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Explosion of 15K new covid cases in Florida should worry pro leagues

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

Throughout VSiN’s countdown to the restart of team sports here in U.S., we’ve talked about the very high covid case counts in Florida. The state topped 10K new cases on one day for the first time on July 2, the date of our second article. It reached 11K two days later, posting a record 11,458 that would hold for just over a week. 

Sunday, an astonishing jump to 15,300.

That new surge was driven by a combination of deep saturation and the increased testing needs created by a high level of contagion. It’s obviously not a sign that things are getting better. Breaking 15K in one day serves as a clear warning for “bubble” restart efforts in the NBA, WNBA and MLS for stadium restarts for MLB teams, and for on-time kickoffs in college and pro football. 

Here’s a quick reminder of the restart schedule. The “MLS is Back” tournament is just a few days into its schedule. For everyone else…

MLB: July 23 

WNBA: originally announced as July 24, though schedule not yet public

NBA: July 30

NHL: August 1

The NHL would seem to have least to worry about given its hubs in Toronto and Edmonton, Canada. But Sunday evening, The Athletic reported that multiple Montreal Canadiens had tested positive for the virus.

Leagues with events based on Florida are watching the MLS tournament closely. Sunday brought another postponement. A scheduled morning kickoff featuring DC United vs. Toronto was taken off the board. One DC player had tested positive. One Toronto player had tested “inconclusive.” Both then tested negative on subsequent evaluations, alleviating concerns about team outbreaks. It’s assumed for now that both teams will stay in the tournament. Dallas and Nashville have already withdrawn because of too many positive tests. 


Pre-tournament favorite LAFC finally takes the field in Florida this evening. It's currently priced globally in the plus 450 to plus 600 range to win the event depending on the sports book. Don't forget that you’ll likely earn a similar or better return simply by waiting until LAFC reaches the knockouts, then using them in a “rollover parlay” round by round. 

That strategy of re-investing your stake each time allows the flexibility to “call off the jam” with a profit if injury or covid news breaks between games.

Early odds for two Monday matchups:

LAFC vs. Houston (8 p.m., FS1)

Three-way: LAFC -145, Houston plus 318, draw plus 356

Goal Line: LAFC -0.75 goals (-119), Houston plus 0.75 goals (-103)

Over/Under: 3.25 goals (Over -116, Under -104) 

LA Galaxy vs. Portland (10:30 p.m., FS1)

Three-way: Los Angeles plus 148, Portland plus 163, draw plus 275

Goal Line: Pick-em (LA -119, Portland -105)

Over/Under: 3 goals (Over -118, Under -103) 

Both games are from Group F. Barring major personnel news, LAFC will be favorites over both Houston and the Galaxy in future meetings. 

More Stories of Interest

*Why covid outbreaks in college sports should scare you (Daily Beast)

*JUCO college football moved to spring (ESPN)

*NFL Draft prospects may bail on college football early (The Athletic)

*Skylar Diggins-Smith conflicted about bubble, but not basketball (ESPN)

*Louisiana re-closes bars, even those that serve food (The Advocate)

*Family gathering infects 41 people (Charlotte Observer)


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