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 22
Brady looks to avoid rare three-game losing streak
During an illustrious 22-year NFL career, Tom Brady has suffered a three-game losing streak only once. The last time a Brady-led team dropped three straight was in October 2002 when Brett Favre’s Packers defeated the Patriots 28-10. But the Bucs’ losing streak will balloon to three if Tampa Bay falls to the Giants on Monday Night Football. Although the Bucs are expected to win convincingly as 10.5-point favorites at FanDuel, Tampa lost in Week 10 to Washington as a heavy favorite. Giants running back Saquon Barkley may appear in his first game in more than a month. Barkley, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 5 against the Cowboys, has been listed as questionable for Monday’s game. Bucs wideout Antonio Brown has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) November 20, 2021
Tuesday, November 23
Genius Sports’ third-quarter earnings
One week after the NBA gained an equity stake in sports betting data provider Sportradar, Genius Sports will report 2021 third-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Earlier this year, Genius raised the stakes in the intense battle for global sports betting data rights when the company announced a historic multi-year partnership with the NFL.
In September, Genius increased its full-year 2021 group revenue guidance from a range of $250-$260 million to $255-$260 million. Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke indicated that the company’s ability to secure NFL-related agreements with a bevy of sports betting operators validated its strategy from a sportsbook partnership standpoint. The partnerships also instilled confidence in Genius’ leadership team that the company could “deliver results at the high end of [its] previous guidance.” During the second quarter, Genius increased revenue by more than 50% on a year-over-year basis to $55.8 million. At the same time, the company increased adjusted EBITDA by 126% from the previous year’s quarter to $5.2 million.
In recent months, Genius has secured multi-year strategic partnerships with numerous leading sportsbooks, including DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM. On Monday, Genius announced an expanded partnership with FanDuel that will include NFL official data content. Genius made its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange in April after completing a $1.5 billion merger with dMY Tech II, a special-purpose acquisition company. Genius closed on Friday at $13.76 a share, down 14% on the week. The NBA’s deal with Sportradar grants the data provider exclusivity on the distribution of the league’s official sports betting data to international sportsbooks.
Gonzaga meets UCLA in Final Four rematch
Gonzaga avoided a massive upset in the 2021 Final Four when guard Jalen Suggs banked in a 30-foot shot at the buzzer for a 93-90 overtime win over UCLA. Though Suggs and former teammate Corey Kispert have moved on to the NBA, forward Drew Timme has returned for another potential title run with top-ranked Gonzaga.
Timme, a preseason AP first-team All-American, will lead a revamped Bulldogs squad on Tuesday night against second-ranked UCLA. While the Bruins became only the fifth 11-seed ever to reach the Final Four, their expectations are significantly higher this season after returning guards Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell, and Jaime Jaquez. UCLA defeated fourth-ranked Villanova on Nov. 12, while Gonzaga notched a win over top 5-ranked Texas one night later.
The matchup in Tuesday night’s Good Sam Empire Classic will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs will face seventh-ranked Duke on the same court Friday in the Continental Tire Challenge. All three teams — Gonzaga, UCLA, and Duke — are among the top choices at DraftKings to win the 2022 national title.
College basketball national champion (odds via DraftKings)
- Gonzaga: +600
- Purdue: +1000
- Villanova: +1200
- UCLA: +1200
- Kansas: +1400
- Duke: +1400
Thursday, November 25
Cowboys-Raiders highlights Thanksgiving Day slate
Dallas hosts the Raiders when the Cowboys suit up on Thanksgiving Day for the 53rd time in franchise history. Both teams are coming off defeats Sunday, though the Cowboys remain in first in the NFC East. The Chiefs held the Cowboys to a season-low nine points on Sunday in a 19-9 victory. Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb left the game with a head injury and must pass the NFL’s concussion protocols to play against Las Vegas. The Cowboys opened as 7.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 50.5.
The Thanksgiving tripleheader starts in Detroit, where the Lions host the Bears. Detroit fell to 0-9-1 on Sunday with a 13-10 loss to the Browns. The Bears, favored by 3.5 points, head into Thanksgiving on a five-game losing streak after falling 16-13 to the Ravens. Bears quarterback Justin Fields left the game the third quarter with a rib injury. The status of Jared Goff is still uncertain after the Lions quarterback missed the loss to Cleveland.
