It’s been a pretty extraordinary 2020 for various reasons, and the world of sport has seen no shortage of drama and memorable moments over the course of the year. This article rounds up the biggest action across the major markets and looks ahead to what is sure to be an even more fascinating 2021.
With the shift in the world soccer schedule both the 19/20 and the 20/21 season became even more hectic than usual, much to the dismay of some of the top managers, with some key players being forced in to three game weeks.
In England, Liverpool had the title pretty much wrapped up before the postponement in March, surging to their first league title in 30 years. Winning 32 of the 38 games, accumulating 99 points and breaking numerous records along the way – it really was a highly impressive performance from a team with odds of 3.60* to win the title at the start of the 2019/20 season.
In the Champions League, which moved to a single-leg knockout stage following its resumption in April, it was German champions Bayern Munich who emerged victorious after a series of incredible displays. Bayern are the current favourites to lift this year’s trophy with their odds currently priced at 3.76*.
If you want to enhance your Premier League and Champions League betting knowledge, you should check out the Premier League Insights and Champions League Betting Blueprint podcasts on your preferred platform!
When the idea of an NBA ‘bubble’ was first proposed after the regular season was halted in March, few would have predicted the impact and surprises it would have on the NBA playoffs.
Potentially acting as the great equaliser, the absence of fans and travel meant that teams would have to rely on their basketball ability alone to see them move through the rounds, rather than a favourable seed, hostile environment, or travel fatigue having the impact it usually does in a series.
It culminated in preseason outsiders the Miami Heat (priced at 61.00* before the start of the season before moving to 3.79* heading into the Championship Series) meeting the preseason favourites the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals.
Unfortunately for the spirited Heat team, the Lakers were a step too far, with the incredible duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James proving too difficult to contain as the Lakers won their 17th NBA Championship in six games.
Coming into the 2019-20 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs were priced at 8.50* but would go onto claim victory at Super Bowl LIV, defeating the number one seeded San Francisco 49ers 31-20 courtesy of an MVP performance by star QB Patrick Mahomes.
Heading into the upcoming 2020-21 season, the Chiefs are the current favourites to retain their crown with odds of around 3.50*, but they face stiff competition the form of the New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Seattle Seahawks - with each superstar QB looking to dethrone Mahomes from his current standing within the league.
If you want to improve your NFL predictions, then you should tune into the Opening Line stream on our Twitter from 19:30 CET every Tuesday! Don’t worry if you miss the stream, the video and audio get uploaded to our YouTube and podcast platforms respectively so there’s no excuse to miss out on this invaluable insight.
Of the four tennis Grand Slams of 2020, Wimbledon was the only casualty of the pandemic - the US, French, and Australian Open all went ahead, providing three different winners in both the Men’s and Women’s competition.
Dominic Thiem claimed his first slam at the US Open, with Naomi Osaka winning her second World number one Novak Djokovic won his eighth Australian Open, with Sofia Kenin winning her first ever slam; and almost inevitably, Rafael Nadal seized his 13th French Open title - a staggering achievement in the modern era - while Iga Swiatek would win her first ever French Open.
At the time of writing, the next slam around the corner will be the Australian Open, with Novak Djokovic the current men’s favourite with odds of around 2.38*.
If you want to improve your tennis betting or hear more insightful knowledge about the sport, you should tune into Advantage Bettors on your preferred podcast platform for incredible insight and in-depth previews of the upcoming Grand Slams.
The biggest fight of 2020 was arguably the highly-anticipated rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. WBC champion Wilder came into the bout as a marginal 52% favourite but would be stopped in the seventh round via TKO after a dazzling performance from the self-pronounced ‘gypsy king’ Tyson Fury.
With some potentially huge fights on the horizon in 2021, in the shape of Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua and Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford to name just two, make sure you tune into Puncher’s Chance, Pinnacle’s dedicated boxing podcast which previews upcoming fights and highlights where you can find value!
While major traditional sports predominantly fell victim to the pandemic, the world of esports was able to persevere through the postponements and chaos and deliver a fascinating year of action – particularly at the 2020 LoL World Championship.
From the 24 teams that entered, pre-tournament favourites DAMWON (3.67*) faced big outsiders Suning (21.48*) in the final. It would prove one step too far for underdogs Suning, with DAMWON triumphing to claim the lion’s share of the huge $2m prize pool.
Looking ahead to 2021, there are plenty of incredible esports tournaments to look forward to including CS:GO BLAST Premier Global Finals, LoL LCS and LoL LEC regular season, and the Valorant Champions Tour.
Without question, the world of sport was severely hampered by the effects of the pandemic in 2020, with major sporting events such as Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games having to be postponed to 2021. However, with the sporting calendar back in full flow and Pinnacle’s markets offering you the chance to get closer to the sports you love – it looks set to be an incredible 2021.