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, November 15
Critical World Cup qualifiers for Italy, Switzerland
Both Italy and Switzerland are assured of moving on to the next stage of qualifying for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. But seeding is at stake on Monday on the final day of UEFA Group C qualification. The teams each have 15 points heading into Monday’s slate, but Italy holds a two-goal lead in goal differential.
At FanDuel, Italy is a -450 favorite over Northern Ireland, while Switzerland is a -1050 favorite over Bulgaria in Lucerne. If Italy maintains the goal advantage and does not finish with fewer points than Switzerland, the reigning European champions will win the group. The group winner will clinch a spot in the World Cup, while the runner-up will advance to a second-place playoff round in March. Several World Cup spots are on the line Monday in Europe, with eight matches on the schedule.
OBJ expected to make Rams debut on Monday Night Football
Less than two weeks after acquiring Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, the Los Angeles Rams made another splash last week with the signing of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Rams, who entered Sunday as the 8/1 third choice to win the Super Bowl, saw their odds improve slightly after the signing of Beckham.
The addition of Beckham occurred around the same time that Rams wideout Robert Woods suffered a season-ending knee injury when he tore an ACL in practice on Friday. At DraftKings, the Rams are 3.5-point favorites over NFC West division rival San Francisco on Monday night. The sputtering Niners have lost five of six, while dropping all four of their home games in the 2021 regular season.
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2021
Tuesday, November 16
Scorching Warriors face Nets in Brooklyn
With an NBA best 11-2 record to open the season, the Golden State Warriors have conjured up images of the late 2010s when the franchise took the league by storm. Following a 123-110 win over the Timberwolves on Nov. 10, owner Joe Lacob indicated that the team’s hot start reminded him of 2014-15, the first of Golden State’s three title-winning campaigns over a four-year period.
On Tuesday night, the Warriors will face the powerhouse Brooklyn Nets in a potential NBA Finals preview. Despite the absence of Kyrie Irving, the Nets are in second in the Eastern Conference with a 10-4 record. The Nets entered Monday as the +260 favorite at PointsBet to win the NBA championship, just ahead of the Warriors, the third choice at +600. The Warriors opened the season with odds around +900. The Warriors are off to the strong start despite the absence of Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, both of whom continue to rehab injuries.
James Wiseman is set to join Klay Thompson in the next step towards their return to the Warriors lineup.
The two are staying behind on the team's road trip to start 5-on-5 action.https://t.co/U5upQYYFlE
— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) November 14, 2021
Wednesday, November 17
Sportradar reports third-quarter earnings
Sportradar, the Switzerland-based sports betting data provider, will report quarterly earnings for the first time since completing its IPO in September. Sportradar earned $478 million in 2020, with $18 million in net income. Over the first half of 2021, Sportradar increased revenue 42% on a year-over-year basis.
When Sportradar went public in September, the company indicated that it plans to pursue acquisitions of tech and artificial intelligence companies as a way of furthering its growth plans. Earlier this month, Sportradar secured an exclusive betting data rights agreement with UEFA’s portfolio of competitions, including the UEFA European Championships in soccer. Also during the quarter, Michael Jordan assumed an advisory role with Sportradar’s board while increasing his investment in the company.
Thursday, November 18
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission hearing
Five sportsbook operators could be approved for licensure in Maryland on Thursday, ahead of next year’s projected state launch. Earlier this month, the the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved sportsbook licenses for five operators: Barstool Sports (Hollywood Casino in Perryville), FanDuel (Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover), BetMGM (MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill), Caesars Sportsbook (Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore), and TwinSpires (Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin).
According to Maryland regulations, each gaming facility must complete a controlled demonstration of its sports wagering operations, under the observation of Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff. The demonstrations cannot occur until the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) awards licenses to the operators. While the SWARC took no action on the licensing awards at a meeting Nov. 3, the commission could approve the licenses Thursday morning, hours before the lottery commission holds its monthly meeting.
Saturday, November 20
Buckeyes open as massive favorite over Spartans in Top 10 matchup
For the eighth consecutive week, a Top 10 team fell when eighth-ranked Oklahoma lost to Baylor in Waco last Saturday. A Top 10 team is thus assured of losing for a ninth straight week, as seventh-ranked Michigan State travels to Columbus to face fourth-ranked Ohio State this coming weekend.
Michigan State rebounded from a loss to Purdue with a 40-29 win over Maryland in Week 11. The Spartans have allowed an average of 31.3 points over their last three games. Ohio State thumped the Boilermakers 59-31, eclipsing the 50-point mark for the fifth time this season. The Buckeyes opened as 18-point favorites over the Spartans at Circa Sports, where the total is 72.5.
In other action, third-ranked Oregon travels to Salt Lake City to face 24th-ranked Utah in a prime-time matchup. The Utes opened at Circa as 3-point favorites. After opening the season with a 4-3 record, Utah has reeled off three straight wins. Elsewhere, fifth-ranked Cincinnati hosts SMU in a key AAC conference game. SMU (+13.5) opened the season 7-0, but has lost two of its last three. Cincinnati is one of three undefeated teams left in FBS, along with top-ranked Georgia and UTSA.
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 14, 2021
MLS Playoffs begin in Philly, Kansas City
Philadelphia Union opens the MLS Playoffs on Saturday when the second seed from the Eastern Conference takes on the seventh-seeded New York Red Bulls in an opening-round matchup. Philadelphia is a +105 favorite at BetMGM. In the second game on Saturday, Sporting Kansas City is a heavy -155 favorite over Vancouver (+400) in an opening-round Western Conference match. The top seeds in each conference, New England and Colorado, have both earned byes and spots in the conference semifinals.
MLS Cup futures odds at BetMGM
- New England — +300
- Seattle — +525
- Colorado — +650
- Sporting Kansas City — +650
- Portland — +950
- Philadelphia — +1050
- Nashville — +1150
Sunday, November 21
Chiefs-Cowboys matchup highlights Week 11 slate
Stunned by the Broncos in Week 9, the Cowboys responded with 36 first-half points in Sunday’s dominant 43-3 victory over the Falcons. The Cowboys will need another offensive outpouring in Week 11 when they travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. The Chiefs’ vaunted offense reemerged in Las Vegas, as Patrick Mahomes threw for 406 yards and 5 TDs in a 41-14 win over the Raiders. Kansas City opened as a 2.5-point favorite against the ‘Boys.
In Buffalo, the Bills (-7) will host the Colts in a key AFC showdown. Buffalo responded from a shocking loss to the Jaguars with a 45-17 win over the Jets on Sunday. The Colts have emerged from a 1-4 hole with four wins over their last five games.
Meanwhile, the Lions are still looking for their first win of the season after a 16-16 tie against Pittsburgh. At Caesars Sportsbook, Detroit is a 10-point dog against Cleveland, which is coming off a 45-7 drubbing by New England. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield’s knee injury makes his status questionable. Detroit (0-8-1) is the league’s lone winless team.