NBC Sports Chicago will present an alternate broadcast of the Hornets-Bulls game at 8 p.m. Thursday geared toward sports betting. The “BetCast” will appear on NBCSCH+, opposite the regular broadcast on NBCSCH.
The network and sportsbook PointsBet are partnering for the presentation, which will be led by NBCSCH host David Kaplan, Bulls analyst Kendall Gill and PointsBet senior editor Teddy Greenstein. They’ll give viewers data, analysis and commentary with a gambling focus.
“A lot of people don’t know how to gamble,” Kaplan said. “Maybe they understand the point spread, they don’t know what the money line is, the live line. We want to explain it to you. We want to be able to explain it to the novice, and we want the seasoned gambler to have a good time.
“Teddy knows gambling. That’s what he does for a living. Kendall does not know the first thing about gambling, but Kendall will tell you why he thinks the Bulls are going to win or lose, and he gives you valid basketball reasons. Then you the gambler do what you want with it.”
The broadcast will be produced by NBCSCH senior producer Ryan McGuffey, who, like Kaplan, knows and enjoys sports betting. McGuffey will maintain the on-screen graphics, which will include the spread, over/under totals, moving money lines, player prop bets and more. Team and player performances and trends also will appear on a graphic overlay surrounding the game telecast.
In 2019, NBC Sports Washington produced gaming telecasts for Wizards games that included a “Predict the Game” contest with the chance to win $500. Also that year, NBC Sports Philadelphia produced BetCasts for some 76ers games. It was only a matter of time before NBCSCH took its turn.
“If you think back before [sports-betting] legalization took place, you would hear Al Michaels or Brent Musburger slyly say, ‘Well, this field goal means something to somebody out there,’ because it was for the total or whatever the case may be,” Kaplan said. “Now it’s no longer slyly working it in or it’s in the shadows. This is the new reality.”
NBC Sports and PointsBet also partnered with the PGA Tour in February to produce a BetCast for the Phoenix Open, the first betting companion show during a PGA event. It provided 10 hours of coverage in four days of the tournament on streaming service Peacock Premium.