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. 11
Aaron Rodgers makes Jets debut on MNF
It is difficult to remember a Monday Night Football season opener with more hype than tonight’s matchup between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. The Jets, who haven’t been to the playoffs in more than a decade, suddenly emerged as a Super Bowl contender with the offseason acquisition of four-time NFL Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers. The Bills, last year’s Super Bowl favorite, crumbled in the playoffs when riddled by injury.
Now fully healthy, the Bills secondary will face Rodgers and 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson on Monday night in The Meadowlands. The Bills are 1.5-point favorites at BetMGM; the total is 45.5 points. BetMGM has set the total for Rodgers’ season-long passing touchdowns at 28.5.
Ahead of the matchup, Disney reportedly reached an agreement with cable provider Charter to restore ESPN to 15 million cable subscribers. A continuing blackout through Monday’s game held potential to hamper the in-game wagering handle across the nation.
Breaking: Disney and Charter reached a deal that will restore ESPN and other channels to nearly 15 million subscribers. It ends a blackout that lasted over a week. https://t.co/khdK69x3CE
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) September 11, 2023
Wednesday, Sept. 13
Aces open WNBA Playoffs
The Las Vegas Aces defeated the Phoenix Mercury Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed throughout the WNBA playoffs. The Aces, who finished the regular season 34-6, will face the Chicago Sky on Wednesday in Las Vegas. The Aces and the New York Liberty each finished with more than 30 wins, producing two of the most impressive regular seasons in league history. The Aces have odds of -145 to win the WNBA title at FanDuel, just ahead of the Liberty (+145). The Connecticut Sun, the third choice, are far behind the two leaders at +1900.
𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐊𝐄𝐒 𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐇𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐍 𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑 ♦️♠️
It’s officially playoff time in Las Vegas!
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) September 11, 2023
Sign Up For The Sports Handle Newsletter!
Thursday, Sept. 14
Eagles host Vikings in matchup of 2022 division winners
Although Kirk Cousins threw for 344 yards in Week 1, the Vikings committed three turnovers when upset by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Minnesota will look to avoid an 0-2 start on Thursday at Philadelphia. The Eagles raced out to a 16-0 first-quarter lead against the Patriots Sunday en route to a 25-20 win. Last year when the teams met in primetime, the Eagles dominated the Vikings in a 24-7 win. The Eagles are 7.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook.
A.I. takes center stage at EGR Power Summit
A host of prominent gambling industry stakeholders will convene this week in Southern California for the 2023 EGR U.S. Power Summit. Over the two-day conference, the role of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in sports betting will be widely discussed.
Sharp Alpha Advisors’ Lloyd Danzig and Tipico’s Tomash Devenishek will offer insights into the application of generative A.I. for competitive advantages in sports betting. Another panel on Thursday will delve into the use of A.I. for enhancing risk management by gaming operators. The panel will feature Optimove’s Jeff Laniado, SportsGrid’s Adam Kaplan, and Fifth Street Gaming’s Seth Schorr.
Other panels at the event
- “The future of tribal sports betting and state collaboration,” a keynote session with Prairie Band Casino & Resort’s head of gaming Chris Garrow.
- “Industry reaction to the soaring cost of official sports betting data,” featuring former Pinnacle Sports CEO Paris Smith and Tipico’s Stephen Krombolz.
- “Importance of consumer protection to create a more sustainable gaming industry,” featuring consultant Bill Pascrell III and Entain executive Martin Lycka.
Saturday, Sept. 16
Buffs look to remain undefeated under Coach Prime
Deion Sanders’ reclamation project at the University of Colorado has become one of the most intriguing college football stories in years. Coach Prime’s scintillating start has also had implications on betting markets. Last week, Colorado bettors at Fanatics/PointsBet placed more money on Colorado to defeat Nebraska than on 30 teams in the opening week of the NFL season.
After a 36-14 thrashing of the Cornhuskers, Colorado will face rival Colorado State on Saturday. The Buffaloes opened as 17-point favorites over the Rams at DraftKings. Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son, has also emerged as an early-season candidate to win the Heisman Trophy. Through two games, Sanders has 903 passing yards and six touchdowns, without an interception.
Also on Saturday, Texas will face Wyoming one week after a breakthrough win over then-No. 3 Alabama. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns. Following the win, Ewers’ Heisman odds at DraftKings improved from +2200 to +1000.
Sunday, Sept. 17
Cowboys-Jets tops Sunday slate
The Cowboys skunked the Giants 40-0 on Sunday night, handing the Giants their worst home loss in 80 years. Dallas scored touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams in the shutout.
In their juicy early-season matchup with the Jets, the Cowboys are 3-point favorites at DraftKings; the total is 46 points. Dallas will have the advantage of one more day of rest during the week than the Jets.
There could be some considerable line movements following the Jets’ season opener on Monday.
The Cowboys are the 5th team in NFL History to open their season with a shutout of 40+ points on the road.
The last team to do this was the Steelers in 1999 at the Browns. pic.twitter.com/ymoT5sm2qa
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 11, 2023
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 2:
- Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins suffered a torn Achilles in Sunday’s win over the Texans. With Dobbins out for the season, the Ravens may scour the waiver wire for a replacement. The Ravens travel to Cincinnati in Week 2 to face one of their top rivals. The Bengals are 3.5-point favorites at Hard Rock Bet; the total is 44.5.
- The Browns fear that offensive lineman Jack Conklin has a significant knee injury, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Conklin was carted off the field in Sunday’s win over the Bengals. The Browns are 1.5-point favorites over the Steelers at BetRivers; the total is 41.5.
- Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson missed the final snaps of Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars. Following the game, Colts coach Shane Steichen indicated that Richardson is fine. At Betfred, the Colts are 1-point road underdogs at Houston; the total is 40.5
- Packers running back Aaron Jones left Sunday’s win over the Bears with a hamstring injury. Jones downplayed his injury after the game, telling reporters he could have re-entered the game. At Unibet, the Packers are 1-point road favorites over the Falcons.