The NBA is offering a free-to-play betting-style game with a grand prize of a million dollars, in conjunction with its new sports betting partner, MGM Resorts International.
One million dollars from the NBA?
How do you win the million? Users have to accurately predict the number of wins for all 30 of the league’s teams.
In the contest, the NBA and MGM set an “over-under” on total wins for each team, and users must pick a side. The Golden State Warriors, for instance, have a total set of 64.5 wins; users must pick whether they will finish over or under that total.
The grand prize of a million dollars is only handed out if someone picks every total right. Anyone getting 25 or more right will win a $100 gift card for products at the NBA Store.
The dynamic is exactly like betting win totals at a sportsbook, only there is no actual “betting” going on in the contest.
You can see the NBA/MGM contest here.
You’re almost certainly not going to win a million
No matter how good you are at handicapping, it would take astronomically good fortune in order to accurately predict the win totals of all 30 NBA teams, assuming MGM’s total figures are relatively dialed in.
Of course, we have seen examples of these high-payout contests that are free to play, like “perfect bracket” contests around March Madness and DraftKings’ billion-dollar perfect lineup promotion last year. These contests are designed to engage users but have almost no chance of actually being paid out.
Moreso, the contest appears to be a way to:
- Promote MGM as part of its status as the NBA’s official gaming partner. MGM offers legal sports wagering via its casinos in Nevada and New Jersey, currently.
- Priming the pump for the NBA to get more involved in sports gambling down the road.
In any event, it’s the first real public demonstration of the NBA working with MGM in the new world of legal US sports betting.