It appears that the WVU Mountaineers men’s basketball team is going to struggle through this upcoming season. Similar to the WVU football team, additional athletes in Morgantown are testing positive for COVID-19.
This week, the basketball team reported six new positive coronavirus tests, including five players and one staff member.
The Mountaineers postponed all preseason workouts for 14 days.
All six members who tested positive entered a 14-day self-quarantine. Those found through contact-tracing procedures have also gone into isolation.
WVU didn’t mention any names of the players who came up positive or who could have had exposure to it.
WVU basketball battles COVID-19
These new positive cases within the basketball team join the one previous case for a player. Another Mountaineer tested positive on a test not conducted by the WVU athletic program.
This now makes six total players who have tested positive on a roster that currently consists of just 12 players.
The school’s athletic director, Shane Lyons, decided to shut down preseason workouts that were set to start at the beginning of the week.
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Lyons said:
“The recent positive numbers tell me the safest thing to do is put a pause on the start of our men’s basketball workouts. The well-being of our student-athletes is the top priority, and we will continually monitor our men’s basketball situation in hopes of starting on July 20.”
Of course, canceling practice is the smart move with so much time before the season actually begins. However, there’s a chance that things are even worse than they are now by the time the college basketball season normally starts.
It’s been widely reported that the US could face a second wave of COVID-19 this fall. That would be terrible news for sports fans and WV sportsbooks.
The basketball team is one of several directly affected by this pandemic. WVU football announced four more positive tests, bringing the total count to six.
The Mountaineers’ football season is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 5 against Florida State.
WVU’s women’s soccer team also reported a positive test for coronavirus.
Coronavirus’s impact at WV sportsbooks
While the start of college basketball is still months away, this isn’t a good sign of things to come. College teams in all sports are having a very difficult time keeping players healthy, and it could only get worse.
Beyond what the state of the country is, COVID-19 could be very difficult to contain on a college campus. Many schools in the US still have no plan in place for what students will be doing come the fall semester.
If positive cases can remain low, the Mountaineers will be looking to play both football and basketball this year.
Whether or not these squads play their seasons will have major ramifications at WV sportsbooks.
After picking up steam in the market with three quality online sports betting apps, the state has hit an extremely slow period. Through no fault of its own, betting markets are very limited, and handle figures are just not where they once were.
The bulk of the wagers have been placed with the following sports:
- PGA Tour
- European soccer
Sportsbooks missed out on March Madness and several other notable sporting events. Both the sportsbooks and the state are looking to college basketball and football to help bridge the financial loss that came as a result of the shutdown. With no professional teams located in the state, sports betting operators rely heavily on the Mountaineers.
Betting figures will definitely increase once the NBA and NHL playoffs return, but college sports are necessary for success.
WV will be able to earn some more revenue for the state from other forms of online wagering soon, though. It’s possible that online casinos will launch later this month.
WVU basketball odds
There are many around the Morgantown area who are hopeful that the Mountaineers can play basketball this year. They had their season cut short in 2019 when the team was a lock to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
Although most retail sportsbooks are now reopened, bettors can always take advantage of the online options in WV. They include:
Even with the season not slated to get going until early November, sportsbooks have odds prepared.
The following are the current odds listed on DraftKings for WVU’s upcoming basketball campaign:
To Win National Championship
- WVU +1900
To Make Final Four
- WVU +400