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, July 3
Tarasenko, Kane still unsigned as NHL Free Agency continues
On Sunday, the Toronto Maple Leafs poached Tyler Bertuzzi from the Boston Bruins, signing the forward to a one-year, $5.5 million deal. The loss of Bertuzzi completed a painful weekend for the Bruins after the Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a two-year, $15.5 million contract on Saturday. As a result, the Bruins’ Stanley Cup futures odds for next season jumped to +1200 at PointsBet.
The Bruins, the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners, are the seventh choice at PointsBet to win the Cup. PointsBet has installed the Colorado Avalanche as the favorite at +800. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, are the co-second choice with the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers at +1000.
Tyler Bertuzzi’s agent Todd Reynolds tells ESPN that they were seeking a long-term deal in free agency. There were some on the table, but no contending team was close to $5.5M AAV. So they pivoted to one-year deal on a contending team, with the cap jumping next summer. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/UiFlMfLt6D
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) July 2, 2023
Another Eastern Conference contender, the New York Rangers, have been active over the first three days of free agency, signing veteran winger Blake Wheeler to a one-year, $1.1 million deal. Wheeler ranks sixth among the top 50 free agents on a tracker from CBSSports.com.
The Rangers are still bracing for the loss of All-Stars Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane in free agency. The two forwards rank eighth and 10th, respectively, on the list. As of Monday, the Rangers had odds of +1500 to win the Cup.
Djokovic begins Wimbledon title defense
Defending champion Novak Djokovic opens his bid for a record-tying eighth Wimbledon men’s singles title on Monday in London. Djokovic, who won the year’s first two majors, has not lost a match at Wimbledon since 2017. On Monday morning, Djokovic dismissed Argentina’s Pedro Cachin (+4000) in straight sets.
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On the futures market, a two-horse race has emerged in the men’s draw. At Caesars Sportsbook, Djokovic is the favorite at -175, followed by Carlos Alcaraz at +350. From there, no one else in the field has odds below +1500. While Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner are the co-third choice at +1600, neither has ever made a Wimbledon final.
Nick Kyrgios, last year’s runner-up, pulled out Sunday with a wrist injury. Kyrgios had been the co-fourth choice with Alexander Zverev (+2500). On the women’s side, French Open champion Iga Swiatek is the favorite at FanDuel (+290), followed by defending champion Elena Rybakina at +500. There are odds of +730 on Swiatek to win the title without dropping a set.
Novak Djokovic begins his bid for a fifth consecutive title at Wimbledon and eighth overall on Monday, via @AP https://t.co/pMMzELUl0I
— Bloomberg (@business) July 2, 2023
Tuesday, July 4
Chestnut ‘heavy’ favorite at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
At Tuesday’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut will vie for his 16th career title in the famous gastronomic challenge. Chestnut is a massive -4000 favorite at DraftKings to win the Coney Island event, far ahead of second choice Geoffrey Esper (+1200). Chestnut set the Nathan’s record in 2021 when he consumed 76 dogs and buns in a span of 10 minutes.
Last year, Chestnut’s total dipped to 63 mostly because he paused to subdue a protestor who attempted to interrupt the contest. There are odds of +250 at BetMGM for Chestnut to top 76.5, thereby setting his own career record. Chestnut has consumed 70+ hot dogs in five of the last six years.
Chestnut just obliterated him🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/dry7Oy8KZK
— jonah block (@JonahBlock05) July 4, 2022
Friday, July 7
Wemby may make Spurs debut at Summer League
Last week, the San Antonio Spurs announced that prized rookie Victor Wembanyama will not accompany the team to Sacramento for this week’s California Classic. Wembanyama, however, will rejoin the Spurs in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League later this week. The Spurs open preliminary round play on Friday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Described by LeBron James as a generational talent, Wembanyama expects to only play a game or two during the summer. Last July, the Magic sat Paolo Banchero after a few impressive performances. Once the regular season begins, Wembanyama has odds of +240 at DraftKings to average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds per game.
“I’m not going to have a big role, [but] it’s going to be intense,” he told reporters of his Summer League debut. “I can’t wait to try it and wear that Spurs jersey for the first time.”
Will Lillard talks heat up?
Damian Lillard dropped a bombshell on Saturday when he requested a trade from Portland. While the seven-time All-Star prefers to go to Miami, he does not have a no-trade clause.
Two other teams, the Sixers and the Clippers, are reportedly in the mix to acquire Lillard. News of his request sent Miami’s title odds plunging from 16/1 to 9/1 at BetMGM. As of Monday, the Heat are the fifth choice at BetMGM to win the 2024 NBA championship.
A Lillard trade will also have a considerable impact on the Rookie of the Year market. Should he bid the Blazers adieu, Portland will hand the keys to Scoot Henderson, the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft who has been favorably compared to former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. Keep in mind that Thunder forward Chet Holmgren is eligible to win the award since he missed the 2022-23 season with a foot injury. Holmgren, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, will be playing for the Thunder in the Summer League.
Obviously the Lillard to (most likely) Miami stuff moves the market a lot in the NBA. But outside of Heat futures, I think this really opens up ROY for Scoot. Spurs will be super cautious with Wembanyama.
— Julian Edlow (@julianedlow) July 1, 2023
Sunday, July 9
Verstappen seeks sixth straight F1 win
Max Verstappen captured the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday to win his fifth consecutive race in the Formula 1 World Championship. With the victory, Verstappen increased his championship lead over second place Sergio Perez to an astounding 81 points. Verstappen can notch his sixth straight win in Sunday’s British Grand Prix and is chasing Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record of nine consecutive wins.
Verstappen has odds of -335 at Barstool Sportsbook to win Sunday’s race, followed by Perez and Charles Leclerc at +700 and +1200, respectively. Verstappen has never won the British Grand Prix.
Most dominant F1 seasons since 2000 (after 9 rounds):
2002 – Schumacher, 60.53%
2011 – Vettel, 39.22%
2005 – Alonso, 37.29%
2023 – Verstappen, 35.37% ❗️
2001 – Schumacher, 35.29%
(for drivers championship)
(measured by gap to 2nd as a % of leader’s points)
— Ferrari News 🐎 (@FanaticsFerrari) July 3, 2023