Playing ‘HORSE’ With the Market: Biggest Stories in Sports and Business Thursday

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It’s Thursday, in case you’ve lost track of time. Here are the top stories driving sports and business news Thursday, April 9.

NBA players are picking up a childhood favorite, coronavirus cases surpass 1.5 million as jobless claims come in over 6.6 million, and don’t expect to bet on the presidential election.

The NBA’s Playing HORSE

The NBA and NBA Players Association are joining forces with ESPN to air a HORSE Tournament. The NBA Horse Challenge Presented by State Farm features eight contestants, including 10-time All-Star Chris Paul, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings, Chicago Bulls dunking champ Zach LaVine, WNBA All Star Allie Quigley, Utah Jazz Guard Mike Conley Jr. and NBA legends Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce.

Those eight players are split into two groups for the quarterfinals, which will air on Easter Sunday. The semi-finals and championship game will air on April 16th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Social distancing rules are in effect as all contestants will play from courts at their homes.

HORSE of course is a game all basketball players grew up playing. It’s a one-on-one, single elimination tournament. Each player describes a shot, if they make it, their opponent must then attempt the same shot. With each miss the player accumulates the letters of H-O-R-S-E. After failing to match five shots, that player loses. There is no dunking allowed in
this contest. State Farm is donating more than $200,000 to charities
focused on battling the coronavirus.

From Sports Illustrated: How We Did With Our 2020 NBA Predictions

Coronavirus Update

There are over 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide. 432,000 of those cases are in the U.S, 152,000 cases are in Spain, and 139,000 cases are in Italy. There have been nearly 90,000 deaths from the virus. Nearly 18,000 of those deaths are in Italy, 15,000 are in Spain and the U.S. has nearly 15,000 deaths.

Jobless claims came in today. 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week. That means that we have lost 10% of the workforce, based on the 151 million people on payrolls in last month’s employment report. Analysts polled by FactSet had said that they expected around five million jobless claims. Over 16 million people are now unemployed in the U.S.

But, markets, in midday trading, are surging higher on Thursday due to the Federal Reserve announcing the injection of $2.3 trillion into businesses, etc.--which, to simplify it, means that the Fed is taking action from preventing the recession dipping into a depression, according to Jim Cramer, co-host of TheStreet Live and Bull Market Fantasy and host of Mad Money on CNBC.

From TheStreet: 2 Tailwinds Driving Stocks Thursday

Trying to Gamble on the Presidential Race?

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. That leaves Joe Biden as the last remaining Democratic candidate and finalizes the showdown between Biden and
President Donald Trump. But don’t expect to legally bet on the presidential race in the United
States anytime soon. Right now, no sportsbook with a gaming license in America plans on offering wagers for the 2020 Election, said Sports Illustrated’s Bill Enright.

We know with all sports on hiatus, the oddsmakers are looking to taking action from bettors but not only are none of the sportsbooks offering this wager; some jurisdictions have actually made it illegal. Which is very odd, considering betting on the United States presidential election
is wildly popular in Europe. In fact an executive Vice President at the Westgate SuperBook estimates European and offshore sportsbooks see 10 to 15 times as much money bet on presidential wagers as sports books in America see on the Super Bowl. West Virginia actually had this bet available for about an hour before removing it from the board. At the time, Biden was a slight underdog at +125, meaning you would win $125 for every $100 wagered. Doubtful we see any licensed sports book get approval in time for the upcoming election.

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