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, October 24
Jazz look for improbable 4-0 start
After trading away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason, the Utah Jazz were expected to challenge several cellar dwellers for the right to select French phenom Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft. But the Jazz improbably moved to 3-0 Sunday with a win over New Orleans. Utah can start the season 4-0 on Monday with a victory over the winless Houston Rockets.
The Jazz face the Rockets in the latter half of a home-and-home series on Wednesday, then travel to Denver to face the Nuggets on Friday. The Jazz have odds of 100/1 to win the Northwest Division at BetMGM. The Lakers, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 on Sunday with a narrow loss to Portland. The Lakers will look to avoid an 0-4 start on Wednesday when LeBron James and company face the Nuggets. BetMGM lists the Lakers as the fourth choice to win the Pacific Division with odds of 16/1.
LeBron-led Lakers are in perfect position to draft* Victor Wembanyama 👀
*Pelicans own the pick swap option for that 2023 1st round draft pick via the Anthony Davis trade. pic.twitter.com/zpEgVywINF
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 23, 2022
Friday, October 28
World Series opens in Houston
Prior to the start of the regular season, few observers expected the Philadelphia Phillies to earn a spot in the 2022 World Series. Philadelphia snuck into the playoffs as the final wild card seed in the National League and entered the postseason with odds around 35/1 to win the Fall Classic — the highest of all 12 teams in the playoffs. But the Phillies won the NL pennant on Sunday on a go-ahead, two-run homer by Bryce Harper in the eighth inning.
In Friday’s Game 1 of the World Series, the Phillies will face the Astros, a 6-5 winner over the Yankees on Sunday night. The Astros won both games in the Bronx over the weekend to sweep the series in four. As expected, the Astros are a massive favorite over the Phillies in the series. After all, Houston won 106 games in the regular season, 19 more than Philadelphia.
At DraftKings, the Astros are -180 to win the series against the Phillies, who have odds of +165 to pull off the upset.
Saturday, October 29
No. 2 Buckeyes take on Nittany Lions in Top 20 matchup
Three teams fell from the ranks of the undefeated Saturday, as the national championship picture continues to become more clear. With losses by UCLA, Ole Miss, and Syracuse, only six FBS teams remain undefeated. One of them, No. 2 Ohio State, will face Big Ten rival Penn State in Week 9 in Happy Valley.
The Buckeyes hung 54 points on Iowa in Saturday’s dominating win, outscoring the Hawkeyes by 28 in the second half. Ohio State opened as a 15-point favorite over No. 13 Penn State at Caesars Sportsbook. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is a leading candidate to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top college football player.
CJ Stroud through week 8:
• 24 passing TD (1st in B1G)
• 70.6 completion % (3rd in B1G)
• 289.5 yards/game (2nd in B1G)
• 10.6 yards/attempt (1st in B1G)
• 6 games played 👀
Stroud is leading this undefeated Buckeyes team and is must watch TV. pic.twitter.com/aXBYJ4KG3q
— JWP Sports (@JWPSports) October 23, 2022
Elsewhere, top-ranked Georgia will face Florida in the annual rivalry game known as the “world’s largest cocktail party.” The defending national champion had a bye week on Saturday to rest up for the Gators. Georgia is a 22-point favorite and the total is 56 points. Georgia will face No. 3 Tennessee in Athens on Nov. 5.
In the Big 12, No. 7 TCU will travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia. The Horned Frogs erased an 18-point deficit on Saturday against Kansas State in a 38-28 victory. TCU is a 7-point road dog at West Virginia, where the total is 69 points. On Saturday, five of the six unbeaten teams in FBS will be in action, with Clemson off for the week.
Sunday, October 30
MLS Cup conference finals
The Phillies are not the only Philadelphia-area team that can win a major professional sports league title this fall. On Sunday night, Philadelphia Union will host New York City FC in the MLS Eastern Conference Finals. The contest will be preceded in the afternoon by the Western Conference Finals, featuring Los Angeles FC and Austin FC.
Los Angeles FC is the heavy favorite to win the 2022 MLS Cup at PointsBet, with odds of +110. It is followed by Philadelphia and New York City FC at +225 and +450, respectively. Austin FC, which is only in its second season of existence, is the longshot of the four teams at +700.
Super Bowl favorite Bills host reeling Packers
At the start of the season, a Week 8 prime-time matchup between the Bills and Packers appeared to be one of the top matchups on the NFL schedule. Both teams entered the season among the favorites to win their respective conferences, but the Packers fell to 3-4 on Sunday after dropping a third straight game. Ahead of Sunday’s matchup, the Bills remained the heavy favorite at FanDuel to win the Super Bowl (+270), while the Packers’ odds fell sharply to +3300.
Meanwhile, the New York Giants and New York Jets extended winning streaks in Week 7 with close victories. The Giants improved to 6-1 with a 23-17 victory over the Jaguars, while the Jets moved to 5-2 with a 16-9 win over the Broncos. Most books, however, still remain skeptical that the New York-area teams can achieve sustained success. The Jets have odds of -166 to miss the playoffs, while the Giants have odds of 20/1 to win the NFC, the eighth choice at FanDuel.
The Jets face the Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, while the Giants will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.
— NFL (@NFL) October 23, 2022
Key injuries heading into Week 8 of the NFL season:
- Jets running back Breece Hall left the field on a cart in Sunday’s win over the Broncos after suffering a knee injury. The “initial diagnosis is not good,” Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters after the victory, with the team concerned that Hall could miss the remainder of the season. Hall’s absence will increase the workload for Michael Carter, the Jets’ leading rusher last season. The Patriots are 1.5-point favorites at BetRivers and the total is 41 points.
- Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf also left the field in a cart in Sunday’s victory over the Chargers. Metcalf (knee) will undergo an MRI before the team knows the full extent of his injury, according to coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks are 2.5-point favorites over the Giants at Unibet; the total is 46 points. The Giants lost starting offensive linemen Evan Neal and Ben Bredesen to knee injuries on Sunday.
- Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (ankle) left Nissan Stadium on Sunday in a walking boot after Tennessee’s victory over Indianapolis. Rookie quarterback Malik Willis will make his first NFL start if Tannehill is unable to play against the Texans. The Titans are 3.5-point road favorites over Houston at WynnBET, where the total is 41 points.