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, December 13
Miller headlines NCLGS Winter Meeting in Austin
A host of state legislative leaders, industry lobbyists, and gaming analysts will converge on Austin, Texas, early this week for the National Council of Legislators From Gaming States (NCLGS) 2021 Winter Meeting. The agenda on Monday features a keynote address from American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller, as well as several sports betting-related panels.
Another panel on Tuesday will delve into the long-term ramifications of the Supreme Court’s historic 2018 PASPA decision on sports betting. The panel, which features several leading state representatives, will address whether the industry as a whole could have approached the rollout of U.S. sports betting in a different manner. As of today, more than 30 states have legalized sports betting.
“To be able to go from May 2018 to where we are today, with 126 million people being able to bet on sports, is nothing short of remarkable,” Miller told Sports Handle.
Cardinals can secure playoff spot with win over Rams
Wins by several NFC teams on Sunday prevented the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers from clinching playoff spots, but the Cardinals can become the first NFL team to reach the postseason if the NFC West leaders defeat the Rams on Monday Night Football.
The Cardinals are a 2.5-point favorite over the Rams at BetMGM, where the total is 51.5 points. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in a Week 13 victory over the Bears. Both Murray and All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned after missing the previous three games with injuries. There are odds of +175 at BetMGM for Hopkins to score at least one touchdown in a Cardinals’ win Monday, while the Rams broke a three-game losing streak last week with a 37-7 win over the Jags.
Steph looks to break Allen’s NBA all-time 3-point record
Frustrated by pesky defense from Sixers swingman Matisse Thybulle, Steph Curry struggled from long range on Saturday in Golden State’s 102-93 loss to Philadelphia. Curry entered the game needing 10 3-pointers to break Ray Allen’s NBA record for career 3-pointers made. Curry, a two-time NBA MVP, finished with 18 points against the Sixers on 3-for-14 shooting beyond the arc. Ahead of the prime-time matchup, Curry had odds of +490 to sink over 9.5 threes against the Sixers.
Another top sportsbook, PointsBet, is offering a prop on the exact game when Curry will set the record. Curry can top Allen’s mark with seven 3-pointers on Monday night against Indiana. From there, the Warriors face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, then the Celtics in Boston on Friday. Golden State wraps up the five-game road trip on Saturday in Toronto.
“[I’ve] just got to make shots and understand the opposition’s not going to want that to happen on their own floor,” Curry told reporters after the loss to Philly. “There’s a lot of attention on it, which is well-deserved. I appreciate the attention on it and it will happen when it happens.”
🔥 Joel Embiid on NOT Letting Steph Curry Break the NBA 3 point Record vs Sixers
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) December 12, 2021
Thursday, December 16
Mahomes and Herbert square off in L.A.
The two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs have won six straight, punctuated by a 48-9 drubbing of the Raiders on Sunday. But the Chargers can wrest the division lead from Kansas City with a win in Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.
The Chargers offense is also clicking, led by the continued stellar play of quarterback Justin Herbert. On Sunday, Herbert threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-21 win over the Giants. It marked the third time in four games that the Chargers had scored at least 37 points.
For the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes has cut down throughout the team’s winning streak on the costly interceptions suffered earlier this year. While Mahomes has 12 interceptions on the season, he has only been picked off twice over the Chiefs’ last five games. The Chiefs are favored by 3.5 points at Caesars Sportsbook, where the total is 50.
Saturday, December 18
Colts face Pats in critical AFC matchup
For years, the Colts-Patriots rivalry represented the fiercest of any in the NFL, as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning staged numerous battles, usually on the road to the Super Bowl. On Saturday, the teams will meet for the first time since Brady left the Pats.
The Colts moved into playoff contention in Week 14 with losses by the Bengals, Steelers, and Raiders. Indy can improve its positioning with a win over the Patriots on Saturday in prime time. The Patriots’ current seven-game winning streak is the longest in the league at the moment, but Caesars has made the Colts 2-point favorites to win at home.
In Cleveland, the Browns will face the Raiders in the opener of the doubleheader. The Raiders must quickly erase the sour memories of Sunday’s blowout defeat against Kansas City. After opening the season 5-2, the Raiders have won just one of their last six games. The Browns opened as 6-point favorites and the total is 42.5.
Tiger returns to golf for PNC Championship
Shortly after Tiger Woods suffered a catastrophic one-car rollover crash last February, the 15-time major champion considered himself “lucky to still be alive.” At the time, there were significant doubts among the professional golf community if Woods would ever play tournament golf again.
Remarkably, Woods will return to the course this weekend for the PNC Championship, an exhibition with a litany of prominent father-son duos from the world of golf. Once again, Woods will compete with his son, Charlie, who made his tournament debut in the event last year. Charlie, then 11, teamed with his father to shoot 20-under in the 36-hole exhibition, good for seventh overall. While few legal books are offering odds on the exhibition, Woods is currently at 100/1 to win the 2022 Masters.
2022 Masters updated
J Rahm 10/1
C Morikawa 16/1
D Johnson 16/1
J Spieth 16/1
R McIlroy 18/1
J Thomas 18/1
B DeChambeau 18/1
B Koepka 18/1
X Schauffele 18/1
P Cantlay 20/1
V Hovland 25/1
T Finau 30/1
H Matsuyama 35/1
P Reed 35/1
S Burns 40/1
P Mickelson 100/1
T Woods 100/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) December 5, 2021
Sunday, December 18
Bucs-Saints clash on Sunday Night Football
Since losing to the Saints on Halloween Day, the Bucs have won four of their last five to take a four-game lead in the NFC South. New Orleans went in the opposite direction, dropping five straight before Sunday’s 30-9 win over the Jets. The teams will meet again on Sunday night in Tampa. The Bucs opened as 11.5-point favorites on Vegas’ consensus line.
Meanwhile, the Titans are 2.5-point favorites over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, while the Broncos are 1.5-point favorites over the Bengals in Denver. With identical 7-6 records, both the Broncos and Bengals are in contention for AFC wild card spots, and both the Bengals and Browns are one game behind the Ravens for the AFC North lead. Lamar Jackson remains questionable after he left Sunday’s loss to the Browns with an ankle injury. As of Monday afternoon, the Ravens stood as 7-point dogs against the Packers in a matchup of division leaders.
"I don't see this as long-term. I don't see this as an injured reserve." @ProFootballDoc joined @BenScottStevens to share his thoughts on Lamar Jackson's ankle injury. #NFLTwitter #RavensFlock pic.twitter.com/93qNXem82a
— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) December 13, 2021
The Bills, meanwhile, are in desperate need of a win when they face the Panthers in Buffalo. The Bills erased a 17-point second-half deficit on Sunday against the Bucs, only to lose in overtime on a 58-yard touchdown catch by Breshad Perriman. While Josh Allen recorded 417 all-purpose yards in the defeat, the quarterback left Raymond James Stadium in a walking boot. Allen is expected to play against Carolina, albeit with a sore ankle. At DraftKings, the Bills are favored by 9.5 against a sputtering Panthers team that has lost three straight.