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, Sept. 25
Bengals seek first win of the season
After reaching the AFC Championship game in consecutive years, the Cincinnati Bengals entered this season with realistic Super Bowl aspirations. Those aspirations remain, but after suffering defeats to AFC North rivals Cleveland and Baltimore, the Bengals could fall to 0-3 on Monday night with a loss to the Rams.
Quarterback Joe Burrow is questionable with a nagging calf injury. Cincinnati is a 2-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 44 points. A late scratch of Burrow could move the line several points.
In the Monday night opener, the Bucs will host the Eagles in Tampa. Both teams enter the contest undefeated at 2-0. The Eagles are 5-point favorites; the total is 45.
The plan remains to take it all the way up to game-time before making a final decision.
Burrow is pushing to play after… pic.twitter.com/QPDaHnduNe
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 25, 2023
Wednesday, Sept. 27
North Carolina Lottery meeting
While online sports wagering is still on track for a 2024 launch in North Carolina, leading operators are grappling with a last-minute adjustment in the state budget. A new provision in the budget passed last Friday requires potential licensees to partner with pro sports teams or venues in the state, rather than applying directly through the North Carolina State Lottery Commission.
At Wednesday’s meeting, stakeholders in the Tar Heel State may receive stronger indications on the timing of the rollout.
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Also, last week the North Carolina State Lottery Commission’s Operations and Personnel Committee unanimously recommended the approval of rulemaking procedures for the commission’s sports betting standards. The commission is tasked with launching online sports wagering in the state between Jan. 8 and June 14, 2024.
Thursday, Sept. 28
Kentucky launches mobile sports wagering
Following a retail sports betting launch earlier this month, Kentucky is scheduled to go live with mobile sports wagering on Thursday. For Thursday’s launch, seven mobile sportsbooks — FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365, and Barstool Sportsbook (which will eventually switch over to the ESPN BET brand) intend to go live in the commonwealth. Industry observers will closely monitor the retail-mobile split at top horse racing tracks such as Churchill Downs.
Lions-Packers battle for first in the NFC North
The Packers fell behind 17-0 to the Saints on Sunday, but rallied furiously for 18 fourth-quarter points to prevail. Green Bay will host Detroit on Thursday night with first place in the NFC North on the line. The Lions also improved to 2-1 on Sunday with a 20-6 win over the Falcons. The Lions are 1-point favorites at Unibet.
The last time the teams met at Lambeau Field, the Lions handed the Packers a season-ending defeat in Aaron Rodgers’ final game with the team. Jordan Love, Rodgers’ replacement, has thrown for seven touchdowns through three games. The Lions have odds of +100 to win the NFC North at FanDuel, just ahead of the Packers at +160.
Friday, Sept. 29
Day 1 of The Ryder Cup
The U.S. has lost The Ryder Cup six consecutive times on European soil, a streak that dates back to 1993. Nevertheless, the U.S. remains a slight -105 favorite over Europe (+115) at BetMGM, with odds of +1200 on a tie. This year’s team, led by captain Zach Johnson, could use a quick start in Friday’s Day 1 to gain momentum for an intense weekend of golf.
Other books are offering a host of props on the three-day event, being held at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. At DraftKings, Scottie Scheffler is the +800 favorite to finish with the most points of any golfer on the weekend. Scheffler is just ahead of Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, who have odds of +900 and +1000, respectively. Viktor Hovland, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, is the co-third choice with Rahm at +1000.
Saturday, Sept. 30
Coach Prime faces reigning Heisman winner
Despite a 42-6 drubbing by Oregon in Week 4, Colorado can still earn a spot in the Pac-12 Conference title game at the end of the regular season. However, Deion Sanders and the Buffs will likely need to defeat No. 8 USC on Saturday to remain in contention. Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, passed for 322 yards and 3 TDs in the Trojans’ victory over Arizona State. USC is a 24-point favorite at Circa Sports; the total is 72.5 points.
Colorado Takes Their First Loss Against Oregon & It Was Ugly: Nike Conversations with the CEOhttps://t.co/ArZttEQowk
— Deion Sanders Jr (@DeionSandersJr) September 24, 2023
In other action, No. 17 Duke will face No. 11 Notre Dame in Durham. The Blue Devils improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2018 with a 41-7 win over UConn. The Irish are coming off a devastating 17-14 loss to No. 4 Ohio State in which Buckeyes running back Chip Trayanum scored with one second left in regulation. Notre Dame is a 2-point favorite; the total is 52 points.
Also on Saturday, No. 3 Texas will face No. 24 Kansas in Austin. The Longhorns are a 16-point favorite in the Top 25 matchup, while the total opened at 66.5. Heisman contender Quinn Ewers has nine touchdowns on the season without a single interception.
Canelo favored over Charlo in Vegas
Canelo Alvarez returns to the ring Saturday to take on Jermell Charlo in a super middleweight championship fight in Las Vegas. Canelo is a -400 favorite over junior middleweight champ Charlo (+300) at PointsBet. There are odds of +1800 on a draw. Canelo’s last three bouts have all gone the 12-round distance.
‘I feel like Charlo’s chances are high’: Erickson Lubin talks Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo https://t.co/8kAZgWLCkD
— Bad Left Hook (@badlefthook) September 25, 2023
Sunday, Oct. 1
Final day of MLB regular season
The Houston Astros have picked the wrong time for an extended slump. They fell to the Royals on Sunday, completing a three-game weekend sweep for Kansas City against the defending World Series champions. The Astros enter Monday with a half-game lead over the Mariners for the final wild card spot in the American League.
The Astros will face the Diamondbacks in Sunday’s regular-season finale. Fighting for a playoff spot themselves, the Diamondbacks lead the Cubs by a half-game for the final wild card spot in the National League. The Diamondbacks have odds of -670 at FanDuel to make the postseason, while the Cubs have odds of -113 to qualify for the playoffs.
Fireworks in Buffalo for Bills-Dolphins showdown
The Dolphins rang up 70 on the Broncos in Sunday’s win, becoming the first NFL team in more than 50 years to score at least 70 points in a regular-season game. The Bills also won in dominating fashion, crushing the Commanders 37-3. The two AFC East rivals will face off in Buffalo, where the Bills are 2.5-point favorites.
Through three games, the Dolphins lead the NFL with 130 points (43.3 points per game.) At FanDuel, the total for Sunday’s showdown is 53.5, the highest of any game on the board. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (+380) is the current favorite at DraftKings to win NFL MVP honors. Tagovailoa leads the AFC in passing yards with 1,024.
The Dolphins scored 70 (!) points against the Broncos.
Just the 4th 70-point game in NFL history including the playoffs.
They are the only team in NFL history to record 5 Rush TD & 5 Pass TD in a single game in the Super Bowl Era. pic.twitter.com/8oFEtWXmPK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2023
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 4:
- Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes rolled his ankle in Sunday’s win over the Bears. Mahomes, who stayed in the game despite the injury, told reporters that his ankle is fine. The Chiefs opened as 7.5-point favorites over the Jets at bet365.
- Derek Carr left Sunday’s loss against the Packers with a shoulder injury. Carr expects to learn more on the severity of the injury after undergoing additional tests on Monday. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Carr suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. The Saints are 3-point home favorites over the Bucs.
- Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was evaluated for a concussion following Sunday’s loss to the Steelers. At BetRivers, the Raiders are 4.5-point underdogs against the Chargers in Week 4.