Seven-out-of-Eight NBA Playoff Matches are Set
The NBA playoffs are set to start on Monday and seven of the eight match-ups are already set. Only the Western Conference top-seeded Lakers do not know their opponent.
There are four teams still in the running for that 8th seed in the West: the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Suns. Those four teams will compete in a play-in game to determine which will meet the Lakers in the first round.
As for the rest of the NBA playoffs, in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks take on the Magic, Raptors play the Nets, Celtics tip-off against the 76ers and the Heat look to cool off the Pacers.
In the West the 2nd seed Clippers play the Mavericks, Nuggets go against the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder try to ground the rockets. Katherine, back to you.
New Jersey Gaming Operators See $29.5 Million in Sports Gambling Revenue in July
After the coronavirus shut down the casino and gaming industry across America in the Spring, New Jersey gaming operators saw a $264.5 million in total revenue in July. That’s down 21% from a year ago but some of the Garden State’s gaming areas saw growth compared to 2019. Revenue from sports gambling was up 65% compared to July of 2019. According to New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, the total revenue was $29.5 million from sports gambling.
Typically during July, only Major League Baseball is in action. But since the NBA and NHL both had to postpone their season due to COVID-19, sports gamblers now have three major sports to wager on.
Originally it was reported all five of College Football’s Power 5 conferences were going to postpone or cancel their upcoming season but we now know the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 all plan to play in the fall as originally planned which has certainly helped boost some of the stock prices and futures bets for sportsbooks.
Coronavirus and Jobless Claims Update
There are over 20.7 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 750,000 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5.2 million cases with over 166,000 deaths.
According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 56,035 new cases reported Wednesday. 479,048 new tests were reported. And 1,503 deaths were reported yesterday.
Labor Department reported Thursday that 963,000 Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits in the week ended Aug. 8, down from a revised 1.186 million claims the week earlier. Economists polled by FactSet had been expecting claims of 1.15 million. Continuing claims, which are the number of people not just filing but staying on unemployment benefits, came in at 15.486 million for the week ended Aug. 1, down from a revised 16.09 million the week before. The continuing claims numbers are reported with a one-week lag but are considered a better gauge of the labor market. While trending slightly lower in recent weeks, the numbers continue to reflect companies’ ongoing struggles to remain open, productive, and in need of workers, particularly with the coronavirus’s resurgence in many regions across the country.
TheStreet's Katherine Ross contributed to this report.