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. 3
New York Gaming Commission meeting
When the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) convenes on Monday for a monthly meeting, there are several sports-related items on the agenda. One of note is that the NYSGC may release a comprehensive set of regulations for interactive fantasy sports. Under New York state law, interactive fantasy sports are considered to be a game of skill, not a game of chance, since the selection of fantasy sports lineups is based upon the knowledge of participants. The NYSGC could also provide an update on the bidding process for the state’s three downstate casino licenses that is expected to begin at some point in 2023.
Simmons makes Nets debut
Hampered by a back injury last spring, Ben Simmons did not make a single appearance for the Brooklyn Nets after his trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. But when the Nets open the preseason on Monday, Simmons will be in uniform — against the Sixers, his old team.
While Simmons has once again reportedly worked on his outside shot in the offseason, Nets coach Steve Nash said he does not care if Simmons declines to take a single jumper all season. Simmons joins Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the Brooklyn starting five, though that duo rarely appeared in the lineup together last season. One betting market at DraftKings asks bettors to predict the number of games that the “Big 3” will play together during the 2022-23 NBA regular season, with the line at 43.5 and -130 juice on the under.
How many games do you think Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons will play together this season for the Nets?
(odds via @DKSportsbook)
— SBR Sports Picks (@SBRSportsPicks) September 26, 2022
Following Celtics coach Ime Udoka’s one-year suspension, the odds on the Nets to win the NBA championship moved from 10/1 to 8/1 at SuperBook Sports.
Wednesday, Oct. 5
Wild card positioning finalized on last day of the season
Entering the final three days of the Major League Baseball season, 11 teams have clinched playoff spots, leaving only one spot unsettled: the final wild card position in the National League. The Phillies took a two-game lead over the Brewers on Sunday with an 8-1 win over the Nats and hold the tiebreaker over Milwaukee, meaning the Brewers will only make the playoffs if they sweep the Diamondbacks at home and Philadelphia gets swept in Houston. The Phillies have odds of +500 at FanDuel to reach the NLCS, far better than the steep +5000 odds given to the Brewers.
But in both leagues, there is still playoff positioning to be determined that could potentially come down to the final day of games. Most notably, there’s a stark difference between winning the NL East and receiving a first-round bye and finishing second in the division and having to play a best-of-three wild card series. The Braves defeated the Mets on Sunday night to complete a three-game sweep. The Mets led the division for the majority of the season but enter Monday two games behind Atlanta with three remaining. The Braves (+500) are the co-third choice at FanDuel to win the World Series, while the Mets have dropped to the fifth selection at +700.
Friday, Oct. 7
Mariners appear in first playoff game in 21 years
When Seattle defeated Oakland Friday on a dramatic walk-off home run by Cal Raleigh, the Mariners clinched a playoff spot for the first time in more than two decades. Although the MLB postseason bracket has yet to be determined, there is a strong probability that the Mariners will face the Blue Jays in Toronto in the AL wild card round. Seattle leads Tampa Bay by 1.5 games in a race to determine who faces Toronto and who faces Cleveland starting Friday.
HELLO POSTSEASON. pic.twitter.com/hEL4E46q2U
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) October 1, 2022
Oddsmakers largely expect the Astros (+150) or the Yankees (+200) to represent the AL in the World Series. The Blue Jays are the third choice at +750, ahead of the Mariners and the Rays. The Guardians, who will host a wild card series, are longshots at FanDuel, with odds of +1100. The Astros have won the AL pennant three times in the last five years.
Saturday, Oct. 8
Alabama takes on Texas A&M in aftermath of Saban-Jimbo feud
Two early season defeats for Texas A&M have taken the luster off a juicy matchup against No. 1 ranked Alabama. Crimson Tide coach Nike Saban ruffled the feathers of Texas A&M counterpart Jimbo Fisher in the offseason when he suggested that the school is purchasing players through a variety of NIL deals. After characterizing Saban as a “narcissist” in response, Fisher later downplayed any tension between the coaches at an SEC Media Day event this summer.
A&M opened the season ranked in the Top 10 but fell out of the Top 25 on Sunday after an ugly 42-24 loss to Mississippi State. Alabama, which supplanted Georgia as the nation’s top-ranked team on Sunday, opened as a 24-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook. The line could be much higher, but the status of reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young (shoulder) is uncertain.
I remember when Jimbo-Saban had their spat in May, everyone was like JUST WAIT FOR OCTOBER 8!
October 8 is next week, and GameDay is going to Kansas.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 2, 2022
Elsewhere, Kansas moved into the Top 25 this week for the first time since 2009. The No. 19 Jayhawks host No. 17 TCU on Saturday in a battle of two undefeated Big 12 squads. TCU is a 6-point favorite, and the total is 67 points. In other action, No. 8 Tennessee is a 3-point road favorite over No. 25 LSU in Baton Rouge. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, a top Heisman contender, racked up 461 all-purpose yards on Sept. 24 against Florida.
Sunday, Oct. 9
Eagles take undefeated mark into Arizona
With the Dolphins’ loss to the Bengals Thursday night, the Eagles became the NFL’s lone unbeaten team. Philly opened as a 5.5-point favorite over Arizona, and the total is 49.5 points. Prior to Sunday’s Eagles win over the Jaguars, BetMGM gave the Eagles odds of +210 to suffer their first defeat to the Cardinals in Week 5 and the odds on the exact week of the Eagles’ first loss rise considerably looking further down their schedule:
When will the Eagles lose for the first time?
- Week 6 vs. Dallas: +550
- Week 8 vs. Pittsburgh: +750
- Week 12 vs. Green Bay: +1400
The Eagles erased a 14-0 deficit to Jacksonville on Sunday in a 29-21 win. Philadelphia moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2004. The Eagles opened that season with seven straight wins and went on to reach the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Patriots.
“We answered the bell. It’s just the beginning. We have a long way to go. We persevered. We found a way. This is a step for us. It’s all about growing and continuing the climb. Just striving to be the football team we want to be.”
-Jalen Hurts on fighting adversity and going 4-0 pic.twitter.com/BuRtkEWRau
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 3, 2022
Key injuries heading into Week 5 of the NFL season:
- Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a groin tear, ESPN reported. The injury-depleted Chargers have also been without wide receiver Keenan Allen for the last several weeks. The Chargers are 2.5-point road favorites over the Browns at WynnBET. Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett missed Sunday’s loss against the Falcons while recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in a one-car accident.
- Giants quarterback Daniel Jones left Sunday’s win over the Bears with an ankle injury, but returned after backup Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion. The Giants travel to London this week to face the Packers. If the Giants are forced to start Davis Webb at quarterback, the line could jump several points in the Packers’ favor. Green Bay is an 8-point favorite at BetRivers.
- Saints running back Alvin Kamara missed Sunday’s 28-25 loss to the Vikings with a rib injury. He was joined on the sidelines by quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Michael Thomas. The Saints are 4.5-point home favorites over the Seahawks at Unibet.