Basketball Betting Blazed Trail For Oregon Sports Betting In August

Posted on September 16, 2020

The Portland Trail Blazers NBA playoff run and the WNBA regular season weren’t just a slam dunk for merchandise sales and TV ratings. For the Oregon Lottery’s sports betting handle in August, hoops were huge.

More than half of the dollars wagered and nearly half of the number of bets placed on the Scoreboard sports betting platform last month were staked on basketball.

That buoying effect may diminish now, however.

Details on Scoreboard August handle

Across all sports, Oregon residents and visitors placed over 825,000 wagers on the Scoreboard betting app last month. The total handle came to $25,845,403 for the month.

The state lottery cleared $1,662,406 in gross revenue out of that total. Basketball was, by far, the sport of choice for Oregon bettors, accounting for $13,997,597 in handle or about 54.1% of the total.

Over 405,000 bets on basketball produced that handle. While the Oregon Lottery doesn’t provide data on which basketball events comprised those wagers, the correlation is too strong to ignore.

In August, the Trail Blazers were trying to make their return to the Western Conference finals, fueled by strong performances by Damian Lillard. Additionally, the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm were playing a condensed regular-season slate.

These events likely were the fuel to basketball betting on Scoreboard last month. The Oregon Lottery might need a new sport to step up to the plate this month and going forward, however.

Last month, Oregon bettors only placed 356 bets on football for a total of $6,834 in handle. It’s safe to say that, with the Trail Blazers eliminated and the WNBA now in its playoffs, the Oregon Lottery is hoping that category explodes soon.

Without Pac-12 football this year, the NFL will have to carry all of that load. If California teams and the Seattle Seahawks get off to good starts, it could provide a similar boost as the Trail Blazers’ playoff run.

How Scoreboard can maximize its football wagers

The Scoreboard can maximize the potential for a big September, regardless of how the regional NFL teams perform.

It would be clever to pay attention to its data. For example, Oregon bettors wagered much more money in-game than they did pregame last month.

While Oregon placed many more pregame bets than live ones in August (494,901 versus 330,478), handle on in-game wagers came to $13,914,244. For pregame bets, the handle was $11,931,159.

That means the average value of a live bet for Scoreboard was $42.10 while the average pregame wager was only worth $24.11. There are myriad ways for the Oregon Lottery to take advantage of this.

It’s possible to argue the proportion of pregame to in-game bets placed was due to a lack of availability and variety of live markets. Increasing the number and type should equalize that disparity, if not skew it in the opposite direction.

Here are just a few examples of in-game football markets that the Scoreboard could legally and reliably offer:

  • Correct score market on the number of touchdowns Russell Wilson will throw for in a quarter.
  • Will Tevin Coleman run for a touchdown this half? Yes/No
  • Over/under on the number of yards the Los Angeles Chargers will gain on offense in a quarter.
  • Will the Los Angeles Rams‘ defense intercept a pass this half? Yes/No

By giving its customers more of what they want, the Scoreboard could have a good fall. For the next few months, the Oregon Lottery can’t depend on basketball to bring in bettors.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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