Sportsbooks Set Odds on Whether Two or More Games Will Be Cancelled in 2021 NBA Season Due to COVID-19 Issues

Adam Silver

Could Adam Silver be forced to cancel games due to COVID-19? (Photo by Martin Cole/DPPI/Icon Sportswire)
  • A prop is on offer regarding the total number of NBA games that will be cancelled during the 2021 season
  • The total is set at 2.5 games after a week of postponements around the Association
  • Is it worth wagering on either side of these odds? Read on for analysis

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA is requiring its teams to spend just as much time studying protocols and contact tracing as they are working on screens and post-up plays. So far, COVID-19 is winning this battle.

Were this a game of H-O-R-S-E, COVID-19 would already have the H-O and looks about ready to secure the R.

Health and safety protocols instituted by the league are putting players out of action, leaving teams with short benches. Teams are being left to contest games with the minimum requirement of eight players.

Barely three weeks into the season, the NBA has already seen postponement of six games. There’s been no confirmation of dates to reschedule any of these games. That’s certainly playing a role in a prop wager asking whether eventually the NBA will be left with no choice but to cancel games.

The total on this games cancelled wager is set at 2.5 games. Whether bettors opt to go with over on under on their wager, they’ll get odds of -120.

Odds on NBA Regular Season Games Cancelled in 2021

Total Games Cancelled Over Odds Under Odds
2.5 -120 -120

Odds as of Jan. 13.

Last season, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic ended up forcing the NBA to shorten its regular season.

Adjusting to COVID on the Fly

At the start of the season, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s insistence was that the league had put into place preparations for all contingencies when it came to COVID-19. Three weeks into the season, they’re already altering their game plan for dealing with the virus.

The Philadelphia 76ers were forced to play a game with just seven healthy players. A Miami-Boston game on Sunday was postponed.

The Celtics were planning to play with just nine healthy players. However, the Heat couldn’t muster up eight healthy bodies of their own.

Three Celtics games have already been postponed this season.

NBA officials announced that for at least the next two weeks, all players and team staff are being required to remain in their residence when not playing or practising. On the road, the league is prohibiting teams from leaving their hotels other than for games and practices.

No Plans for Bubble or Pause

Last season’s resumption in a bubble environment in Orlando was a huge success for the NBA. However, indications from the league are that there currently are no plans to introduce any sort of bubble format for this season.

While there were suggestions that the league might take a two-week pause in order to get COVID-19 under control, that also isn’t part of the current plan.

The problem facing the NBA is that they’re operating will small rosters. There’s no deep pool of minor-league players like MLB was able to draw upon when COVID-19 infected some of its teams. There aren’t 53 players and a practice squad available as in the NFL – and the NFL only plays once a week.

Rescheduling one game is challenging. Fitting in three or four makeup games into an already-busy schedule is a virtual impossibility.

Some players are already insisting they’ll be ignoring league-mandated protocols. COVID-19 is spiking across the country. The chance that eventually there will be outright cancellation of games seems very likely at this point.

Pick: Over 2.5 NBA games cancelled in 2021 (-120)

2021 NBA Championship Odds Tracker

Will More Games Be Cancelled Than Ben Simmons Made Threes This Season?

Outcome Odds
Ben Simmons 3-point shots made during regular season -300
Total NBA regular season games cancelled +200

When he steps beyond the arc this season, Ben Simmons is on fire. The 76ers point guard is shooting 50% from 3-point range.

Granted, he’s only 1-for 2, but Simmons is one away from equaling his career high for treys after playing only 10 games. Over the past two seasons, he’s hit 3-of-9 from long range.

Still, if we’re going with over 2.5 NBA games cancelled, that means Simmons must hit more than three threes to win this wager.

That just ain’t gonna happen.

Pick: Total NBA regular season games cancelled (+200).

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