By Lou Monaco | | 3 mins
NBA Season Interest High at New Jersey & Pennsylvania Books
Five days into the 2020-21 NBA season, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have held their own and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers have all sprung out to surprising 3-0 starts.
With the traditional five-game flurry of NBA betting on Christmas Day, how have some sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania handled the start of another sports season in the coronavirus pandemic?
”Specifically, in regards to the Christmas Day games, with all of the favorites covering, it wasn’t a great result for us that particular day, but the interest is definitely there amongst the betting public for the start of the season,” said Thomas Gable, Director of Race and Sportsbook, Borgata Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. “We’ve had good handle to start the season. Obviously, it’s a weird time for them to start in the midst of college bowl season and the NFL regular season wrapping up, but I’m just happy to have them back.”
Rush Street Interactive’s PlaySugarHouse.com and BetRivers.com saw quite a bit of action over the last five days on the NBA, which was responsible for the second-most handle of the weekend on both sites, trailing only Week 16 of the NFL.
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Clippers-Nuggets Draws Big Christmas Action
The five-game Christmas Day slate showcased the best players the NBA has to offer. The nightcap featuring Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers (-3.5, -165 ML) against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets (+145 ML) was the most wagered-on NBA game of the weekend, with almost twice the handle of the No. 2 bet-on game, the Lakers (-6.5, -286 ML) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+226 ML).
The Clippers picked up a 13-point win, providing a late Christmas present to bettors backing the Clippers ML (75% of ML handle), Clippers spread (67% of spread handle) and over 226 (66% of O/U handle).
BetMGM, which went live in Pennsylvania on Dec. 18, becoming the 11th online sportsbook in the state, saw some good action as well this weekend.
”It was a short offseason for players but gamblers were ready to jump back on the sport,” BetMGM’s trading team said. “We saw a ton of action on the NBA Christmas Day games and expect to see bettors continue to wager on basketball as the football season comes to a close.”
Monday night, five games are on the schedule, highlighted by the Portland Trail Blazers visiting the Lakers at 10 p.m. ET.