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VSiN begins July countdown to return of U.S. team sports

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

July 1, 2020 12:01 AM

Through the month of July, VSiN will report on the nexus between the restart of professional team sports in the United States and this country’s battle with the coronavirus. Hopefully, that means a countdown to the start of…

  • Major League Soccer: July 8
  • Major League Baseball: July 23
  • NBA: July 30
  • WNBA: Still an unspecified date in “late July”
  • NHL Still an unspecified date in “late July or August”

Both the MLS and NBA are currently scheduled to play in Orlando. The WNBA is hoping for an abbreviated season in Bradenton, Fla. MLB is aiming for action at stadium sites. The NHL is overdue to announce the location of two “hubs” for remaining regular season and playoff action.

Our coverage will include progress reports from each league, as well as data on covid case counts that will likely influence league decision-makers. You probably know that Florida is struggling to contain the virus. July could prove fluid if leagues are forced to go to Plans B or C. (Mitch and Pauly have already discussed the possibility that the NBA will consider the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut as an alternative if needed). 

VSiN will also monitor covid-related developments for football. Some universities are already dealing with outbreaks at unofficial summer practices. VSiN host Michael Lombardi has talked about the possibility that the NFL will just cancel the preseason and start up with the regular season in September. College and pro football are sure to make headlines all through July, even if scheduled regular season kickoffs are several weeks away.

We begin today’s coverage with speculation from Canadian media that Las Vegas may no longer be atop the NHL’s list of preferred hubs for resumption. For weeks, Vegas was seen as a frontrunner. But, Bob McKenzie broached the topic on TSN’s “Insider Trading” Tuesday. The Score expanded on the topic in an online article. Toronto and Edmonton appear to have moved the top of the list.

One likely reason:

*4,459 new covid cases were reported in Nevada the past seven days

*2,241 new cases were reported in the ENTIRE country of Canada in that time


Las Vegas accounts for roughly 80% of Nevada’s covid cases and fatalities. Nevada currently has the highest rate of transmission in the U.S. at 1.56 (goal is to stay below 1.0). Safety for players and personnel is obviously a high priority for the NHL. 

There has been no announced timetable for the awarding of NHL hubs. But, clearly, time is running out if the league is going to restart in the near future. 

Other Notes

*Florida is an obvious focal point for sports betting covid coverage given planned activity there the next few months. The state reported 6,093 new cases Tuesday, up from 3,286 last Tuesday. (It’s best to compare specific days of the week because different states have artificially lower weekend counts, which then skew higher with a “catch up.”) Tuesdays in June in Florida: 617, 1,096, 2,783, 3,286, 6,093. 

Orlando sits in Orange County. There were 300 new cases reported there Tuesday. That’s down from 834 reported on Sunday. Hopefully good news for the MLS and soon-to-start NBA camps. There are currently fewer concerns about Bradenton (WNBA) in terms of raw volume. Tuesday’s count in Manatee County of 46 was down from 95 and 73 the prior two days. 

*For football fans, “SEC Country” in general is getting hit very hard. Tuesday counts in those states: Texas 7,959, Florida 6,093, Georgia 1,874, South Carolina 1,755, Tennessee 1,212, Louisiana 1,042, Alabama 870, Mississippi 680, Missouri 566, Arkansas 520.

That’s more than 22,000 cases in those 10 states. Roughly half of total counts for the entire country. 

Click here to see current Rt rates for all 50 states. States in red are at 1.0 or above. States in green sit below the threshold. 

More Stories of Interest

*Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis says NFL may be asking for trouble without bubble (NY Post)

*Sen​ators Blumenthal and Booker to submit a bill to prevent universities from compelling athletes to sign waivers of liability (CBS Sports)

*Coronavirus could change sports betting rules (ESPN)

*Ryan Braun not sure MLB season will happen (NY Post)

*Korea Baseball Organization to allow limited fan attendance this weekend (Yonhap News Agency)

*Nets roster even more depleted after two players contract COVID (NY Post)

VSiN Clips/Tweets on Betting Restarts

*NBA teams hurt by layoff (Lombardi Line)

*Handicapping NBA Totals (Follow the Money with Mitch and Pauly)

*More on NBA totals (A Numbers Game with Gill and Jeff)

*An early estimate of NBA “Market” Power Ratings (Jonathan Von Tobel)

*Milwaukee Bucks outlook (expanded report on YouTube from JVT)

*MLB Underdogs (FTM)

*NL MVP Odds (ANG)

We'll be back Thursday with our next report. 

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