A Calgary Flames "home" game on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Without true home-court/ice advantage inside the NBA and NHL bubbles, the Lakers, Bucks, Golden Knights and Flyers earned arguably the least valuable No. 1 seeds ever.

Yes, but: Both leagues are still trying to replicate the home team experience, using in-game music coordinators and other elements to make the bubbles feel like homes away from home.

By the numbers: NBA "home" teams have been slightly better in the bubble (.562 winning percentage, up from .551 pre-shutdown), while NHL "home" teams have been slightly worse (.500 winning percentage, down from .533).

What they're saying: "Each team submitted warm-up music and walk-in music, and we'll incorporate certain defensive chants and songs for timeouts," says Courtney Benjamin (aka DJ M.I.L.), one of the NBA bubble's four music coordinators.

  • The NHL is doing similar things inside their arenas, while also ensuring that rules like last change — wherein the home team gets to respond to the away team's line change — remain in play.

Between the lines: Given the unprecedented nature of the bubbles, oddsmakers and bettors took a "wait-and-see" approach to the restart, gradually adjusting their lines and tactics. Now, the intensity of the postseason — paired with the lack of a true home atmosphere — presents a new challenge.

"It's a unique time, which can be viewed as either an opportunity or a headache. Most professional bettors view it as opportunity, but there's just so much uncertainty ... and only so much prep work you can do. You learn a bit more about these new situations day by day."
— Ben Fawkes, VP of digital content at VSiN

Today's slate: The NBA postseason begins with four games on ESPN, while the NHL playoffs continue with four games on NBCSN.

  • NBA: No. 6 Jazz at No. 3 Nuggets (1:30pm ET); No. 7 Nets at No. 2 Raptors (4pm); No. 6 76ers at No. 3 Celtics (6:30pm); No. 7 Mavs at No. 2 Clippers (9pm).
  • NHL: No. 2 Lightning at No. 7 Blue Jackets, 3pm ET (TB leads 2-1); No. 2 Avalanche at No. 7 Coyotes, 5:30pm (COL leads 2-1); No. 4 Bruins at No. 5 Hurricanes, 8pm (BOS leads 2-1); No. 4 Blues at No. 5 Canucks, 10:30pm (VAN leads 2-1).

Go deeper

Aug 28, 2020 - Sports

More sports leagues join Black Lives Matter protests

An empty Oracle Park in San Francisco. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The sports walk-out first started by NBA players after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., continued through Thursday, with even more leagues joining the historic strike.

  • NBA: All three playoff games were postponed for the second straight day, but players met and voted to resume the season by this weekend, likely on Saturday.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.