Each Monday, our “What’s On Tap,” series will preview 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 and Wide World of Gambling at US Bets for a look back at last week’s relevant news.
Monday, December 7
Steelers look to stay undefeated on MNF doubleheader
For the third time this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had a game shifted from its scheduled start due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last Wednesday, the Steelers edged the Ravens 19-14 six days after the AFC North rivals were scheduled to face off on Thanksgiving Night. Following the rare Wednesday evening matchup, the NFL pushed back the Steelers’ clash against Washington one day to give Pittsburgh some additional rest. Washington has not played since a 41-16 win over Dallas on Thanksgiving. With 10 days off between games, Washington has gained three points from the opening line (Steelers -10). In a bid to stay undefeated, Pittsburgh remains a seven-point favorite on Monday night. The opener will be followed by a 49ers-Bills matchup that carries significant postseason implications. Prohibited by Santa Clara County from hosting live events, the 49ers moved the prime-time contest to Glendale, Ariz. A surge of late money has come in on San Francisco. As a result, the 49ers moved to one-point favorites on the Vegas consensus line, a shift of four points from the opening line.
Tuesday, December 8
Jackson primed to return for matchup against Cowboys
After missing last week’s game against the Steelers, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to return against the Cowboys, ESPN reported. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thanksgiving. Both teams are reeling heading into Tuesday night’s matchup. The Ravens, which have lost three of their last four games, would miss the postseason if they began today. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have gone just 2-5 since Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending leg injury on Oct. 11. Reports of Jackson’s return triggered some line movement, as the Ravens jumped to 8.5 point favorites.
Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson is expected to come off Reserve/COVID19 list and start Tuesday vs. the Dallas Cowboys, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 6, 2020
Wednesday, December 9
Canadian House of Commons to discuss sports betting bill
The prospect for full-fledged legal sports betting in Canada is gaining momentum. Earlier last month, Justice Minister David Lametti introduced a bill, C-13, that aims to modify the criminal code to allow for single-game betting throughout Canada. On Wednesday, the bill is scheduled for a second reading in the House of Commons. A bill in Canada requires at least three readings before it can become law.
"Ontario has been an advocate of single-game sports betting for at least a decade. AGCO has long been preparing for legalization of single-bet sports betting and we'll be in position to move as quickly as possible." – Dave Phillips, COO
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) December 3, 2020
Thursday, December 10
Pats finish West Coast road swing
Fresh off a dominating 45-0 win over the Chargers, the Patriots look to sweep both L.A. teams with a victory over the Rams. A win against the Rams would put New England at 7-6 and squarely in the mix for an AFC Wild Card spot. After an uncharacteristic 2-5 start, the Patriots have quietly won four of five. New England last missed the playoffs in 2008. The Rams (8-4) enter the week with the NFC West tiebreaker over Seattle thanks to a Week 10 win over the Seahawks.
Saturday, December 12
Michigan opens as massive dogs against Ohio State
The bitter rivals have met every year since 1918 and 116 times since their first meeting in 1897. Few, if any, have had a larger spread than Saturday’s game in Columbus. At Circa Sports, the Buckeyes opened as more than four touchdown favorites over the Wolverines. Ohio State needs a victory to keep its playoff hopes intact. Michigan, meanwhile, looks for its first win against the Buckeyes since 2011. The largest victory in the series took place in 1902 when Michigan defeated Ohio State 86-0.
Ohio State opens as a 30-point favorite over Michigan via @CircaSports.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) December 6, 2020
Joshua defends heavyweight titles
Roughly one year from a unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz Jr., Anthony Joshua returns to the ring on Saturday to defend his WBA (super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. At DraftKings, Joshua (-1250) is an overwhelming favorite over challenger Kubrat Pulev. Joshua (23-1) is the third-ranked heavyweight by BoxRec.com, behind Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Pulev has odds of +600 to pull off the upset.