How the MLB & NBA Could Ignite the Colorado Sports Betting Market

As Colorado opened the doors to legal sports betting earlier this month, bettors were greeted with only a few events to wager on, but recent reports suggest that Major League Baseball and the NBA are drawing a roadmap for their eventual return.

With NASCAR having announced a four race event beginning on May 17, Colorado bettors will soon get a taste of large scale American sporting events, but for those who want games from the big four sports leagues how long will they have to wait?

NBA To Open Doors To Training Facilities

The NBA is planning to lift the ban on players working out in their team’s practice facilities for all clubs, including the Denver Nuggets.

News about the NBA’s return has been uneven in recent weeks, with CNBC reporting that a group of agents and front office execs are hoping to cancel the remaining season to allow a longer buildup for 2020-21. But players such as Lebron James dismissed the CNBC report as false speculation and that he believed the NBA would be back soon.

James tweeted on April 30th, “Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything.”

The NBA had previously circled May 8 as a possible date for facilities to reopen with strict rules on what players and teams can do and how they will protect themselves during this uncertain transition to preparing for the season.

Nuggets players have remained relatively quiet during the break, but several players, such as Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap, and Monte Morris to name a few, have tweeted their desire to get back on the court.

How To Bet The Denver Nuggets When The NBA Returns

For the Nuggets, if the league decides to play in a bubble environment in just a few locations, say Las Vegas, then Denver will be one of the teams hit hardest by the neutral site. The club is 25-8 at home during the 2019-20 season, tied with the Clippers for most home wins in the Western Conference.

DraftKings has set the Nuggets odds at +3000 to win this year’s NBA title if the season restarts, tied with the Utah Jazz for 4th overall in the West and 9th in the league. FanDuel has a little more respect for Denver, placing their odds at +2500 to win the crown, but slightly behind Utah for 5th in the West, but 8th in the NBA.

Regardless of how the NBA returns, whether it is straight to the playoffs or a shortened conclusion of the season, the Nuggets will be in the mix for one of the top spots in the West and a viable candidate to get hot and take a run at the franchise’s first ever NBA title.

Why MLB Is Targeting July 4th Weekend To Return

MLB has definitely been the most active league over the past few weeks as writers have thrown out several discussed proposals that have been thrown around the league’s office. What we do know is that there is a high possibility that once the season begins, teams will play in central locations to remove travel and reduce the risk and necessity of having large groups of employees around the team.

Arizona, Florida, and Texas have all been discussed as potential hubs for baseball to begin a shortened season of around 80-100 games. If the three location proposal sticks, then ten teams would be stationed at each location and teams would only play the other clubs in their new division.

The Colorado Rockies would tentatively play alongside their current NL West opponents with the American League West joining to make a 10-team West division. MLB has not released any official plans, but Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman told the Dallas City Council the league hopes to be playing by the July 4 holiday.

How The Colorado Rockies And Nolan Arenado Benefit With Different 2020 Outlook

Most of the conversation around the Colorado Rockies this offseason focused on the rift between the club’s front office and star third baseman Nolan Arenado. But tensions have cooled since Covid-19 stopped the momentum of the 2020 season and Arenado told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he isn’t worried about being slighted from being shopped this offseason to instead working on his game.

“I’m trying to return to that positive mindset,” Arenado said. “I watch games, at-bats, and then I’ll watch home runs just for positive reinforcement. Just to remind myself that I did that and I can still play.”

With their star ready to hit the diamond, the Rockies could benefit dramatically from having to play a different schedule that did not centralize around the National League West and powerhouse clubs like the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This possibility for a more successful 2020 for the Rockies especially holds true if the playoffs are expanded within the proposed three-league setup.

What Type Of Bets Are Available When The Colorado Rockies Return

Once baseball returns to the diamond, Colorado sportsbooks will place the team’s odds on their apps for winning the division, making the playoffs and taking the World Series. Bettors will also see odds and bonuses for making bets on players like Arenado and Charlie Blackmon to win MVP and other prop bets like most home runs.  

For futures bets, the Rockies will find themselves in the middle of the pack with moderate odds for a playoff spot. But that could present a value play if the Rockies get off to a hot start with a shortened season. Of course, not playing at Coors Field will certainly limit their bats, but could help a pitching staff that routinely struggles at home.

Both the Rockies and Nuggets should provide plenty of action for Colorado sportsbooks once the suspensions are lifted and the leagues can return to playing games.

About the Author

Derek Worlow

Derek Worlow is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and contributed work on the collision of sports and politics. Derek has also published two acclaimed biographies about Texas quarterbacks; Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III.