The Sierra Canyon Trailblazers with a lineup featuring Bronny James and Zaire Wade, the sons of NBA icons LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, travels to San Diego to face Montgomery High School.
There is already a lot of buzz surrounding the team with Sierra Canyon entering the season as two-time defending California Open Division state champions, with 15 games programmed to appear on ESPN, and with the sons of two NBA legends on the squad.
Adding to that buzz is at least one offshore sportsbook by taking bets on tonight’s match and more.
For Thursday’s Sierra Canyon/Montgomery tilt SportsBettingAG.com is offering gamblers three prop bets: for freshman Bronny James, an over/under of 11.5 points, for senior Zaire Wade, a similar bet at 13.5 points, and on Dwayne Wade attending the game, -500 “yes” and +300 “no”. At the end of last season, the elder Wade retired from the NBA.
Gambling on high school sports is a unique idea and may become popular. However, some sportsbook insiders don’t think it will become the norm in the US.
In an interview with Casino.org, Matt Lindeman, an oddsmaker at Circa Sports in Las Vegas, said, “I do not see high school sports betting being offered in the US any time in the near future. I think most Americans draw a line ethically when it comes to amateur sports.”
Division I college athletics are regarded as amateur competitions, with college football and basketball being among the most betted-on games in the US. However, Lindeman acknowledged, “it’s hard to consider DI athletics amateur.”
Bets on High School Sports
Washington, D.C. and the 18 states which have subsequently legalized sports betting since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), (it was legal in Nevada prior to the PAPSA decision) have adopted different methods to the handling of action on college games.
As mentioned on the Casino.org website, Oregon only offers wagering on professional games, whereas Colorado, which approved sports wagering very recently, is expected to allow college bets. New York prohibits bets on competitions concerning universities from the state or any college games which are held there.
What is common is that states prohibit wagers on high school sports, and although many do not openly state as much in their individual gambling regulations, there is typically some language about prohibitions relating to betting on competitions concerning participants that are under 18 years old.
The age language is seen as a obstacle for increasing the footprint of esports in the US sports betting world, though some states are broadening their views on competitive gaming wagers. In the case of esports, the work-around is that the players and competitions aren’t backed and overseen by state high school sports governing bodies.
Also, SportsBookAG is offering wagers on Sierra Canyon for bettors with longer-term views, like the school’s season win total (25.5), regardless if the team will defend its state title, and season scoring averages for Bronny James and Zaire Wade.
However, Lindeman doesn’t think this as the type of action most gamblers are in search of. He said, most bettors “are not looking to gamble on the performance of literal children.”
Regulation will possibly prevent high school athletics betting from becoming a normal offering in the US, added the oddsmaker.
He said, “Regulation would be a huge obstacle, also. “I’d imagine these markets will remain offshore.”