This year’s NBA season saw the Los Angeles Lakers win their 17th NBA Championship, and it was an especially stunning performance given that the franchise missed the playoffs altogether last season. It was also quite poignant given the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant earlier this year in a helicopter accident, and the win was dedicated to his memory. It also cemented LeBron James’ place in the pantheon of all-time NBA greats, marking his fourth NBA title, and making him the first player to win the Finals MVP award with three different franchises, after his exploits with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in his career.
The Lakers win over the Miami Heat means that they have been installed as the favorites for next year’s championship at most sports betting operators, with the LA Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Golden State Warriors as the next-best franchises on the betting lists. It is interesting to note that the Lakers started out as one of the outsiders this season, having missed last season’s playoffs, but the strength of the roster, with James being partnered by forward Anthony Davis’ inclusion, meant that they soon became the consensus favorites as the season began. According to William Hill, more bets were placed, both in terms of number as well as the money wagered, on the Lakers to win this year’s NBA Championship than on any other team, showing an instance where the bettors backed the winning team right from the start. It was also interesting to note that while the Lakers were favorites, the Heat were nowhere close to being so, and their stunning performance this year has served to put them in seventh place in the betting odds for next season’s championship. Despite the pandemic, there has not been a slowdown in terms of betting, with many online real money casinos offering sports betting options for customers to take advantage of. Online casinos have been booming this year due to the pandemic, as more and more people have turned to them in the absence of land-based casinos.
With this increase in interest in betting online, it should come as no surprise to see operators get into partnerships to take advantage of the resumption of sports. INTRALOT, which is a global sports betting and lottery operator, recently announced a partnership with Simplebet, in order to launch betting markets and opportunities around the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Simple bet is using machine learning to create betting opportunities out of every single moment in a sports match, known as micro-markets, which can thereby create millions of betting opportunities for INTRALOT users. Simplebet’s Micro-Markets pricing engine creates a betting market, with odds, pricing, and results, in real-time for each instance. The two companies plan to roll this out for this NFL season and also potentially the MLB postseason, with a view to being completely ready for next year’s NBA season.
The constant evolution of betting markets has perhaps reached an even greater height this year due to the pandemic, which has led to more and more people going online for their betting needs. Thus, this partnership is one of the most innovative ones in the sports betting market at the moment, with the pioneering creation of micro-markets and thus becoming the first operator to offer these opportunities to American sports fans. Of course, the aim is to take micro-markets global, and so the USA will offer a superb test case for this, with the NFL, MLB, and NBA being the best possible events to try out this innovation and see if US sports fans are taken up by it.
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