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.
Tuesday, November 28
NBA completes In-Season Tourney group stage
The group stage of the NBA In-Season Tournament wraps up on Tuesday with eight games on the schedule. While the Lakers and Pacers have already earned quarterfinal berths, several others can join them with victories on Tuesday night.
The Bucks, who are 3-0 in group play, remain the overwhelming favorites (+280) at BetMGM to win the tournament and can clinch a spot in the knockout stage with a win over the Heat. The Lakers are the second choice at +500, followed by the Pacers and the Suns at +600 and +900, respectively.
The Pacers finished group play in the NBA In-Season Tournament a perfect 4-0 and will host a quarterfinal game when the tourney resumes in early December.https://t.co/bJc0YU7IZD
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) November 25, 2023
Thursday, Nov. 30
Daly highlights lineup at SBJ Dealmakers
A contingent of pro sports league executives, media luminaries, and sports financiers will converge in Washington, D.C., this week for Sports Business Journal‘s Dealmakers conference. One panel on Thursday, From the League Office — Navigating the New Sports Economy, will feature appearances from representatives from the NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS.
Two panelists, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, may address how the emergence of ESPN BET has bolstered fan engagement in their respective sports. Over the last several weeks, the NHL has dealt with its first sports betting scandal since the historic PASPA decision. Last month, Senators forward Shane Pinto received a 41-game suspension for violating the league’s sports wagering policy.
Tiger makes first appearance since Masters
After months of recovery, Tiger Woods returns to tournament play on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas. Woods last played a formal round in April before withdrawing from The Masters, after which he underwent surgery on his right ankle.
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In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this month, Woods noted that he was “pain free” in terms of the ankle injury. Woods has odds of 50/1 at SuperBook Sports to win the Hero World Challenge.
Hero World Challenge
Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2023
V Hovland 4/1
S Scheffler 6/1
M Homa 7/1
C Morikawa 8/1
J Thomas 16/1
M Fitzpatrick 16/1
J Spieth 20/1
R Fowler 20/1
T Finau 20/1
Cam Young 20/1
S Burns 20/1
W Clark 20/1
K Bradley 25/1
J Rose 25/1
J Day 30/1
W Zalatoris 30/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) November 20, 2023
Friday, December 1
Deadline for amendments in California bills
Last month, the founder of Pala Interactive filed a pair of proposals that seek to place digital sports wagering on the California ballot for the November 2024 election. Kasey Thompson, the sponsor of the bills, claims he will not move forward unless he receives majority support from the state’s Native American tribes. As a result, Thompson, the founder of Pala Interactive, will need approval from at least 56 tribes statewide.
On Friday, the initiatives will brush up against a deadline for amendments to the bills. Some of the interested tribes have been diligent about sending over amendments to the initiatives, Thompson told Sports Handle earlier this month. If California goes live with legal sports betting, the state would become the most populous jurisdiction nationwide to offer the activity.
Ducks seek revenge in Pac-12 title game
Despite amassing 541 total yards in last month’s showdown at Washington, Oregon still fell 36-33 to the Huskies in a matchup of Top 10 rivals. Oregon failed to convert on three key fourth downs and will have a chance to avenge that loss in Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas.
Since losing to the third-ranked Huskies, the fifth-ranked Ducks have won six straight while outscoring opponents by an average of 26 points per game. Oregon ranks second nationally in points with 45.2 per game, while Washington puts up 38 per contest — good for 11th in the country.
Friday’s matchup features a pair of Heisman contenders in Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington counterpart Michael Penix Jr. Nix leads the nation in passing yards with 3,906, seven more than Penix, who is second overall. The Ducks are 9.5-point favorites at bet365, the total is 67, and the winner will likely receive a spot in the CFP National Semifinals.
Saturday, Dec. 2
Georgia-‘Bama showdown in SEC Championship
Alabama edged Auburn in the Iron Bowl when Jalen Milroe completed a miraculous fourth-down pass to Isaiah Bond for a 27-24 win. The 31-yard completion ensured that the Crimson Tide will head to Saturday’s SEC Championship with a shot at making the national semifinals.
Nick Saban’s squad must upend Georgia in Atlanta and receive some help to move up in the CFP rankings. The two SEC rivals will meet with the conference title at stake for the third time in six years. Georgia enters the showdown on a 28-game winning streak. The Bulldogs are 5-point favorites at ESPN BET; the total is 55.5.
There are national title implications throughout Saturday’s slate. Fresh off a close win over Ohio State, Michigan will take on Iowa in the Big 10 Championship. The Wolverines are 23-point favorites at Circa Sports; the total is 34.5. Based on the line, Circa models the Hawkeyes to score fewer than seven points in Saturday’s matchup. Texas will face Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game, while Florida State takes on Louisville in the ACC Championship.
Odds to make the CFP National Semifinals (at FanDuel)
- Michigan: -2400
- Georgia: -460
- Oregon: -320
- Florida State: -190
- Texas: -115
- Alabama: +175
- Washington: +230
- Ohio State: +2600
Sunday, Dec. 3
Niners face Eagles in NFC Championship rematch
The Eagles dominated the 49ers in last season’s NFC Championship Game, one that spiraled out of control for the Niners when Brock Purdy suffered a devastating elbow injury. Both teams head into this Sunday’s highly anticipated matchup on multi-game winning streaks, with the Eagles unbeaten in their last five contests.
Since returning from a Week 9 bye, the Niners have won all three games by double digits. The Eagles, meanwhile, have pulled off second-half comebacks in each of their last four victories. The Niners are 2.5-point favorites at ESPN BET; the total is 46.5.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 13:
- Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had his left arm in a sling following Sunday’s loss to the Broncos. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the Browns’ starting quarterback, left the defeat early with a concussion. The Browns are 2-point dogs against the Rams at Caesars, where the total is 39.5 points.
- Saints wide receiver Chris Olave suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. Olave had seven catches for 114 yards in the defeat. The Saints are 2.5-point dogs against the Lions. DraftKings lists the total at 45.5 points.
- Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield injured his ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Colts, but he played through the injury. The Bucs are 5.5-point favorites over the Panthers at BetRivers. The total is 39 points.