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. 9
Packers-Raiders on MNF
Both teams enter the prime-time matchup coming off a defeat, with the Packers off for 10 days since a Week 4 loss to the Lions. The losing team will enter Week 6 with a record below .500. Raiders All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, who is averaging 99 yards per contest and has three touchdowns through four games, will face his former team for the first time. At BetMGM, there are odds of -165 on Adams to score a touchdown against Green Bay.
Phils look to extend winning streak
The Phillies shut out the Braves 3-0 on Saturday to wrest home-field advantage in the best-of-five National League Division Series. Philadelphia opened the playoffs with a two-game sweep of the Marlins in the Wild Card round, and a fourth straight postseason win by the Phils on Monday will push the Braves — who entered the playoffs as the favorite to win the World Series — to the brink of elimination.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from a crushing 11-2 defeat to the Diamondbacks in the opening game of their series. Arizona lit up Clayton Kershaw for six runs in the first inning, handing the three-time Cy Young Award winner one of the worst defeats in his career.
After Saturday’s games, the Phillies (+190) became the new favorite to win the NL pennant at bet365. The Braves are the second choice at +220, followed by the Dodgers and D-backs as the co-third choices at +360.
Tuesday, Oct. 10
Bedard makes NHL debut
Not since Sidney Crosby entered the NHL in 2005 has a rookie garnered as much hype as Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard. And as it so happens, Bedard will face Crosby on Tuesday night when the Blackhawks open the season against the Penguins. DraftKings has set the total for Bedard’s season points at 90, a half-point more than where Crosby’s total was set before his rookie year. Crosby shattered expectations in his first NHL year, finishing with 120 points. Bedard has odds of -140 to win Rookie of the Year and odds of 60/1 to win NHL MVP.
Also on Tuesday, the Golden Knights will raise their Stanley Cup banners in Las Vegas before a season opener against the Kraken. The Golden Knights have odds of +1300 at BetRivers to repeat in 2024. BetRivers has installed the Avalanche as the Stanley Cup favorites with odds of +800.
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Wednesday, Oct. 11
Robins, Howe give keynote address at G2E
A contingent of top industry executives will converge in Las Vegas for this week’s 2023 Global Gaming Expo (G2E). At the end of the second quarter of 2023, FanDuel and DraftKings stood atop national rankings for market share in online sports betting. Two execs, FanDuel CEO Amy Howe and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, are expected to share insights on the state of the market at Wednesday’s keynote. The two may also offer views on next month’s planned launch of ESPN BET, a new ESPN-branded sportsbook that will be run by PENN Entertainment.
Aces seek 2-0 lead in WNBA Finals
Trailing by 3 at halftime in Sunday’s Game 1, the Las Vegas Aces used a third-quarter surge to take command in a 99-82 victory over the New York Liberty. The Aces’ backcourt trio of Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young combined for 72 points in the opening game. The defending champions will maintain home-court advantage in the series if they prevail in Wednesday night’s Game 2. The Aces are -455 favorites at PointsBet to defeat the Liberty (+325) in the best-of-five series.
Thursday, Oct. 12
Thompson tees off with the boys at Shriners Open
Lexi Thompson attracted significant headlines when she accepted a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. Thompson is the seventh woman to participate in a PGA Tour event and the first since Brittany Lincicome in 2018. Although major books have not posted odds on Thompson yet, expect her to be considerably over 1,000/1 this week at TPC Summerlin. When 10-time LPGA major winner Annika Sorenstam appeared in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial, she shot an opening round 71 before missing the cut.
Saturday, Oct. 14
Huskies and Ducks renew Pacific Northwest rivalry
Two of the hottest quarterbacks in college football will meet on Saturday when Michael Penix Jr. of Washington takes on Bo Nix of Oregon in Seattle. Penix, the Pac-12 leader in passing yards per game, is the +200 favorite at FanDuel to win the Heisman Trophy. Nix ranks third at FanDuel with odds of +600. The Huskies opened as 2-point favorites at Circa Sports; the total is 64.5.
Another Pac-12 quarterback, Caleb Williams of USC, is the second choice on the Heisman market at FanDuel. Williams scored in triple OT against Arizona to lift the Trojans to victory over the Wildcats. USC is a 2-point road dog at Notre Dame on Saturday.
Last week, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone against Kentucky. Beck and the No. 1 Bulldogs are 29-point favorites over Vanderbilt; the total is 54.5.
Sunday, Oct. 15
Panthers look to slow explosive Dolphins offense
The Dolphins racked up more than 500 yards in Sunday’s win over the Giants to improve to 4-1 on the season. Mike McDaniel’s team also surpassed the 2000 Rams to post the most yards of any NFL team through five games.
Miami opened as a heavy 13.5-point favorite over Carolina at Caesars Sportsbook. The winless Panthers gave up 42 points on Sunday in a blowout loss to the Lions. The Panthers’ point differential of minus-53 is the second worst in the NFC, better only than the Giants.
Dolphins have more yards than ANY TEAM in NFL history through 5 games.
“Mission accomplished,” Mike McDaniel said. “Our whole goal this entire off-season was statistical output through five games.” pic.twitter.com/AhoSuulrFY
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) October 8, 2023
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 6:
- Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson left Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs with a hamstring injury. Jefferson is expected to be re-evaluated on Monday. The Vikings face the Bears in Week 6. The Vikings opened as 4-point favorites at DraftKings.
- Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder in Sunday’s win over the Titans. The severity of Richardson’s injury has not been determined. The Colts are 4.5-point dogs against the Jags; the total is 45.5 points.
- Giants quarterback Daniel Jones left Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins with a neck injury. While Jones indicated that he felt OK after the game, he will undergo an MRI on Monday. Saquon Barkley, Jones’ teammate, remained out against the Dolphins, missing his third straight game. The Giants opened as 13-point dogs at Unibet against the Bills. Bills linebacker Matt Milano left Sunday’s loss against the Jags with a knee injury that, according to the NFL Network, could end his season.