In the nightcap, the Bills (6-4) are desperate for a win against the Saints following a blowout 41-15 loss to the Colts. While Buffalo entered Sunday as a slight favorite on the futures market to win the Super Bowl, the upset home loss dropped the Bills out of first place in the AFC East. New Orleans (5-5) suffered its third straight loss since the insertion of Trevor Siemian at starting quarterback, with a 40-29 defeat to the Eagles. Buffalo is a 4.5-point road favorite in New Orleans; the total is 46.5.
Friday, November 26
Long hitting on display when Bryson faces Koepka in The Match V
The Match returns for its fifth installment on Friday, three years after the made-for-television event between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson debuted in 2018. Bryson DeChambeau will take on Brooks Koepka in a 12-hole match at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas. The U.S. Ryder Cup teammates have appeared to patch up a tense relationship that hit a nadir in May when DeChambeau interrupted one of Koepka’s post-round interviews at the PGA Championship. By September, the PGA Tour decided to eject fans who yelled “Brooksie” at DeChambeau in the midst of tournament play to mock the golfer. Both young stars are known for their power off the tee, providing an intriguing subplot for closest-to-the-hole side bets. DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champ, finished seventh in October’s Professional Long Drivers Association World Championships. DeChambeau is a slight -115 favorite over Koepka (-105) at WynnBET.
Watch Bryson take on Brooks Koepka this year on Friday, Nov. 26, at 4pm ET on TNT
— Steven Candelaria (@StevoCandelaria) November 21, 2021
Saturday, November 27
Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor for ‘The Game’
Nicknamed “The Game” by some college football historians, the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan has been one-sided since the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes in 2003. Since then, Ohio State has notched victories in 15 of the 16 meetings between the schools, including all five with Michigan coached by Jim Harbaugh.
The Buckeyes enter Saturday’s matchup off a 56-7 rout over then-seventh-ranked Michigan State. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud passed for 393 yards and six TDs in the first half alone, as the Buckeyes raced out to a 49-0 halftime lead. Ohio State moved up three spots on the basis of the dominating win is now ranked second. Michigan, meanwhile, improved to 10-1 with a 59-18 win over Maryland. Ohio State opened at Circa Sportsbook as a 7-point favorite over Michigan; the total is 61.
In another rivalry game, third-ranked Alabama will face Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young torched the Arkansas secondary in Saturday’s 42-35 win when he finished with a school-record 559 passing yards. Following the two stellar performances, Stroud and Young are clearly the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy. Alabama opened as a 21-point favorite against Auburn.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma State is a 3-point favorite over Oklahoma in the latest incarnation of The Bedlam Series. While the Cowboys have already clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game, Oklahoma needs a victory on Saturday to ensure a rematch a week later. Baylor needs a win over Texas Tech and a loss by Oklahoma to clinch the other berth.
CJ Stroud Heisman odds (@BetMGM):
Before today's game: +250
1st half vs. Michigan State: -200
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) November 20, 2021
Sunday, November 28
Rodgers attempts to play through injured toe when Packers face Rams
The Rams travel to Green Bay to face the Packers (8-3) at Lambeau Field in a potential NFC Championship preview. In January, the Packers edged the Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoffs when Green Bay rushed for nearly 200 yards on the ground. Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald was hampered by a rib injury in the defeat and recorded just one assist.
While Donald is expected to be healthy in Week 12, Packers running back Aaron Jones missed Sunday’s loss to the Vikings with a knee injury. Following the defeat, Aaron Rodgers indicated that he played most of the game with an injured toe after a Vikings defender stepped on his foot in the first half. The Packers opened as 2-point favorites for Sunday’s game against the Rams.
In another intriguing showdown, the Colts will face the Bucs in Indianapolis after Indy’s impressive win over the Bills. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor set a franchise record with five touchdowns in the rout. Taylor now leads the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns. Tampa Bay opened as a 2.5-point favorite; the total is 51.
Also on Sunday, the Patriots will face the Titans in Foxborough. The Patriots have won five straight, while the Titans had their six-game winning streak snapped on Sunday in a shocking defeat to the Texans. New England is a 5.5-point favorite.