- The NBA 2K20 Players-Only Tournament will help fill the sports void many bettors currently face when it kicks off Friday on ESPN
- Players are seeded by their 2K rating, led by Kevin Durant (96) and rounded out with Derrick Jones Jr. (78)
- Read on for a deeper look and all the spreads for the first-round of the NBA 2K20 Players-Only Tournament
In a time where the well of live sports has virtually dried up, credit to the NBA for helping to fill the void. Starting on Friday, ESPN will begin airing the NBA 2K Players-Only Tournament, a ten day event pitting real-life NBA players against each other in the 2K20 video game.
For a league of players that spends so much time in hotel rooms on the road, video games can be much more than just a hobby. This will certainly be a fun event, but make no mistake, when these players pick up the controller, they approach the 2K20 video game with a high level of competitiveness.
NBA 2K20 Players-Only Tournament First Round Odds
|Favorite (Seed)||Spread||Underdog (Seed)|
|Kevin Durant (1)||-6.5||Derrick Jones Jr (16)|
|Trae Young (2)||-9.5||Harrison Barnes (15)|
|Hassan Whiteside (3)||-4.5||Patrick Beverly (14)|
|Donovan Mitchell (4)||-8.5||Rui Hachimura (13)|
|Devin Booker (5)||-3.5||Michael Porter Jr. (12)|
|Demarcus Cousins (11)||-2.5||Andre Drummond (6)|
|Deandre Ayton (10)||-2.5||Zach LaVine (7)|
|Montrezl Harrell (8)||-7.5||Damontas Sabonis (9)|
Odds taken Apr 1
What’s the Format?
The Tournament will begin on Friday, April 3rd, and will air on ESPN, helping to fill the gap of live sports that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused. It’s not real basketball, but the 2K games have reached an astounding level of realism, and with the NBA personalities we know behind the controller, it’s a great way to make the best of a tough situation.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that this will be a ten-day event, so we’ll have over a week of competitive basketball to help satiate the appetite for sports.
The seeding for this tournament was determined by the player’s overall rating in NBA 2K20, topped by Kevin Durant (96), and rounded out by Derrick Jones Jr. (78). In instances where two players had identical overall ratings, the longer-tenured player was given the higher seed.
Best Bets in the First Round
Because the seeding was determined by the player’s in-game ratings, which are determined by real-life NBA performance and not video-gaming prowess, there are a few great values to be found in the first round.
The biggest is Devin Booker (-3.5) taking on Michael Porter Jr. Booker is an avid gamer, even making a second-career out of broadcasting his gameplay on the streaming service Twitch. In fact, it was live on Twitch where Booker learned that the NBA season would be put on hiatus. In this case, Booker was playing Call of Duty, but it’s still a testament to the time and investment Booker has put into the world of video-gaming.
Andre Drummond is another avid gamer in the NBA, but he told ESPN in July of 2019 that he’s less of a sports-gamer, instead opting for games like Grand Theft Auto and God of War. He even admitted that Reggie Jackson was the best gamer of his then-teammates on the Pistons.
Additionally, his opponent has some extra motivation. DeMarcus Cousins was the target of some choice, and frankly immature, words from a 2K developer, so showing up and winning this tournament would be the ultimate mic drop for Boogie.
This tournament is a welcome event for basketball fans, especially ones that grew up with video games (which, at this point, has become most of the NBA’s fan base). It has been born out of some crazy circumstances in the world, but seeing this become an annual offseason event, taking advantage of the intersection of sports and video-games, would only make sense.