The coronavirus body slammed the sports world in a way that would make most professional wrestlers cringe. Fortunately, though, athletes are resilient, and this is nothing more than a hurdle to be jumped. With virtually all sports action having come to a grinding halt for the time-being, sports gambling fans haven’t had many options for release, but the upcoming NFL Draft is providing the perfect solution. With just a week to go before the big event, some sportsbooks are witnessing greater amounts of action than ever before.
The exact figures aren’t in, and draft wagers will continue to be placed until the event draws to a close. However, Jared Smith, a sports investment analyst with Sportsgrid, said during an episode of CBS’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence, “What we’re seeing is a major uptick in NFL Draft betting. This is only the second year that it’s been legal here on the East Coast in the New Jersey books, but I’ve seen a massive uptick in the amount of bets in terms of the amount of prop bets that are offered and also just the movement in the NFL Draft marketplace. It’s been very volatile. To me, that means there’s a lot of action being thrown around and I think people are very excited for next week’s NFL Draft. I think it’s probably going to be not only the most watched sporting event of this year so far, but probably also the most bet on.”
The draft is going to be held April 23-25, and is going to be the first draft in NFL history to be managed almost entirely through remote connections – no large gatherings of players and teams, no massive celebrations and no fanfare. COVID-19 has forced the league to take measures to keep everyone healthy and the three-day event, which should have been held in Las Vegas, will find coaches, team representatives, players and more connecting from their respective homes through videoconferencing equipment to discuss their picks.
It’s going to be the largest conference call the NFL has ever seen, and the league is still trying to work out the kinks. Some of those kinks include personnel – individuals who have shied away from technology over the years and who aren’t familiar with terms like bandwidth, pixels and even digital imaging. That should make for an interesting experience during the draft.
There have been some concerns that the telecommunications system used by the NFL could be hacked, a misguided belief, according to the league. Kevin Demoff, the chief operating officer of the LA Rams, asserts, “You get into the security aspect, which is probably the most important for teams. How do you make sure your conversations are protected? … That would be my biggest concern, just from an encryption standpoint, of how do you have these conversations confidentially and make sure they go through?”
To help try to prevent any issues, the NFL has teamed up with Microsoft to protect its systems. With million-dollar deals and club secrets on the line, Microsoft can’t afford to screw this up.