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, Oct. 23
Niners eye 6-1 start
A top choice to win the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers fell from the ranks of the undefeated in Week 6 on a missed field goal in the waning seconds against Cleveland. San Francisco lost Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuels to injuries during the game. McCaffrey, a top choice for NFL Most Valuable Player, is expected to play Monday against the Vikings, ESPN.com reported.
Despite his team’s 1-4 start, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ranks among the league leaders at the position. BetMGM lists the total for Cousin’s passing yards at 238.5 on Monday, with -115 on each side, although All-Pro wideout Justin Jefferson is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury. The Niners are 7-point favorites at Unibet; the total is 43 points.
Phillies near NL pennant
Kyle Schwarber crushed his fifth homer of the National League Championship Series Saturday as the Phillies claimed a 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. The win gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Phillies can advance to their second straight World Series with a win at home in Monday’s Game 6.
In the American League, Adolis Garcia delivered a grand slam Sunday to help the Rangers to a 9-2 win over the Astros. With the victory, the Rangers forced a Game 7 on Monday night in the ALCS. The World Series begins on Friday night, with the Astros seeking their fifth appearance in the last seven years.
The Phillies stood Monday morning as an overwhelming +115 favorite at FanDuel to win the World Series. The Astros were the second choice at +220, just ahead of the Rangers at +250. The Diamondbacks were the longshots at +1600.
Tuesday, Oct. 24
Nuggets hoist title banner on opening night
The Nuggets will open the defense of their NBA title on Tuesday night in a prime-time matchup against the Lakers. After losing Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in the offseason, the Nuggets open the season with odds of +550 at FanDuel to repeat in 2024. Two Eastern Conference teams, the Bucks and Celtics, are NBA co-favorites at +380.
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A later game Tuesday will feature Chris Paul’s debut with Golden State when the Warriors take on the Suns. The opener for Phoenix also marks Bradley Beal’s first regular-season game in a Suns uniform. Both teams are among the favorites to win the Western Conference title.
Wednesday, Oct. 25
Wemby makes NBA debut
Victor Wembanyama opens the season on Wednesday as arguably the most heralded rookie since LeBron James two decades ago. While the Spurs are not expected to make the playoffs, Wembanyama is a heavy -125 favorite at DraftKings to win Rookie of the Year honors. The French big man will need to fend off Scoot Henderson and Chet Holmgren, two other talented rookies, to win the award. Wembanyama and the Spurs will face the Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Another prop to watch will be on Wembanyama to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year. In four preseason games, Wembanyama recorded 11 blocks, including five alone against the Warriors on Oct. 20. Wembanyama has odds of 15/1 at DraftKings to win the award.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 21, 2023
Friday, Oct. 27
NC Lottery Commission public meeting
Last week, the Sports Betting Committee of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission proposed a set of preliminary regulations required for approval before the state launches mobile sports wagering in early 2024. The commission has scheduled a hearing for Friday morning to accept public comments regarding the preliminary rules. The public comment period will remain open until Nov. 1.
Saturday, Oct. 28
UGA-Florida in ‘World’s Largest Cocktail Party’
Georgia had a bye over the weekend, but the Bulldogs remained No. 1 in the AP Poll for a 19th straight week ahead of Saturday’s matchup against archrival Florida. The Bulldogs will take on the Gators in Jacksonville in their annual meeting, known colloquially as “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party.” Georgia learned last week that All-American tight end Brock Bowers will be out indefinitely with a broken ankle. The Bulldogs are 13-point favorites at Circa Sports; the total is 44.5.
Also on Saturday, No. 8 Oregon will travel to Salt Lake City to face No. 13 Utah. The Ducks will face a Top 25 opponent for the third consecutive week. Oregon defeated Washington State in Week 8, while Utah edged USC on a last-second field goal. Utah announced Sunday that star quarterback Cam Rising (knee) will not return this season. Oregon is favored by six at Circa; the total is 47.5.
Finally, No. 3 Ohio State will look to improve to 8-0 for the second straight season. The Buckeyes defeated Penn State in Week 8 in the first Big Ten matchup of the season featuring a pair of Top 10 teams. Ohio State is a 14-point road favorite at Wisconsin; the total is 45.5.
Sunday, Oct. 29
Bengals look for third straight win
At the start of the season, a Super Bowl matchup between the Bengals and the 49ers ranked among the top exactas on the futures market. After a slow 1-3 start, the Bengals stopped the bleeding with two straight wins. Cincinnati will travel to the Bay Area in Week 8 to face the Niners. Cincinnati will be coming off a bye week, while the Niners will have a short week following Monday’s matchup against the Vikings.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL‘s Week 8:
- Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton suffered a dislocated wrist in Sunday’s win over the Chargers. It is unclear if Bolton will be out for an extended period. With the win, Patrick Mahomes improved to 29-3 in his career against AFC West opponents. The Chiefs opened as 8.5-point favorites over the Broncos at bet365.
- Giants running back Saquon Barkley hyperextended his elbow against the Commanders but told reporters afterward that he’ll be OK in the immediate future. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones missed his second straight game with a neck injury. The Giants are 3-point dogs against the Jets at Caesars Sportsbook.
- Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo missed Sunday’s loss to the Bears with a back injury. Garoppolo is expected to start in Week 8 vs. the Lions, ESPN.com reported. The Lions opened as 7.5-point favorites at PointsBet.