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NCAA’s March Madness is the talk of the sports world right now. With the First Four games starting tonight, basketball fans and betting fans are abuzz with an exciting few weeks of college hoops about to tip off. But let’s not forget the NBA, which is in the home stretch of the regular season.

Just in time for that final run and the playoffs comes the inevitable: the marriage of NBA viewing and betting. On Tuesday, betting technology company Sportradar announced the launch of “enhanced betting-related functionality” within NBA League Pass, the NBA’s subscription, on-demand game-streaming service.

In jurisdictions where sports betting is legal, NBA League Pass subscribers can opt to see betting information like point spreads, over-unders, and money lines while they are watching games. On top of that, they can click on a wager and be immediately taken to a betting slip on FanDuel or DraftKings, the NBA’s official partners, in order to place a bet.

Thus, the functionality, powered by emBET, will work best for League Pass subscribers watching games on a mobile device, tablet, or, presumably, a computer, as opposed to a television app.

“emBET is an exciting innovation for NBA fans, making in-play betting more engaging and immersive,” said Patrick Mostboeck, Sportradar Senior Vice President of Audiovisual, in a press release. “Through our exclusive partnership with the NBA, we’re committed to develop next-generation, value-added products and services, like emBET, to drive fan and bettor engagement.”

Sportradar says emBET will add more content than just betting, such as advanced team and player insights, polls, voting and trivia widgets,” much of which will be developed with the NBA’s optical-tracking data. But let’s be honest, the main point is to put sports betting even more at basketball fans’ fingertips than it has been. Now NBA League Pass subscribers won’t have to remember to take the giant step of remembering to open a betting app before pulling up a game, as the League Pass app will now do it for them.

This is a natural extension of Sportradar and the NBA’s partnership, which dates back to 2016. Sportradar has been the exclusive, worldwide distributor of NBA data, so combining it with sports wagering makes business sense.

The betting feature certainly is not everyone’s cup of tea, so fortunately it is opt-in. It is turned off by default – those who want to use it will have to turn it on in their NBA League Pass app. And again, it is only available where sports betting is legal.

Image credit: Global Panorama via Flickr

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