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, January 31
Super Bowl LVI early line movement
With hundreds of millions of dollars wagered on the Super Bowl, astute bettors know the importance of closely monitoring line fluctuations for the NFL’s marquee event. Trailing 21-3 at the half, the Cincinnati Bengals stormed back in the second half of Sunday’s AFC Championship to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24. In the process, the Bengals tied an AFC championship game record for largest-ever comeback.
After finishing 4-11-1 last year in Joe Burrow’s rookie season, the Bengals entered the 2021 campaign with odds of 120/1 to win the Super Bowl. (One bettor at FanDuel has a $6,000 futures ticket on the Bengals to win it all at 40/1.) The Bengals are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989.
— Super Bowl LVI on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 30, 2022
The Rams also won on Sunday in comeback fashion, rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to edge the 49ers 20-17. The Niners had a chance to tie the game in the 2-minute drill, but saw their Super Bowl hopes end when Travin Howard intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo with 1:09 left.
Los Angeles opened as a 3.5-point favorite against Cincinnati at FanDuel before the line quickly moved to Los Angeles -4 on Sunday night. As of Monday morning, the sportsbook’s line remained steady at -4, with the total at 49.5 points.
FanDuel also rushed out a bevy of alternate spreads on Sunday night, less than an hour after the Rams’ win. Value hunters can lock in odds of 5/1 on the Rams -20.5. On the other hand, backers of the Bengals can grab odds of 7/1 on Cincinnati at -13.5. There are also odds of 75/1 on the total to fall under 21.5 points. Three years ago, the total came in at 16 points when the Rams lost to the Patriots 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.
The line is poised to be a record 13th straight Super Bowl with the favorite laying fewer than 7 points, according to Caesars Sportsbook. The previous streak occurred from Super Bowls V to XIII in the 1970s. The total has landed on the under in each of the last three Super Bowls, Caesars noted, with all three closing at 50 or higher.
Wednesday, February 2
Webinar on barrage of sports gambling advertising
If tuning in for a sports broadcast in New York over the last month, there’s a strong chance you were inundated with a plethora of sports betting advertisements during the commercial breaks. A webinar on Wednesday, titled “America’s New Storm of Gambling,” will delve into why the barrage of advertising may pose a considerable public health concern.
The program will feature an appearance from Mark A. Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, and Harry Levant, director of education for Stop Predatory Gambling. The webinar will be moderated by Les Bernal, national director for Stop Predatory Gambling.
Thursday, February 3
U.S. women’s hockey makes Beijing Olympics debut
Though the opening ceremonies for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will air in the U.S. on Friday night, several events will begin earlier in the week. On Thursday, the U.S. women’s hockey team will make its first appearance in group play when it takes on Finland in a preliminary round matchup. Team USA, the defending Olympic gold medalist, has odds of -106 at BetRivers to take home gold again.
The Americans are slightly favored over arch rival Canada (+100) to win gold in Beijing. From there, none of the remaining teams in the Olympic tournament have single-digit odds at BetRivers. Among the also-rans, Finland is the third pick at +1500, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee (50/1), Switzerland (75/1), and the Czech Republic (100/1). Women’s hockey has made six appearances at the Winter Olympics since 1998, with either the U.S. or Canada winning each time.
OLYMPIC SNAPSHOT: US women's hockey once again led by Hilary Knight, whose leadership of the sport has become as renowned as her play on the ice.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) January 29, 2022
Saturday, February 5
NHL All-Star Game comes to Vegas
Las Vegas will host the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday night for the first time since the hometown Golden Knights entered the league in 2017. A season earlier, the NHL changed its All-Star format, implementing a 3-on-3 tournament featuring the league’s four divisions. Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (Atlantic), Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin (Metropolitan), Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (Central), and Oilers forward Connor McDavid (Pacific) will serve as the four captains.
While conventional wisdom suggests that the 3-on-3 format would be susceptible to a flurry of scoring, recent contests suggest otherwise. Over the last five All-Star Games, there have been 39 combined goals in the finals, good for an average of 7.8 per game. The total has hit double-digits only once over that span, while MacKinnon will miss the exhibition after suffering a facial fracture last week against the Bruins.
Nathan MacKinnon has surgery on nose, will miss NHL All-Star Game | SaltWire https://t.co/yvhIIWll2v
— The Chronicle Herald (@chronicleherald) January 30, 2022
Sunday, February 6
Pro Bowl also comes to Vegas
For hockey fans making the weekend jaunt to Las Vegas, some may opt to extend their stay one more night. Why? Because on Sunday, Sin City will host the Pro Bowl for the first time ever. The NFL awarded the Pro Bowl to Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, two years before the venue hosts the Super Bowl in 2024.
The AFC has a four-game winning streak, dating back to 2016. The Pro Bowl was not held last season due to COVID-19, and the total has fallen under 50 in three of the last four Pro Bowls. Then again, if you are betting on the Pro Bowl, it might be time for a new hobby.
NHL all star game in Vegas: February 5
NFL pro bowl game in Vegas: February 6…. See where I’m going with this?
— canes fan page ³⁰ (@thatcrazycaniac) January 31, 2022