Each week, our “What’s on Tap” series previews the week ahead in the world of sports betting. Come here for a summary of upcoming financial happenings, legislative and regulatory meetings, industry conferences, top games scheduled for the week, and much more. Also, check out our weekly review, “Get a Grip,” for a look back at last week’s notable news.

Monday, December 4

Deadline for changes to California betting initiative

There’s a proposal to place California sports betting on the ballot for voters to decide whether to legalize it in the November 2024 election. The proposal by the founder of Pala Interactive brushed up against a deadline last Friday for amended changes, and sponsors were granted an extension until Monday.

Kasey Thompson, the founder of Pala Interactive, insists that he will not move forward unless he receives majority support from the state’s tribal groups — meaning at least 56 tribes. If California were to go live with sports betting sites, it would become the biggest state to offer the activity.

Tuesday, Dec. 5

NBA reaches knockout stage with In-Season Tourney

The NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament will be decided this week, concluding with the finals on Saturday in Las Vegas. There are two quarterfinals at home sites on Monday. The Celtics will face the Pacers in the opener, followed by the Kings-Pelicans in Sacramento. Celtics forward Kristaps Porzingis will miss the game with a calf injury.

There are two more quarters on Tuesday, with the Bucks facing the Knicks in Milwaukee and the Lakers hosting the Suns out west. The tournament moves to Vegas for the semifinals on Thursday. The finals on Saturday will feature an East-West matchup. The Celtics are the top choice to win the tourney at FanDuel (+330), followed by the Bucks and the Kings, at +350 and +490, respectively.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

NC Lottery meeting

Last week, the North Carolina Lottery Commission approved a series of applications for sports betting licensure, setting the foundation for the launch of online sports wagering in 2024. The commission also approved an initial set of sports betting regulations outlined in an expansive 256-page document. The rules cover a wide range of guidelines that are common in most states, but also include language that restricts sportsbooks from using wording such as “risk free,” or free bets for marketing purposes.

The commission’s sports betting committee is expected to discuss a second batch of proposed rules at Wednesday’s meeting. The commission is required to enable a launch by operators in the first half of 2024, but it has not indicated if North Carolina sports betting will by available by March Madness.

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Saturday, Dec. 9

Daniels favored to win 2023 Heisman

Washington shattered Oregon’s national title hopes on Friday, apparently also ruining the Heisman chances of Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. Following the loss, the odds on Nix skyrocketed from -130 to +2500 at FanDuel. The main beneficiary in the Heisman Trophy betting market is LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, who opened last week at +105. Daniels is now an overwhelming favorite to capture the trophy on Saturday, with odds of -1450.

If Daniels wins the Heisman, he would become the second LSU quarterback in five years to win the most prestigious award in college football. Joe Burrow captured the award in 2019, when he threw for 5,671 yards — fourth most in FBS history. Daniels is the first FBS quarterback to throw for 12,000 yards and rush for 3,000 in a collegiate career. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is the second choice for the Heisman at +1200.

Sunday, Dec. 10

Cowboys face Eagles in NFC East showdown

The Eagles surrendered 456 yards of total offense Sunday in a 42-19 drubbing delivered by the 49ers. The defeat shaved the Eagles’ lead over the Cowboys in the NFC East to a single game. The Cowboys can move into a tie with the Eagles with a victory Sunday night in Week 14. This year’s first game between the rivals ended in a close Week 9 victory by the Eagles.

Niners wide receiver Deebo Samuel torched the Eagles with 138 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in Sunday’s win by the 49ers. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Samuel had a 0.1% probability of scoring when he eluded several Eagles on a 48-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Leading into the game, Samuel spent the week chirping about the Eagles’ defense.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts left the 49ers game to undergo concussion testing, but he returned in the fourth quarter. Hurts’ status in the concussion protocol will be monitored throughout the week. The Cowboys are 3-point favorites at DraftKings; the total is 51.5. Philadelphia holds a one-game lead on Dallas and San Francisco for homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs.

Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 14:

  • Texans wide receiver Tank Dell broke his leg in Sunday’s win over the Broncos. The standout rookie will miss the rest of the season with the injury, including Houston’s next game Sunday versus the Jets, who have lost five straight. Jets coach Robert Saleh is mulling another change at quarterback by replacing Tim Boyle with Trevor Siemian. The Texans are 6-point favorites at ESPN BET; the total is 36.5.
  • Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett left Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals with an ankle injury. Pickett is expected to undergo surgery on Monday and miss two to four weeks, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The Steelers are 6.5-point favorites over the Patriots at bet365: the total for the Thursday night game is 34.
  • Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw was ejected from the win over the Eagles after getting into a sideline altercation with Eagles chief security officer Dom DiSandro. It is unclear if Greenlaw will be suspended by the league. The Niners are 10.5-point favorites over the Seahawks Sunday on DraftKings; the total is 44.

Have a good week, everyone!


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