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, February 28
MLB sets deadline to complete new collective bargaining agreement
Although representatives from the MLB and MLBPA have met repeatedly over the last week in an attempt to complete a new collective bargaining agreement, the two sides reportedly remained far apart Sunday afternoon. Last week, MLB set a Monday deadline for a new agreement to avoid the cancellation of Opening Day. Without an agreement at the start of the week, MLB has vowed to shorten the 2022 season’s 162-game schedule.
MLB did not respond well to the union's proposal, sources tell ESPN. There are two days left to get a deal, but opening day remains in significant jeopardy. Multiple officials believe a deal will not get done by the league's Monday deadline to cancel games.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 26, 2022
With the start of the regular season in jeopardy, customary futures bets on season win totals remain off the board at sportsbooks. Bettors should keep a close eye on last season’s winning percentage from each club when considering totals for a modified schedule. For instance, the Los Angeles Dodgers went 43-17 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, producing an astounding winning percentage of .717. The percentage equates to a record of 116-46 if the Dodgers played a full season. Last year, only three clubs (the Giants, Dodgers, and Rays) finished with a winning percentage of .600 or higher.
Two sports betting bills on the agenda in Missouri
A pair of sports betting bills are scheduled to be reviewed in Jefferson City when the Missouri House of Representative’s Special Committee on Public Policy holds an executive session on Monday. The first, HB 2502, authored by Rep. Dan Houx, seeks to amend the state’s definition of “games of skill” to include sports wagering. Another bill, HB 2556, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, would require sports wagering platform providers to pay an initial license application fee of $100,000, along with a renewal fee of $50,000 every two years. Both bills could be brought to a vote on Monday.
NEC tourney kicks off college hoops postseason
On the last day of February, the college basketball conference tournament season begins with a Northeastern Conference matchup between Fairleigh Dickinson and Central Connecticut. Wagner opened the conference season 13-0 but sputtered down the stretch with three losses over its last five games. One of the defeats came in overtime Thursday to Farleigh Dickinson, which had entered the matchup 3-20. Bryant then edged Wagner 78-70 on Saturday to capture the top seed in the NEC.
Tuesday, March 1
Flutter releases preliminary annual report
Flutter is scheduled to release its 2021 preliminary annual report Tuesday. Flutter, the parent company of FanDuel, ended 2021 on a tear. Last year, FanDuel achieved 36% of the overall U.S. sports betting market, according to gaming firm Eilers & Krejcik, increasing its lead over archrival DraftKings to 12 percentage points.
FanDuel topped the U.S. OSB market in CY21 with 36% GGR share, per @EilersKrejcik ests. 3rd year in a row FD has led, and in CY21, FD widened GGR share gap with $DKNG to ~1200bps from ~700bps in CY20. U.S. OSB market remains in winners take-most-mode—top 3 brands have 75% share. pic.twitter.com/Y9krB60ROL
— Chris Krafcik (@CKrafcik) February 11, 2022
Investors could learn more on Flutter’s possible resolution of litigation with Fox Corp. over an option which entitles the latter to an 18.6% equity stake in FanDuel Group at its 2021 market value. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch is hopeful that a New York arbitration court will conclude the matter by the end of the summer, at the latest. Flutter, like many top public companies in the gambling space, has seen its stock price decline sharply amid a period of high inflation across the global economy.
Friday, March 4
Sports betting panel at Sloan analytics conference
A bevy of sports industry power players will converge in Boston over the weekend for the two-day MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. One panel, titled “Beyond the Book: The Inevitable Expansion of Sports Betting,” will feature appearances by FanDuel CEO Amy Howe, Caesars Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Sharon Otterman, and Renie Anderson, who serves as the NFL’s chief revenue officer and executive vice president of league partnerships.
One topic for panel discussion centers around the cutthroat battle among top U.S. sportsbooks for market share. In a surprising move, Caesars announced plans last week to curtail its sports betting ad spending budget, effective immediately. The announcement may signal that the huge advertising campaigns cannot be sustained on a long-term basis and lead to similar cuts among other leading operators.
Saturday, March 5
Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has won more than 550 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium during his legendary coaching career. On Saturday, Krzyzewski will coach his final game at the arena when Duke takes on rival North Carolina in the ACC regular-season finale for both teams.
The Blue Devils will likely be heavily favored over the Tar Heels after notching a dominating 87-67 win in the season’s first matchup between the teams. No. 7 Duke figures to move up in the rankings on Monday following a historic Saturday that saw the top six teams in the nation all suffer a defeat. In total, seven members of the AP Top 10 lost on Saturday, a new record for defeats by Top 10 teams in a single day.
5 weeks ago, nearly 1000 Duke students started to camp at ‘Krzyzewskiville.’ A tradition that started over 40 years ago as a tribute to Coach K whose final home game will be at Cameron Indoor Stadium next Saturday vs UNC. Today was the final day of tenting for the #CameronCrazies pic.twitter.com/w4wxPBPfHP
— Bob Karp (@BobKarpDR) February 25, 2022
Also on Saturday, the Ohio Valley Conference will crown a champion in Evansville, awarding a team one of the first berths in the NCAA Tournament. At present, No. 19 Murray State has one of the nation’s longest winning streaks at 18. Murray State has odds of -175 at FanDuel to win the OVC tournament, ahead of Belmont (+245) and Morehead State (+900).
The Racers still remain a longshot to win the national championship, with odds of 150/1 at Barstool Sportsbook. The Ohio Valley Conference is among a group of lesser conferences that can be bet collectively at 100/1 to produce the national title winner.
Conference of team to win 2022 national championship (at Barstool Sportsbook)
Have a good week, everyone!