The NBA suspended play on March 12, making it nearly a month since we’ve seen some of basketball’s brightest stars battle it out on the hardwood. While it will still be quite a while before we see basketball’s proper return, it appears we’ll soon be getting a bit of an appetizer via a televised H-O-R-S-E competition.
According to reports, the event will include some high-quality NBA talent, including Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul, Atlanta’s Trae Young, and Chicago’s Zach LaVine. Also set to participate are recently retired NBA players and WNBA stars.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, participants would be filmed competing from home. Both indoor and outdoor courts are expected to be utilized for the event.
Although the competition would be purely for entertainment purposes, it would be the first time the NBA would make it to a nationwide audience in any real capacity since the sport was suspended following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test.
NBA players, including LaVine, recently competed in a televised NBA 2K20 video game tournament, but the event sorely lacked the physical aspect of the game. The upcoming H-O-R-S-E event will push us a small step closer to real basketball.
In response to the first news of the competition, Young tweeted at LaVine, a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champ, saying, “ABSOLUTELY NO DUNKING.”
For now, we’ll have to wait to see what sort of rules will be implemented, who the rest of the participants will be, and when the competition will take place.
Prop Bets on H-O-R-S-E Event
While more gambling opportunities should come available once we have further details regarding the exhibition event, some sportsbooks are already offering odds for several prop bets.
For example, bettors can gamble on whether the contest winner will be at least 6-foot-6 or shorter, both of which offer -115 odds. LaVine is listed at that 6-foot-6 benchmark, while Paul and Young are significantly shorter.
However, those are just three players in what’s expected to be a significantly larger field.
Another prop offering -115 odds either way is which conference the winner will come from. While Paul’s Thunder play in the Western Conference, both Young’s Hawks and LaVine’s Bulls hail from the Eastern Conference.
Also note that recent NBA alumni and WNBA players are expected to participate, so a winner outside the active NBA could result in a push.
For a riskier gamble, you can bet on which division the competition’s winner will come from. A bet on a specific division comes with odds of +400, while a bet on the winner coming from any other division holds odds of -600.
More Auxiliary Sporting Events
As athletes and sports leagues around the country search for ways to return to the forefront of entertainment, other auxiliary events are currently being discussed.
In addition to the H-O-R-S-E competition featuring NBA and WNBA stars, we could soon be getting a live golf event as well.
While most fans of the sport are in mourning over the movement of The Masters to a November date, their pain could soon be slightly relieved by a rematch between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Also rumored to be involved are NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, meaning the competition could revolve around a two-versus-two format. According to Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman, “the betting handle would be huge for something like that if it’s up against no other sports.”
Sherman has already set a potential Woods-Manning pairing as -150 favorites over the Mickelson-Brady pairing.
While the coronavirus pandemic has sports fans turning to everything from the obscure to the ridiculous, such as marble racing and stone skipping, a televised H-O-R-S-E competition or golf event would likely go a long way toward quenching the thirst left in the wake of the sports world shutdown.