There are now days in the calendar without any sporting events at all as all the most popular sports and leagues are shut down – NBA, Premier League, tennis, and pretty much everything else. All sports are seen as a threat, especially as the European coronavirus outbreak seems to have started at the Atalanta – Valencia match in the UEFA Champions League.
Sports bettors have had access to the Turkey Super Lig for a while before it too got shut down, so now the options are very limited. What’s left to bet on? Croatian sports betting website Oklade.net comes to the rescue with this list of sports and competitions that are still on. There will be some obscure ones!
Association football, known in Europe and elsewhere as simply football and soccer in the US, is still on. We just have to dig much deeper to find leagues that are still being played, and we find that countries that didn’t have an outbreak (yet) can still enjoy the world’s favourite sport.
Nicaraguan football league is on, and is currently in its Clausura period. Belarus Premier League goes about its usual way, and there’s also the Belarus Reserve League to bet on. Burundi Premier League is on too. There are also some friendlies in Europe, mostly involving Swedish teams.
Table tennis unexpectedly rose to the second place of hottest sports to bet on right now, as it’s played in Russia, Ukraine and Czechia. There are hundreds of matches available, most of them with live streaming too, available at of Bet365.
Almost all basketball leagues are stopped, with the exception of some smaller ones. Chinese Taipei SBL and Russia MLBL are the two leagues that are still on.
Volleyball is still played in Russia and there are four leagues to choose from at the time of writing. Liga Pro, St.Petersburg Champs, Yekaterinburg Champs and St.Petersburg Champs Women.
Tennis is shut down. There are no tournaments anywhere.
Ice hockey fans, especially sports bettors, will become experts in Belarus Extraliga because it’s the only ice hockey league being played right now.
The only league alive right now is Belarus 2nd division.
There are some boxing events in the calendar, such as the Dillian White v Alexander Povetkin bout scheduled for May 2 in Manchester, UK, the equally interesting Oleksandr Usyk v Dereck Chisora fight (May 23, London, UK) as well as the main event in the first half of the year, Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev (Jun 20, London, UK).
However, these events are simply scheduled to take place and could be cancelled or moved to a different date. Coronavirus is spreading through the UK like wildfire, so these events will depend on how successfully the outbreak is contained a few weeks before scheduled dates. In all likelihood, these events are as good as canceled, it’s just that it hasn’t been made official.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
In what is a cunning marketing move more than anything, UFC president Dana White decided to “defy” coronavirus by letting his UFC events go ahead. “In times like these, people need to be entertained. People need to feel some sort of ‘normalness’ going on. We’re gonna do it. I’m gonna get this thing done. I’m gonna figure this thing out. And I will make sure that everyone involved is safe.”, White said.
UFC 249 is scheduled for April 18 and will feature a ligthweit fight between Khabib Nurgomedov and Tony Ferguson, as well as 11 more fights. UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira is on April 25, and it features the light heavyweight fight between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira as well as 9 more fights. UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Weidman is scheduled for May 10.
eSports are a niche betting market and they haven’t found increased popularity during the time of the outbreak, as people who are not into that are just not into that. Betting on people playing video games is not for everyone.
That being said, games are still on so there’s a chance to perhaps explore this world and see what the fuss is about. DOTA2 (Defense of the Ancients 2), CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), LOL (League of Legends), Overwatch and many others are in full swing.
Could it be that eSports will take a more important place in the world now when all sporting events with actual human contact are in trouble? It remains to be seen.
Conclusion: What to bet on?
There are two paths here – one is to descend deep into obscure leagues in your favourite sport, or to bet on top events in some sport that isn’t (yet) familiar to you. The other seems a better choice, though football bettors still have access to Belarus Premier League, a decent competition. However, it seems only a matter of time before Belarus succumbs to the virus like everyone else.
It might make sense to explore eSports, as there are plenty of matches so this is the only sport that can satisfy one’s continued need for betting (almost) every day. The other would be Russian table tennis, but you don’t want that. Watch a few DOTA2, CS:GO and LOL matches and see why do people become such diehard fans of eSports.