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.
Tuesday, November 29
U.S. faces win-and-you’re-in scenario against Iran in World Cup
The U.S. salvaged a 0-0 tie against England on Black Friday, but it still did not clinch a spot in the knockout stage at the World Cup. The U.S. needs a win over Iran in its Group B finale to earn a spot in the Round of 16. The U.S. has odds of -110 at FanDuel to advance to the knockout round, just behind Iran (-125). Wales, which has one point through two games, is a considerable longshot at +2300.
The US now goes into its final group game with Iran knowing it needs a win to advance to the World Cup knockout stages for the fifth time since 1994.🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/kFv7Hn8AHY
— –von harris (@vizzon11) November 26, 2022
Wales will take on England in the other Group B match on Tuesday. England is still the definitive favorite to win the group, with odds of -800. England also has odds of +950 to win the World Cup, the fifth best among all teams as of Monday morning.
The U.S., meanwhile, will be eliminated with a tie or defeat against Iran. Despite a strong performance against England, the U.S. only has one goal through two matches. The American team has gone scoreless over its last three halves.
MGM-Springfield’s sports betting application on agenda at MGC meeting
As Massachusetts moves closer to a 2023 launch of legal sports betting, three casinos have applied for retail sports betting licensure. Regulators will discuss the sports betting license application of MGM-Springfield at Tuesday’s Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting. Each retail casino will have the ability to partner with two digital sports betting skins. While MGM Resorts has indicated that BetMGM will receive its first skin, the company has not divulged if it will negotiate a deal for the second one.
Wednesday, November 30
ESPN Chairman Pitaro to speak at SBJ conference
ESPN enters a critical period on the sports calendar amid heightened uncertainty on the timing of the network’s plans to dive into the sports betting space. Last month, ESPN appeared on the verge of entering the space after reports surfaced that a potential deal with DraftKings on a branding partnership was close to completion.
But the departure of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek has added a wrinkle to the timing. Bob Iger, Chapek’s predecessor, returned to his old gig this month. While Iger has yet to comment on ESPN’s plans, he appears to be less bullish on sports betting than Chapek. ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro could address some of the lingering questions at Wednesday’s appearance at the Sports Business Journal Media Innovators conference in New York City.
Saturday, December 3
Michigan, Georgia seek consecutive trips to the CFP national semis
Michigan rang up 530 yards of total offense in bulldozing archrival Ohio State 45-23. The game marked the Wolverines’ most lopsided victory over Ohio State in Columbus since 1976. Now the second choice at DraftKings to win the national title, Michigan (+260) will face Purdue in the Big Ten championship game. The Wolverines are favored by 16.5; the total is 50 points.
MICHIGAN 45, OHIO STATE 23
-Michigan wins 2 in a row vs. OSU for first time since 1999-2000
-Michigan’s first win in Columbus since 2000
-Michigan’s largest win vs. OSU since 1993
-Michigan’s largest win in Columbus since 1976
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) November 26, 2022
Georgia, the defending national champion, remains the favorite to win it all. The Bulldogs (-160) defeated Georgia Tech to complete consecutive undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history. The No. 1 Bulldogs will face LSU in the SEC Championship. Georgia is favored by 16 over the Tigers at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 50.5 points.
One other team remained undefeated in the final week of the regular season: TCU crushed Iowa State 62-14 to move to No. 3 in the AP Top 25. The Horned Frogs will face Kansas State in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship. TCU is a 1.5-point favorite; the total is 60.5 points.
Sunday, December 4
MLB winter meetings begin in San Diego
MLB general managers will arrive in San Diego this weekend for the annual winter meetings, and a host of prominent players could be on the move. The most intriguing question ahead of the winter meetings is whether Aaron Judge will leave the Yankees after seven seasons in the Bronx.
The American League MVP has odds of -165 at DraftKings to re-sign with the Yankees. Judge, who went to college at Fresno State, may opt instead to return to California, his home state. The Giants are the second choice at +300, followed by the Dodgers at +450. The Mets are next at +1000, followed by the Red Sox and the Cubs, at +1600 and +2200, respectively.
30 years ago:
1992: Barry Bonds wins MVP. Lost in LCS. Batted .311. Signs with hometown team, San Francisco Giants on December 6.
2022: Aaron Judge wins MVP. Lost in LCS. Batted .311. Childhood team, #SFGiants…
Fun fact: @BarryBonds nearly signed with Yankees. @TheJudge44 pic.twitter.com/z86aqoLlhc
— Cliff (@MartinezSF_) November 27, 2022
For teams in need of a shortstop, there are numerous options in free agency. The Dodgers’ Trea Turner, Twins’ Carlos Correa, Braves’ Dansby Swanson, and Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts are all free agents. Correa opted out of a guaranteed $35.1 million contract for the 2023 season.
The Dodgers (+600) are slight favorites at PointsBet to win the 2023 World Series, with the Astros next at +700. The Braves (+1000), Yankees (+1000), and Mets (+1200) round out the top five. The Phillies, the defending National League champions, have odds of +1800 to win the World Series.
McDaniel faces Niners for first time since joining Dolphins
Since leaving the San Francisco 49ers at the end of last season, Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has brought an explosive offense to South Florida. Entering Week 13, the Dolphins rank third in the NFL in total offense and second through the air. On Sunday, McDaniel will take on his old team for the first time since he left his job as offensive coordinator in San Francisco.
McDaniel and the Dolphins will face a Niners defense that is arguably the most stingy in the league. San Francisco shut out New Orleans 13-0 on Sunday, surrendering only 260 total yards. The Niners opened as a 3.5-point home favorite at Circa Sports; the total is 46.5 points.
Key injuries and lineup uncertainties heading into Week 13:
- Aaron Rodgers left Sunday’s loss against the Eagles in the fourth quarter with a rib injury. While X-rays on Rodgers’ ribs were inconclusive on Sunday night, the Packers quarterback expects to play against the Bears in Week 13 as long as the scans on his ribs turn out OK. The Packers (4-8) have lost seven of their last eight games. Bears quarterback Justin Fields missed Sunday’s loss against the Jets with a shoulder injury. The Packers opened as 2.5-point consensus favorites at several major books, but the line is off the board at many books pending Rodgers’ status.
- Jets quarterback Mike White threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s victory over the Bears. Coach Robert Saleh has indicated that it is the team’s goal to play Zach Wilson again before the season ends. Still, Saleh has not said definitively when Wilson will return to the starting lineup. The Vikings are 3-point home favorites over the Jets at WynnBET; the total is 42.5 points.
- Buccaneers offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs left the field on a cart in Sunday’s loss to the Browns after suffering a foot injury. An X-ray on Wirfs’ foot turned out negative, the NFL Network reported. Bucs running back Leonard Fournette missed the game with a hip injury. The Bucs are 6-point home favorites over the Saints at BetRivers; the total is 40.5 points.