These are the stories shaping sports and business for Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.
Massive Sports Calendar On Tap This Weekend
Sports has gradually made its way back into our everyday lives as the coronavirus pandemic continues, but this weekend, it is perhaps the busiest and biggest weekend on the calendar so far in 2020.
The NBA playoffs continue as the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat play Game 3 of their series Friday evening. The 4-seeded Heat are up two games over the Bucks, causing several sports bettors to panic. Milwaukee was the odds on favorite entering the postseason to come out of the Eastern Conference and now find themselves as an underdog just to win their series. Later this evening, the Rockets and Lakers will begin their second-round series in the Western Conference.
On the ice in the Stanley Cup playoffs, we have three series about to take on a Game 7 for the right to remain in the Canadian Bubble. In the East, the New York Islanders face the Philadelphia Flyers, and in the West, The Colorado Avalanche will take on the Dallas Stars. Whoever wins that series will play the winner of the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks. With a win, the Canucks would pull off the biggest betting upset of the Stanley Cup playoffs since the Chicago Blackhawks as the 12th and final seed in the Western Conference defeated the 4-seeded Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round.
In golf, the Tour Championship is underway for the FedEx Cup. Dustin Johnson is the overwhelming favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook as he leads the points standings and gets to start at 10 under-par.
And lastly, the 146th run for the roses takes place at ChurchHill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. Normally the first leg of the Triple Crown in May, the race was delayed due to the coronavirus. Tiz the Law is a massive favorite at ⅗ odds, but no horse has ever won the Derby from the 17-post. So potential history could be on tap this weekend.
The SI Gambling team of Frankie Taddeo and Winstar Farms trainer Destin Heath handicap the race with their best bets over at SI Fantasy PRO.
According to Johns Hopkins, there are over 26.3 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 870,000 deaths. The U.S. has surpassed 6.1 million cases with over 186,000 deaths.
Moderna (MRNA) - Get Report is slowing its vaccine trial enrollment to ensure minority representation. The enrollment slowdown is meant to ensure Moderna has enough minorities, who are most at risk of the disease, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told the network.
And the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is predicting that deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 could be as high as 410,000 by the end of the year.
This is part of the worst-case scenario from the IHME, but the worst-case scenario has deaths as high as 620,000 while the best-case scenario has a prediction of 288,000 deaths from COVID-19 in 2020.
And, finally, the CEO of Tokyo Games says that the Olympics, Toshiro Muto, said that a COVID’19 vaccine “is not a requirement” to hold the Olympic games next year. Muto added, “Of course, if vaccines are developed, we’ll really appreciate it.”
The NBA's Move to Turn Stadiums Into Polling Places
The NBA is opening some arenas as polling places following actions that stemmed from Milwaukee Bucks players refusing to play a playoff game following the death of Jacob Blake, and that action soon lead to players and teams across the WNBA and the NBA refusing to take the court.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix wrote about the actions taken by the NBA and WNBA.
“The Toyota Center will become a voting center in October, and this, this is something NBA owners should be getting behind. The Hawks have turned State Farm Arena into a polling place, the Pistons have done the same with their practice center. There’s no reason others can’t follow suit. LeBron James is among the leaders in the push for voter turnout, and NBA teams can advance that cause by turning cavernous arenas into climate controlled voting booths,” Mannix wrote. “Players are hurting. Any good feelings felt after a month-plus spent advocating for social justice have washed away. Players wants answers, but there aren’t any. Players want help, but change comes in only small increments, and there is only so much NBA owners can do to alter that.”
So what does this mean for the world of sports and business? TheStreet’s Tony Owusu joins to discuss in the video above.
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