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Can't bet on sports? Try the weather instead

17th March, 22:40

Rest easy sports bettors -- you can still wager on the weather.

As major sporting events like the NCAA tournament have shuttered due to coronavirus, online sportsbooks are coming to the rescue with new quirky lines to bet on, including everything from the day's highest wind gust to who'll be evicted next on Big Brother 2020.

"We're trying to cope with the loss of sports," Pat Morrow, the head odds maker for sportsbook company Bovada, told The Post Tuesday.

"You're probably talking about an individual loss of freedom, people are going to start feeling a little cooped up more sooner than later and if we can just have those little breaks, whether it's betting on something silly ... we're all just trying to find different outlets to forget what's happening."

On Monday, Bovada opened up wagers on the weather and players can now bet on what the maximum temperatures will be in cities like Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Gamblers can also bet on the expected rainfall and on popular TV shows like American Idol and Westworld.

He said the sportsbook is operating at a 5-10% capacity of what it usually does -- meaning sports betting is down as much as 95%.

"We're allowing ourselves an opportunity ... to not take ourselves too seriously, to try and inject some levity in there, we're trying to put some stuff out there that'll be a little fun," Morrow explained.

"Just for our own sanity and mental health, it's great we have that opportunity to do that and hopefully for a lot of players we can provide an outlet."

Some of those "silly" bets include what the final song on the season finale of American Idol will be, if it'll be written by a male or a female and who's taken over Charlotte Hale's body on Westworld.

"I have a feeling they're not the sharpest lines so there's probably some opportunities there for players," Morrow chuckled.

He said there's about 40 different options on the site's entertainment section, 12 different wagering lines available for the presidential election and even some less-traditional sport wagers for Ukrainian table tennis and Turkish volleyball matches.

Those are the kinds of things that will be attractive to players because they'll have the kind of wagering they're used to with quick payout returns," Morrow said, pointing to the games' point by point similarities to traditional popular bets like the Super Bowl coin toss.

Players yearning for basketball and soccer can still bet on those games -- but only for matches in less traditional locales.

"Turkey and South America still has a very large sports schedule," Morrow said.

"So soccer and basketball that's taking place in Argentina and Brazil that wouldn't have as much betting interest prior to where we are on March 17, now we're seeing bettors just because it's basketball just because it's soccer getting engaged in ways they wouldn't otherwise."

Source