Baseball games have long been a place for fans to place wagers on the game. Whether it was on the corners at Wrigley Field or at the ballparks themselves, fans would place their bets on the action and hope for the best. Now that the pandemic has passed, fans can once again congregate at ballparks to place their wagers on the game. However, things have changed a bit for baseball betting this year.
MLB Regular Season Starts
This year, Major League Baseball changed its regular season from starting on Thursday and finishing on Sunday to starting on Monday and finishing on Sunday. This change was made to give fans more time to attend the games because traveling on Saturday is more difficult now than it was prior to the pandemic. Sunday games were typically the most popular on the betting schedule because fans were able to attend the game and have it end so they could go home and relax or continue their day as usual.
Increased Home Gatherings
Prior to the pandemic, large groups of people weren’t supposed to meet because of the danger of spreading the virus. As a result, there were fewer people at the ballparks and fewer opportunities for fans to place wagers on the games. The pandemic changed all of that, and fans are now able to attend sports games and gatherings again. This has resulted in more opportunities for wagering and more bets being placed on games.
Legalizing Sports Betting In-Stadium
In the past, casinos, racetracks, and horse-breeding operations had a stranglehold on sports betting, controlling which games were fair games for betting and which weren’t. The spread of cell phones has changed all of that, and now people can place wagers from the comfort of their home. In response, Major League Baseball has begun allowing in-stadium betting at certain ballparks. People can place their wagers on the game, and the casinos, racetracks, and horse-breeding operations can no longer control which games are and aren’t bet-able.
Rerouting To Off-Stands
Part of the reason why sports betting on the corners at Wrigley Field was so popular was because the action would often be rerouted to the stands if the playing surface was unplayable. During pandemic years, this wasn’t an issue because playing surfaces were kept clean, and fans could attend the game in their droves.
However, with the return of the regular season, the need to keep the playing surface clean has been negated. Consequently, rerouting to the stands has become a lot less common because fans can’t place wagers on unplayable fields. If a game is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances, then the betting pool for that game is also forfeited.
Increased Amounts Of Money Changing Hands
Betting on baseball used to be a casual affair for fans. They’d show up to the game and place their bets on the action. If their team won, they’d go home happy. If their team lost, they’d go home disgruntled but with money to spare.
However, the convenience of online betting has made things a lot more complicated because people now want to bet larger amounts on games due to the increased likelihood of a touchdown or an exciting play. As a result, there has been an increase in people losing money because they bet on games they weren’t prepared for and couldn’t cover. This has driven down the amount of people willing to bet on baseball games, even though the sport is back and more accessible than ever before.
More People Betting Against Them
Prior to the pandemic, fans would often place wagers on teams they were rooting against just to keep the score closer. However, with the rise of online betting and fan bases across America increasingly polarized, people are rooting against more teams than ever before. This is mainly because they can get information on the internet about the other teams, allowing them to handicap the games and make better wagers.
Fewer People Attending Certain Games
Due to the pandemic and the uncertainty of its aftereffects, people are less inclined to vacation and more inclined to stay at home. As a result, fewer people are traveling and fewer people are attending sporting events. This has dramatically reduced the number of people at Wrigley Field and other stadiums, resulting in further declines in the betting activity at those venues.
However, not all sports have been affected by the pandemic. For instance, college football has not been canceled, and there have been no reported cases of the virus being spread by players or fans at those games. It’s probably because of this that people are continuing to attend football games and are putting down bigger wagers than ever before because there’s a sense of relief that this game is safe to attend.
Fewer People Watching Certain Games
Due to the pandemic, there have been less people going to the movies and more people staying at home. This trend has resulted in a significant decline in audience members at movie theaters, which is likely the reason why movie studios have canceled or postponed the release of many films. The same can be said of other forms of entertainment, such as restaurants and bars, which has prevented people from gathering and watching TV shows and movies together.
Although the pandemic is over, the effects linger, and it will be a while before people attend sports games and places of entertainment in the same manner they did prior to the pandemic. As a result of these changes, people will need to adjust to a new way of betting on sports, especially if they want to continue winning money.