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, Nov. 6
UConn raises title banner
More than a dozen teams in the Top 25 are in action on opening night of the college basketball season, including defending national champion Connecticut, which hosts Northern Arizona. While UConn lost several players to the NBA, the Huskies will be led by 7’2″ center Donovan Clingan, a member of the preseason Big East second team. UConn also welcomes swingman Stephon Castle, the conference’s preseason freshman of the year.
The Huskies have odds of +1400 at bet365 to win the national title for a second consecutive year. UConn is listed just behind favorite Duke (+1100) and second choice Kansas (+1200) on the futures market. Two others, Purdue and Kentucky, are the co-third choice with UConn at 14/1. All five teams will open their respective seasons on Monday night.
113 #collegebasketball games on Monday!!
Check it out – https://t.co/kaNVp7pqyE pic.twitter.com/EGWnleZula
— Ralph Michaels (@CalSportsLV) November 4, 2023
Harden set to make Clippers debut
At long last, the Philadelphia 76ers sent James Harden packing last week, shipping the disgruntled former NBA MVP to the Clippers in a seven-player trade. Harden, a 10-time NBA All-Star, is expected to make his Clippers debut on Monday night against the Knicks.
Following the trade, the Clippers’ championship odds were more than halved at some sportsbooks, dropping to 12/1 at BetRivers. Despite the acquisition, the Clippers are still the fourth choice — trailing the Suns, Warriors, and Lakers — at PointsBet to win the Pacific Division, with odds of +550. Harden is also a massive longshot to win MVP honors, with odds of 100/1.
The biggest trade before NFL deadline day…was made in the NBA. @mdseely examines the odds implications of the James Harden deal. (Click pic for story)https://t.co/HNwAGsTlcB
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) October 31, 2023
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Tuesday, Nov. 7
North Carolina Lottery meeting
North Carolina continues to inch closer to the launch of mobile sports wagering statewide. On Tuesday, the Sports Betting Committee of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission will convene, weeks after the committee held its first-ever meeting last month.
The commission accepted public comments on the state’s first set of sports wagering rules last Wednesday. At last month’s meeting, the committee approved a set of initial rules on various types of sports wagers. The meeting on Tuesday will be held virtually.
Sharks look to avoid dubious NHL record
The San Jose Sharks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for their 11th straight loss, a mark that left them tied for most consecutive defeats to start an NHL season. San Jose tied the record with a 10-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
It represented the second straight game the Sharks allowed 10 goals, pushing their goal differential over that span to minus-17. For the season, the Sharks have a minus-43 goal differential, already 69 behind the Canucks, the league leaders.
With a loss to the Flyers on Tuesday, the Sharks will break the NHL record for futility to open a season. San Jose has closed as +200 or higher dogs in each of its last seven games. The Sharks have odds of 1,000/1 at DraftKings to win the Stanley Cup.
Wednesday, Nov. 8
MGM Resorts Q3 earnings call
MGM Resorts is coming off a hectic period during which the casino giant fell victim to a comprehensive cyber breach that impacted numerous hotel properties in Las Vegas. There are indications that the intrusion may have been responsible for approximately $100 million in insured losses. MGM has also been subject to intense merger speculation involving Entain, a European gaming corporation, which owns a 50% stake in BetMGM.
At last month’s Global Gaming Expo in Vegas, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle indicated that BetMGM remained a “great marriage for both parties.” MGM Resorts could make an offer to acquire Entain in full, could stand pat, or has the option to acquire Entain’s stake in BetMGM.
MGM Resorts is projected to report earnings per share of $0.59, according to Zack’s Consensus Estimate, an increase of 142% from the year-ago quarter. Zack’s projects quarterly revenue of $3.87 billion, up 13.4% from the same quarter in 2022.
Thursday, Nov. 9
ESPN Edge conference
Last week, PENN Entertainment disclosed that ESPN BET will make its highly anticipated launch on Nov. 14, six days before a Super Bowl rematch between the Chiefs and Eagles. Investors are expected to receive further indications on the rollout Thursday when the network hosts ESPN Edge, an event that showcases the convergence of sports and technology at the so-called Worldwide Leader In Sports.
ESPN executive Mike Morrison, who serves as the company’s vice president of sports betting and fantasy, will make an appearance at the Manhattan event. Morrison will be joined by PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden during a Thursday evening presentation.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Michigan travels to Happy Valley for PSU showdown
Embroiled in a sign-stealing controversy, Michigan crushed Purdue on Saturday to improve to 9-0 for the second consecutive year. The Wolverines will need to defeat No. 11 Penn State in Week 11 to replicate last year’s 10-0 start.
No. 3 Michigan opened as a 5-point favorite at Circa Sports, where the total is 45.5 points. Since becoming the head coach of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh has a 5-3 record against Penn State, including a 49-10 win in 2016. The Wolverines have scored at least 40 points in five straight conference games.
In another Top 15 matchup, No. 1 Georgia will face Ole Miss in Athens. The Bulldogs are riding a 26-game winning streak. Georgia opened as 12-point favorites; the total is 56.5. Also on Saturday, Florida State will look to remain undefeated when the Noles take on archrival Miami. Florida State is a 13-point favorite; the total is 52.5. Finally, Washington takes on Utah in a matchup of Pac-12 powers. The Huskies opened as 9-point favorites; the total is 57.5.
Sunday, Nov. 12
Niners look to end losing streak
Less than a month ago, the then-undefeated San Francisco 49ers stood atop futures markets as Super Bowl favorites. But the Niners fell from the ranks of the undefeated when Jake Moody hooked a potential game-winning field goal in Cleveland.
Since then, the Niners have lost two more to fall to 5-3. After a Week 9 bye, San Francisco will travel to Jacksonville to face the surging Jaguars. The Niners are 3-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 44.5.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 10:
- Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall left Sunday’s win over the Falcons with a concussion. Acquired by the Vikings at last week’s trade deadline, Joshua Dobbs led the Vikings to a comeback win. Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell did not name a Week 10 starter after the game. Vikings running back Cam Akers apparently suffered an Achilles injury in the victory. The Vikings are 2.5-point home dogs against the Saints.
- While the Giants fear that Daniel Jones suffered a serious knee injury, the team will receive more details on Monday when the quarterback undergoes additional tests. Rookie Tommy DeVito took the majority of the snaps in the Giants’ loss to the Raiders. The Giants opened as 16.5-point dogs against the Cowboys.
- Following Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, Falcons coach Arthur Smith announced that the team will evaluate whether Taylor Heinicke will remain as the team’s starting quarterback. Heinicke went 21-of-38 for 268 yards against Minnesota. Desmond Ridder, the Falcons’ opening week starter, missed the game while recovering from a concussion. The Falcons are 2.5-point favorites over the Cardinals.