Online Sportsbooks Get Creative With Sports Shortage, Turn to Weather Forecasting

Posted on: March 17, 2020, 11:22h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2020, 01:08h.

Online sportsbooks are trying to weather the storm of not having any sports to offer customers odds on with, well, weather.

online sportsbooks weather odds
With sports betting lounges vacant during the coronavirus pandemic, online sportsbooks are turning to non-sporting events. (Image: Jim Barnes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Yes, this is what’s it’s come to. With the sports world essentially at a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic, oddsmakers trying to retain business are now offering up lines on a variety of random things, the latest being the weather forecast.

With most sporting events canceled/postponed for an indefinite period of time because of the coronavirus, the site is now offering gamblers the ability to bet on the weather, for real,” Bovada Communications Director Ross Stevens told

Feel skilled in predicting whether your weatherman will be over or under on a daily high temperature? There are lines for that.

“What will be the maximum temperature in Houston, Texas, on March 18?” one line asks. Under 81 degrees Fahrenheit is at -180, and over 81 degrees +140. The Weather Channel has the expected high at just that: 81 degrees.

Temperature odds are live for numerous cities, including Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Chicago, Phoenix, and New York City.

The biggest current favorite is a low temperature for tomorrow in Chicago at 42 degrees or higher (-250). A $100 bet nets $40 should the temp stay at or above that number.

The Weather Channel’s Wednesday forecast for Chicago is calling for a low of 42 degrees. All results are determined by data from

Degenerate Gamblers?

Jeopardy! superstar James Holzhauer, who placed second behind Ken Jennings in the television game show’s “Greatest of All-Time” tournament, gave credence to the sport’s betting profession. The professional sports bettor from Las Vegas showed the nation that not all patrons inside sportsbooks are simply gambling, but using their analytical skills to beat the house.

However, can an eye for spotting edges on sports odds lend itself to the weather? That might be a stretch.

While the weather odds might not attract a bounty of action, prop bets that are almost purely dependent on luck are often popular. In the Super Bowl, they include the result of the coin flip, what Gatorade color the winning coach will be showered in, and the length of the singing of the national anthem.

Prop/novelty bets – which are commonly offered online for various event outcomes, such as reality TV competitions, awards shows, and some more sinister such as predicting celebrity deaths – will keep sports bettors entertained and occupied during the global social slowdown.

Bet on Lottery Outcome

Other rather bizarre prop bets being offered online have to do with the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings.

Players can take odds on predicting the Gold Mega Ball Number for tonight’s drawing, all of the 25 numbers coming at +2000 odds. You can also bet on whether there will be a Mega Millions jackpot winner tonight (No -3500, Yes +900). Mega Millions currently has an estimated $90 million jackpot.

Powerball will be drawn tomorrow, and the odds for each of the 25 red Powerball numbers are at +2100. Odds of a player hitting the jackpot are at No -1200, Yes +600. More tickets are expected to be played, as the estimated jackpot is at $130 million.

Of course, if you feel confident enough regarding which Powerball or Gold Mega Millions ball will be selected that you place a wager on it, the begging question is why one wouldn’t simply buy a lottery ticket?