The NBA’s 2021-2022 MVP Nikola Jokic may be known for driving to the hoop on the court, but he drove something else in Colorado this May: search traffic.
Jokic broke several records in the 2023 postseason during the Denver Nuggets’ incredible run to the championship. He was named MVP of the playoffs for his herculean efforts to lead Denver to its first title.
Jokic’s impressive May performance led Coloradans’ search for ‘triple-double’ in record numbers
Colorado online sports betting is bustling, as bettors have 20 online sportsbooks to choose from. Tax money from betting funds the Colorado Water Plan.
According to Dictionary.com and The Denver Gazette, Colorado residents searched “triple-double” in record volume during May. The Nuggets center is almost certainly to thank for this spike in triple-double searches, considering he collected a boat load of them during the playoffs.
If you weren’t part of Colorado’s unprecedented search volume, you still may be wondering what a triple-double is. Rest assured, it is not a delicious cheeseburger. We’ll save you the trouble of looking it up.
In basketball, a triple-double is shorthand for a player achieving a double-digit total in three of five stats categories.
Typically, triple-doubles combine points, rebounds, and assists.
Jokic’s triple-doubles broke records and made history
Buzz surrounding Jokic’s postseason triple-doubles was at an all-time high. The powerful Nuggets center managed a whopping 10 triple-doubles during the 2023 postseason, breaking a record held by Wilt Chamberlain since 1967 (seven triple-doubles). This brings Jokic’s career postseason triple-double total to 16.
Want to watch all of Jokic’s postseason triple-doubles? The NBA released a 45-minute compilation video.
Jokic wasn’t the only Nugget to log a triple-double during the playoffs.
Never since its inception in 1946 had the NBA seen two players on the same team log 30-point triple-doubles in the same game. In Game 3 of the series against the Phoenix Suns, Jokic and teammate Jamal Murray both achieved triple-doubles. Jokic nabbed 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Murray finished with 32, 10 and 10 in the same categories.
Jokic and the Nuggets certainly drove sports betting in Colorado
Breaking league records is obviously a big driver of search volume. Sports betting only amplifies that, especially when a statistical record is up for grabs. Specific numbers on Jokic triple-double prop bets are not available, but it’s safe to assume those type of wagers were heavily favored by bettors at Colorado sportsbooks in May.
Prop betting is one of the most popular betting markets, and Jokic is one of the most popular players to place those bets on. Not to mention, sportsbooks had odds boosts and bonuses on Jokic to drive more bettors in Colorado to places bets on the Nuggets center.
Search traffic and betting activity surrounding basketball was at a high in May. Makes sense, considering the Nuggets had never won a championship before. The month was relatively slow in terms of revenue, but basketball headlined an otherwise underwhelming stretch for Colorado sports betting.
Bettors placed $122.7 million in NBA wagers, accounting for 32% of all bets placed in the state during May. Baseball trailed in a distant second with $90.8 million.
Colorado not alone in sports-related searches
Colorado wasn’t the only state with sports on the brain in May. Nevada, home of the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights, saw “natural hat trick” searched in record numbers. To the dismay of Colorado Avalanche fans, of course.
A natural hat trick is a hockey feat in which one player scores three goals in a row, uninterrupted by other goals. It seems sports championships can be a meaningful driver of search volume for unfamiliar terms.
Ohio searched for “regulate” more than any other state, perhaps a nod to the market’s recent sports betting legislation.
Mississippi takes the cake for the funniest search. The state’s most searched word was simply “it.”