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. 16
Cowboys look to bounce back on MNF
Following a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5, the Dallas Cowboys return to the West Coast Monday to face the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys will face their former offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, who left in the offseason to take the same position with the Chargers. Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert has a touchdown to interception ratio of 7:1 on the season. The Cowboys are 1.5-point favorites at Unibet; the total is 50.
Phils open NLCS against D’backs
Over the first two rounds of the MLB postseason, the Phillies have benefited from arguably the most raucous home environment across the league. On Monday night, the Diamondbacks will look to steal a road game when the teams open the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia. Phillies ace Zack Wheeler takes the mound against Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are -165 moneyline favorites at BetMGM; the total is seven runs.
Before that game, the Rangers will look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Astros in the ALCS. Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery scattered five hits in 6 1/3 innings Sunday in leading the Rangers to a 2-0 win. Texas has posted shutouts in two of Montgomery’s three postseason starts. Houston is looking for its fifth trip to the World Series in the last seven years.
Yordan Alvarez is one of the best hitters alive. I asked why Jordan Montgomery’s curveball that struck him out swinging three times so puzzled him.
“It looks like a fastball.”
If that seems odd, read about the Death Ball and you’ll get it. Free at ESPN: https://t.co/HgwB47o8kY
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 16, 2023
The Rangers enter Monday as the World Series favorites at +165, just ahead of the Phillies (+190). The Astros are the third choice at +340, followed by the Diamondbacks at +500. At FanDuel, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper is the overwhelming favorite to win NLCS MVP at +390.
Wednesday, Oct. 18
Interior Department deadline in Florida sports betting case
Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary stay that for now prevents the Seminole Tribe of Florida from relaunching mobile sports wagering. The order came approximately a week after Florida parimutuel West Flagler and Associates filed a petition with the nation’s highest court, asking for a stay.
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In June, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of the Interior, potentially clearing the way for the Seminoles to relaunch their Hard Rock Bet platform in the Sunshine State. West Flagler contends that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland misused her authority in 2021 by approving a gaming compact between the state of Florida and the tribe.
The compact granted the Seminoles a virtual monopoly on online sports wagering across the state. The Interior Department has until 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday to respond to Roberts’ order. From there, the Supreme Court will decide whether to keep the stay in place.
Aces attempt to close out Liberty
Trailing 2-0 in the WNBA Finals, the Liberty staved off elimination on Sunday with an 87-73 win over the Aces. Las Vegas star guard Chelsea Gray left the game late in the fourth quarter with a foot injury. Gray’s status for Wednesday’s Game 4 is still unclear. The Aces, the WNBA’s defending champions, won the first two games of the best-of-5 series by double digits. The Aces are still -500 favorites at PointsBet to capture the title over the Liberty (+350).
Saturday, Oct. 21
Ohio State hosts Penn State in Big Ten showdown
The Big Ten will have its first marquee game of the season when Penn State travels to Columbus to face Ohio State. Both teams prepared for the Top 10 matchup with double-digit wins last week. Ohio State opened as a 6-point favorite at Circa Sports. The line quickly fell to Buckeyes -4 in early betting on Sunday before moving back up to 4.5.
Also on Saturday, No. 4 Florida State will host No. 16 Duke in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are 13-point favorites at Circa; the total is 52.5 points. Florida State is seeking its first 7-0 start in eight years. Oregon suffered an excruciating loss to Washington on Saturday but fell just one spot in this week’s AP Poll to No. 9. The Ducks are 18-point favorites over Washington State; the total is 55.5.
A hot start by unbeaten Air Force has moved the Falcons into the Top 25 for the first time in four years. They face Navy in Annapolis and opened as 9-point favorites; the total is 39.5. While No. 1 Georgia is idle this week, the defending national champions were handed a crushing blow Monday when learning that tight end Brock Bowers will miss the rest of the season.
Georgia announces star TE Brock Bowers will undergo ankle surgery, likely missing remainder of season. UGA off this week, then faces Florida Oct. 28 in Jacksonville
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) October 16, 2023
Sunday, Oct. 22
High-scoring affair expected on SNF
The Eagles committed four turnovers Sunday in a surprising loss to the Jets that made them the last NFL team to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. In Week 7, the Eagles will look to rebound in a prime-time showdown against the Dolphins. Both teams enter with 5-1 marks.
The matchup features two of the highest-scoring teams in the league, powered by former Alabama teammates Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa and the Dolphins lead the NFL in scoring with 36.2 points per game, while Philadelphia is fourth at 29.6 ppg. The Eagles opened as 2.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 52.5 points.
The 2023 Dolphins join the 1958 Colts as the only teams in NFL history to record 15 rushing TD & 15 receiving TD through 6 games of a season.
The Colts would go on to win the championship that season. pic.twitter.com/LUaD4GsbSI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 15, 2023
The Dolphins put up 42 on Sunday vs. Carolina, representing the third time in six contests that Miami scored at least 40. The division leaders are also among the favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles entered the week as the third choice at DraftKings, one spot ahead of the the Dolphins. As of Monday morning, DraftKings gave the Eagles odds of +700 to win the Lombardi Trophy, with the Dolphins at +900.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 7:
- The 49ers lost running back Christian McCaffrey (oblique) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (shoulder) to injury in Sunday’s defeat to the Browns. McCaffrey reentered the game briefly after suffering the injury but missed the final quarter of the 19-17 loss. X-rays on Samuel’s shoulder were negative, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Both players are expected to undergo additional testing on Monday. The Niners are 7.5-point favorites over the Vikings at BetRivers.
- Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence left Sunday’s win against the Colts with a knee injury. Lawrence is day-to-day, according to the NFL Network, and the Jaguars are optimistic that the injury is not serious. Jacksonville has a short turnaround for Thursday’s game at New Orleans. The Jaguars are 1-point favorites at Caesars; the total is 43.
- Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went to a Las Vegas-area hospital on Sunday after suffering a back injury against the Patriots. Garoppolo’s status in Week 7 against the Bears is unknown. Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who left Sunday’s loss to the Vikings with a thumb injury, is scheduled to undergo additional tests on Monday. The Raiders are 1-point favorites visiting Chicago at bet365; the total is 45.5.