Each Monday, 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, October 18
Astros-Red Sox series resumes at Fenway Park
The Boston Red Sox tied the American League Championship Series at one game apiece with a 9-5 win Saturday over the heavily favored Houston Astros. The Red Sox hit grand slams in each of the first two innings to become the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit more than one slam in a postseason game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
In Monday’s Game 3, Jose Urquidy is scheduled to take the mound for the Astros at Fenway Park. At FanDuel, the Astros are -124 favorites to advance to the World Series. Houston opened the ALCS with odds of -146 to defeat the Red Sox (+124) in the best-of-7 series. Meanwhile, the Braves took a 2-0 series lead in the NLCS Sunday night on Eddie Rosario’s ninth inning walk-off hit. It marked the first time the Braves had back-to-back walk-offs in a postseason since 1991, when the franchise advanced to the World Series. The Braves are now favored to win the World Series at FanDuel.
2021 World Series futures odds
- Braves +200
- Astros +240
- Dodgers +290
- Red Sox +380
Super Bowl favorite Bills face Titans in Nashville
Riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak, the Buffalo Bills have emerged as the Super Bowl favorite at numerous top sportsbooks. The Bills thoroughly dominated the AFC champion Chiefs last week in a 38-20 victory at rain-soaked Arrowhead Stadium. Over the winning streak, Josh Allen has 11 touchdowns through the air to just two interceptions. Allen, a 2018 first-round pick, has two additional touchdowns on the ground. Buffalo must contain Titans running back Derrick Henry, who leads the NFL in rushing yards with 640. Henry entered Week 6 with 117 more yards than Browns running back Nick Chubb, the next-closest back. The Bills are 5.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 53.5 points.
Bills move to Super Bowl betting favorite, Josh Allen to MVP favorite https://t.co/JgjXI24JEQ
— The Buffalo News (@TheBuffaloNews) October 12, 2021
Tuesday, October 19
Bucks lift championship banner to open NBA regular season
In June, the Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the Brooklyn Nets in a Game 7 overtime thriller to eliminate Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference semifinals. From there, the Bucks dismissed the Hawks and Suns to win their first NBA title since 1971. Now, the Bucks will meet the Nets again on the opening night of the 2021-22 NBA regular season. The matchup features two of the top three teams in the 2022 NBA Championship futures market, led by the Nets at +205. The Bucks are 1-point favorites over the Nets at Caesars Sportsbook for the opener, with the total at 239.5 points. Nets guard Kyrie Irving is away from the team as he reportedly remains unvaccinated for COVID-19. The Lakers face the Warriors later Tuesday.
NBA Championship futures odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Nets +205
- Lakers +400
- Bucks +900
- Warriors +1100
- Jazz +1500
- Clippers +1700
- Suns +1700
- Sixers +2000
- Nuggets +2000
- Heat +2500
Window for DraftKings’ acquisition bid of Entain closes
Last month, DraftKings stunned the M&A world with a $22 billion proposal to acquire U.K. based Entain. The proposed amount not only doubles an $11 billion proposal made by MGM Resorts in January, it exceeds the $21.5 billion handled by U.S. legal sportsbooks in all of last year. On Tuesday, DraftKings will brush up against a deadline under U.K. takeover law that requires the company to either make a formal offer to acquire Entain or declare that it will not make a formal offer.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s PASPA decision in 2018, Entain and MGM Resorts formed BetMGM, a 50-50 joint venture. MGM Resorts can ill afford to lose a tech stack designed by Entain that processes about 2 million bets per day. There is a possibility that the three companies can pull off a complex tri-deal whereby MGM Resorts will gain full ownership of BetMGM, with DraftKings then acquiring Entain’s non-U.S. assets in Europe. MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle has warned that the company has the ability to block DraftKings from conducting business in the U.S. if it consummates a deal to acquire Entain.
Will @DKSportsbook be able to operate in the U.S. if it acquires @EntainGroup? Only if @MGMResortsIntl says so, says the company's CEO. #G2E2021 #g2e https://t.co/rrGf0fpw3F @US_Bets @BetMGM @WynnLasVegas @WynnBET
— Mike Seely (@mdseely) October 6, 2021
Thursday, October 21
Louisiana Gaming Control Board meeting
Louisiana stakeholders may learn more about the pace of sportsbook expansion statewide at Thursday’s Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) meeting. Saints Hall of Fame wide receiver Joe Horn this month placed the first legal sports wager in state history when he made a bet at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville. In August, the LGCB passed a set of emergency sports betting rules that went into effect on Aug. 23 and will remain in place for a period of 180 days. At a meeting last month, the LGCB laid out a blueprint for further expansion. Under Louisiana law, the 20 state casinos — 15 riverboat casinos, four slot-based parimutuel racetracks, and one land-based casino — have until Jan. 1, 2022, to submit a sports wagering license application. If any of the licensees miss the deadline, the LGCB said it will open the license application process to video poker and Gamesys sports operators.
Saturday, October 23
Oklahoma State looks to remain undefeated
Trailing by double-digits at two junctures in the first half, Oklahoma State rallied Saturday to defeat then 25th-ranked Texas 32-24 and notch its third consecutive top 25 victory. Oklahoma State now heads to Ames to face Iowa State in a key Big 12 showdown. While Iowa State opened the season in the preseason top 10, the Cyclones dropped out of the top 25 last month with a narrow loss to Baylor. Iowa State has opened as a 7-point favorite at Circa Sports.
In other action, Purdue will face Wisconsin in a key Big Ten matchup. The Boilermakers are coming off one of the biggest upsets of the season when they defeated then second-ranked Iowa 24-7 in Week 7. Purdue wide receiver David Bell recorded 11 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. Wisconsin is a 5-point favorite over the Boilermakers. Also on Saturday, second-ranked Cincinnati (-24) will face Navy in Annapolis. Cincinnati moved to the highest ranking in school history this week following Iowa’s loss.
Sunday, October 24
Lions search for season’s first victory in matchup against Rams
With the Jaguars’ 23-20 win over the Dolphins Sunday, the Lions are the only team left in the NFL without a victory on the season. Prior to an offseason trade to Detroit, Lions quarterback Jared Goff spent five seasons with the Rams while leading the franchise to Super Bowl LIII in 2019. Goff will be out for revenge in his return to SoFi Stadium. The Rams are 15.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook.
Elsewhere, the AFC North division lead will be on the line when the Ravens (-6.5) take on the Bengals in Baltimore. The Ravens are coming off an impressive win over the Chargers, while the Bengals improved to 4-2 with a 34-11 win over the Lions. The Cardinals, the lone unbeaten team left in the NFL, can move to 7-0 with a win over the Texans. Arizona opened as a 17-point favorite. In total, there are four double-digit favorites in Week 7.