Featured in this article:
  • The first weekend of August saw uptick in table tennis betting
  • On Bovada, nine of the 10 most-bet events were NBA games
  • WGC Fedex St Jude Invitational made up more than 10% of weekend action

If we were to play a rousing rendition of sports word association and I dropped the term “Liga”, many of you would immediately think of La Liga, Spain’s premiere football / soccer division. Now, if I said Forrest Gump, it’s hard to imagine anything but table tennis (ping pong) being the most popular retort. When you merge the two, you get Liga Pro and the men’s Table Tennis World Cup, the sixth-most bet professional sports league at Bovada during the first weekend of August. The paddles were poppin’ and bet slips slappin’ with nearly 3% of league action occuring at the online sports book. For those who follow the space, this shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise as ping pong tournaments were one of the few sporting events that people could wager on during the height of the pandemic during March and April.

Here’s the entire weekend betting summary for July 31-August 2:

Sport League % of Action (July 31-August 2)
Basketball NBA 45.92%
Baseball MLB 28.24%
Hockey NHL 7.97%
UFC Fight Night 4.11%
Golf St. Jude 3.96%
Table Tennis Liga Pro 2.97%

NBA Betting Reboot

Full disclosure: I watched an insane amount of NBA bubble basketball Thursday-Sunday. After reviewing Bovada’s weekend betting recap, turns out I wasn’t alone. Not only was nearly 46 percent of the action wagered on NBA games, but nine of the top 10 most-bet events were played inside Disney World’s basketball bubble. The most-popular game was Raptors-Lakers with nearly 15% of bets placed on just that one matchup. As 2.5-point underdogs, Kyle Lowry and a stifling Toronto defense upset the Lakers, 107-92 as the dogs barked once again.

Heavy MVP favorite Giannis Anteokounmpo’s Bucks were the second-most bet event of the weekend and just like the Lakers, Milwaukee not only failed to cover (-5), but lost outright to the Houston Rockets, 120-116. That aside, the Greek Freak’s 36-18-8 stat line only strengthens his bid for a second Most Valuable Player Award (though voting only counts what he accomplished pre-pandemic).

aaron judge

Despite the losses, the Lakers (+200) and Bucks (+260) remain the top two favorites to the win 2020 NBA Championship.

Bet On Baseball (But For How Long?)

Despite more reports of positive covid cases, players randomly opting out of the 2020 season (looking at you Yoenis Cespedes), and need to play 60 games in 60 days, Major League Baseball continued to soldier on to the next day. League commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that despite the rise in player cases and need to postpone not only games, but entire series, now is not the time to quit. Aaron Judge definitely heard that as the Yankees big bat has now blasted a homer in five consecutive games.

New York has been the favorite in all eight games this season and are 7-1. Will you be backing the Bronx Bombers this week? Learn all about betting on baseball in our elite guide.

Bubble Hockey A Hit

The National Hockey League entered the fourth phase of its 2019-20 season reboot as the Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifiers started over the weekend. With nearly 8% of sports bets placed at Bovada, the action on the ice paled in comparison to the diamond and hardcourt, but a tip of the hat to commissioner Gary Bettman who reinvented the league’s playoff format in an attempt to adapt to the unique times we live in. The league’s top four teams in each conference will play in a round-robin schedule to determine seeding while the other eight teams must win a best-of-5 series to advance to the true playoff bracket. It’s like March Madness mixed with hockey. For those who love to bet on the puck, it’s a match made in online sportsbook heaven.

Bubble hockey, there’s nothing quite like it!

Ryan Fowler

Ryan has covered sports on every media platform over the past 17+ years. The first seven years of his professional career were spent as a sports anchor and reporter at various local television stations, while he picked up side gigs as a freelance sports columnist and recurring radio guest before he decided to jump to the web. As content manager of sports simulation website WhatIfSports.com and senior editor of FOXSports.com's fantasy baseball and football coverage for the better part of this decade, Ryan embraces advanced metrics, trends, and outside-the-box angles to find his edge. You can follow him on Twitter @FreelanceFowler.

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