options in the futures markets, or the lofty heights of the Belarus and Nicaraguan Premier Leagues just don’t appeal, esports is also an area worth exploring. Owing to the fact that most tournaments can be held in a fully-online environment, popular video game titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2 have seen their esports competitions continue largely as normal, while traditional sports simulations such as FIFA and F1 have seen a considerable boost over the past month or so. Most major bookmakers have long since embraced esports, with numerous betting markets being available for both individual games and outright markets – many of which will already be familiar for fans of the respective sports.
At an extraordinary meeting held last week, the Premier League announced that it would not return at the beginning of May, and that the current season would only resume when it was safe to do so. Therefore, we hope that several of the options outlined above will help fill the void for fans of sports betting while we eagerly anticipate the return of elite sport around the world.