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 11
Pistons near team record for futility
With a blowout defeat to the Orlando Magic on Friday, the Detroit Pistons dropped their 19th straight game to fall to 2-20 on the season. The Pistons are now two losses from tying the franchise record for most consecutive defeats, set in 1980.
The Pistons have four games this week, beginning on Monday when they take on the Pacers at home. If they lose that one, the Pistons will be in a position tie the mark on Wednesday against the Sixers. The potential 22nd straight loss would come Friday in Philadelphia in the second half of a back-to-back.
The schedule doesn’t get easier, either. Of the Pistons’ next 10 opponents, eight would qualify for the playoffs or play-in round if the postseason started today.
The Pistons have odds of +100000 at BetMGM to win the Central Division. Detroit is already 13 games behind the division-leading Bucks.
Detroit Pistons need more ‘fight’ and ‘anger’ to end embarrassing skid; ‘look in the mirror’ https://t.co/feCIuzhGue
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) December 7, 2023
Revenue reports provide glimpse of ESPN BET launch
As many as six states may release monthly sports betting revenue reports this week, providing early insights on last month’s launch of ESPN BET. Some states will share November reports, while others are scheduled to release October reports, providing a comparative tool for PENN Entertainment’s final month before the brand shift to ESPN BET.
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According to Barclays, ESPN BET is projected to attain online sports betting market share of 6.1% in the fourth quarter, up from Barstool Sportsbook’s 2.8% in the previous quarter. Stakeholders may receive reports from Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, and Colorado throughout the week. ESPN BET is live in 17 states.
November Sports Betting (vs 2022)
Bets ⬆️ 21%
Handle ⬆️ 15%
“Launch of ESPN Bet with generous sign-up bonuses supported an acceleration of wagering activity during the month. (But) gross hold declined 50 bps YoY and was below TTM average of 9.2%”
via JMP Securities pic.twitter.com/CH0QYfoBQ6
— Bill Speros (@billsperos) December 4, 2023
Tuesday, Dec. 12
Man U on the cusp of elimination
Manchester United has been mediocre in UEFA Champions League group play, with only one victory in five matches. The Red Devils face a must win on Tuesday against Bayern Munich in the final week of group play. Man U needs a win over Bayern and a tie between FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray to advance. Bayern Munich is a +130 favorite at PointsBet; there are odds of +300 on a draw.
Defending champion Manchester City has already advanced to the knockout stage. It will be joined by Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan among others. Man City is the favorite to win the Champions League title at +200, followed by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid at +400 and +650, respectively.
Thursday, Dec. 14
Hearing for ex-Jags employee
Last week, reports surfaced that a former Jacksonville Jaguars employee allegedly misappropriated $22 million from the team in a comprehensive credit card scheme. Alex King, an attorney for Amit Patel, indicated that approximately 99% of the stolen money went toward his client’s gambling losses. Patel reportedly incurred the losses through fantasy sports and sports wagers at DraftKings and FanDuel.
Patel waived his right to an indictment by a grand jury. On Thursday, Patel will make an appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida where he intends to plead guilty, according to King.
Attorney for Amit Patel, ex-Jags employee accused of stealing $22mil from team said NFL started investigating Patel for his sports gambling activity in Feb. “Approx 99 percent of the funds from the Jaguars’ VCC program were gambling losses.”@KatieJStrang https://t.co/F0NGKR4gVo
— Kalyn Kahler (@kalynkahler) December 7, 2023
Saturday, Dec. 16
College bowl season begins with six games
The 2023-24 bowl season begins on Saturday when Georgia Southern takes on Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. With a victory, Ohio will end the season on a four-game winning streak. But the Bobcats enter Saturday’s matchup as 3.5-point dogs against Georgia Southern. The Eagles have a talented quarterback in Davis Brin, but have given up at least 38 points in three of their last four games.
In total, there are six games on Saturday’s slate. UCLA will face Boise State in the Starco Brands LA Bowl, UCLA’s last game as a member of the Pac-12. The Bruins are 2-point favorites; the total is 49.5. In the nightcap, Cal will take on Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl. The Red Raiders are 3-point favorites; the total is 58.5.
Sunday, Dec. 17
Ravens face Jags with AFC’s top spot on the line
The Ravens escaped Sunday with a 37-31 overtime win over the Rams when Tylan Wallace returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown. With the win, the Ravens (10-3) retained the top spot in the AFC playoff race. Miami lurks a half-game behind at 9-3. The Ravens are 3.5-point favorites over the Jags at ESPN BET; the total is 43.5.
In other action, the Cowboys will travel to western New York to take on the Bills. Buffalo received a much-needed win Sunday in edging Kansas City, 20-17. The Cowboys, meanwhile, moved into a first-place tie in the NFC East with the Eagles. Dallas raced out to a 24-6 halftime lead en route to the 33-13 victory. The Bills are 1.5-point favorites at ESPN BET; the total is 49.5.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 15:
- Justin Jefferson returned for Sunday’s win over the Raiders after missing seven games with a hamstring injury. But Jefferson went to a Las Vegas hospital on Sunday after suffering a chest injury on a hit across the middle. There is optimism that Jefferson will play against the Bengals, the Star Tribune reported. The Vikings are 1-point favorites at BetRivers; the total is 42.5.
- C.J. Stroud left Sunday’s loss to the Jets with a concussion. On an injury-filled Sunday for the Texans, wideout Nico Collins also exited the game with a calf injury. Stroud may remain in the concussion protocol for the majority of the week. The Texans are 3.5-point favorites over the Titans at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 42.5.
- Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert fractured the index finger on his throwing hand in a loss to the Broncos. Herbert’s 62-game streak of consecutive starts is in jeopardy, and the fracture could even be a season-ending injury, NFL Network reported. The Chargers are 3.5-point favorites over the Raiders at bet365; the total is 42.5.