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.
Wednesday, February 16
USA and Canada face off for women’s hockey gold
Team USA advanced to the women’s gold medal hockey game on Monday with a 4-1 victory over Finland. In the finals, Team USA, the defending Olympic champions, will face Team Canada, a 10-3 winner over Switzerland in Monday’s other semifinal.
The two North American rivals have met in five of the last six Olympic finals. While the U.S. defeated Canada in the 2018 Pyeongchang gold medal game, Canada edged the U.S. 4-2 last week in a preliminary round matchup. Canada is a slight -155 favorite over the U.S. (+130) at BetRivers.
— Olympic Hockey on NBC (@NBCSportsHockey) February 14, 2022
Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting in Columbus
Stakeholders may learn more on the timing of the state’s sports betting license application process at Wednesday’s Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting. At last month’s meeting, the commission indicated that legal sports wagering in Ohio will begin by Jan. 1, 2023. The commission, however, did not set an exact date.
Also, stakeholders in Arkansas could receive an update this week on the timing of the state’s planned mobile sports betting launch. Sports betting proponents are now targeting a launch before March Madness, after the Arkansas Legislative Council failed to approve a set of proposed mobile sports betting rules in time for the Super Bowl.
In Maryland, the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday morning. Although an exact date for the launch of Maryland sports betting is still unclear, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director John Martin indicated last month that sometime this fall remains as a realistic launch date.
Friday, February 18
DraftKings expected to report loss in Q4
As sports betting stocks remain near 52-week lows, investors will keep a close eye on DraftKings‘ 2021 fourth-quarter earnings release on Friday morning. While DraftKings’ stock price remains near its lowest level over the last 12 months, the stock appears primed to rebound amid bullish options action and near-term short covering. DraftKings traded as high as $24.73 on Friday, its highest level in a month.
DraftKings is projected to post quarterly revenue of $439.5 million, good for a year-over-year increase of 36.4%, according to consensus estimates compiled by Zack’s Investment Research. But as DraftKings’ sales and marketing expenses remain high, analysts project increased EBITDA losses for the sportsbook operator. DraftKings is projected to report an EPS loss of $-0.82 per share, according to Zack’s, a loss of 18.8% compared to DraftKings’ earnings per share during the fourth quarter of 2020.
— Philip Calrissian (@Trading_Sunset) February 13, 2022
Saturday, February 19
NCAA releases projected March Madness bracket
Don’t look now, but Selection Sunday for the NCAA’s Division I Men’s college basketball tournament is less than a month away. Over the last several years, the NCAA has released a projected bracket in February to give fans a sense of where their teams rank ahead of the final weeks of the regular season.
On Saturday, the NCAA will release its Top 16 teams in the projected field of 68. Despite a shaky 7-2 start to the season, Gonzaga has returned to the top of the AP rankings during its current 14-game winning streak. That streak includes nine wins of 30 points or more.
At Caesars Sportsbook, Gonzaga is favored to win the NCAA tournament with odds of +500, followed by Auburn (+900), Kentucky (+1000), and Arizona (+1100).
Other NCAA tournament futures at Caesars
- Purdue — +1100
- Duke — +1200
- Baylor — +1500
- Kansas — +1600
- UCLA — +2000
- Villanova — +2000
- Illinois — +2500
Sunday, February 20
Hamlin favored in Daytona 500
With the Super Bowl of football in the rear view mirror, the Super Bowl of auto racing is at the forefront. The 2022 NASCAR Cup series begins Sunday with the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race on the annual calendar.
PointsBet has installed Denny Hamlin as a slight +900 favorite ahead of Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson at +1100 and +1200, respectively. Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 champion, last won the race in 2020 when he defeated Ryan Blaney by 0.014 seconds in overtime. If Hamlin prevails on Sunday, he’ll tie Cale Yarborough for second all-time in Daytona 500 victories with four. Richard Petty holds the Daytona 500 record with seven career wins.
Michael McDowell, a prohibitive underdog in last year’s 500, captured the checkered flag with pre-race odds of 100/1. McDowell has odds of 70/1 at FanDuel to repeat as champion.
For the 2022 season, NASCAR will debut a new vehicle specification, dubbed the “Next Gen” car. The new vehicles have received high marks for their durability and improved aerodynamic packages.
From earlier in the week … A video of how drivers would respond if asked at a Super Bowl party to describe the Next Gen car to someone who occasionally watches racing. Figured that might happen to some of you today and wanted to help you out. No big tech words. No diagrams. https://t.co/JSf9mtzE6E
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 13, 2022
High totals expected at NBA All-Star Game
Although Kevin Durant assembled a deep, talented team at last week’s NBA All-Star Draft, the 12-time NBA All-Star will miss Sunday’s game in Cleveland with a knee injury. Durant drew a gaggle of laughter at last Thursday’s draft when he refused to select James Harden, hours after the Brooklyn Nets shipped the former NBA MVP to Philadelphia in a blockbuster trade.
Team Durant features a backcourt of Ja Morant and Trae Young, with center Joel Embiid up front, while Team LeBron will counter with Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic in a versatile starting lineup. For the third straight year, the game will feature an untimed fourth quarter under the so-called “Elam Ending” format. The first team to reach a targeted score established at the end of the third quarter will win the game.
Since the NBA went to the Elam Ending format in 2020, the total in the All-Star Game has eclipsed 310 in each of the last two years. The total has eclipsed 300 in six of the last seven All-Star Games dating back to 2014.