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, March 29
Oregon State attempts to make history in Elite Eight
With a win over Loyola Chicago on Saturday, Oregon State became just the second 12-seed in NCAA tournament history to make the Elite Eight. Now, the Beavers can take it one step further on Monday night in an Elite Eight matchup against 2-seed Houston. Missouri advanced to the Elite Eight as a 12-seed in 2002, but fell short of the FInal Four in an 81-75 defeat to Oklahoma. Houston opened as 8.5-point favorites at William Hill. Keep an eye on the total. The Cougars held Syracuse to 14 made field goals in a 62-46 Sweet 16 win, prompting Orange coach Jim Boeheim to credit Houston’s suffocating perimeter defense for the win. The total is 149.5. Baylor is a 7-point favorite over Arkansas in the nightcap, in a matchup of top-three seeds. The top-seeded Bears are looking for their first trip to the Final Four since 1950, while Arkansas will attempt to make the national semifinals for the first time since 1995.
Monday’s Elite 8 lines @WilliamHillUS
12 Oregon State vs 2 Houston (-8.5, 131)
3 Arkansas vs 1 Baylor (-7, 149.5)
— David Bearman ESPN (@DBearmanESPN) March 28, 2021
Tuesday, March 30
IGB webinar on intersection between horse racing and sports betting
The expansion of sports betting nationwide has provided thoroughbred racetracks with an opportunity to tap into a new revenue source. On Tuesday, a host of prominent racing executives will describe the intersection between the two industries at a webinar hosted by iGB. With a pending bill in New Jersey on fixed-odds betting in horse racing, the panel will delve into whether other states with a racing influence will consider similar measures. The panel includes appearances from Dennis Drazin of Darby Development and Ed Comins of WatchandWager.
Gonzaga attempts to extend unbeaten season
Despite multiple trips to the Elite Eight over the last two decades, Gonzaga has still played in the shadows of the Pac-12. On Tuesday night, the Bulldogs will need to defeat an accomplished Pac-12 squad in USC in their bid to return to the Final Four. Both teams have won their first three games in the tournament by double digits. The Bulldogs opened as a 9-point favorite over USC at Circa Sports. Gonzaga is seeking to become the first school to win the tournament with an unbeaten record since Indiana in 1976. 11-seed UCLA, meanwhile, outlasted Alabama on Sunday night in overtime to earn a matchup against 1-seed Michigan. With the win, UCLA became the second team ever to reach the Elite Eight after opening the tournament in the First Four. VCU accomplished the feat in 2011 before losing in the Final Four to Butler. The Wolverines opened as 7.5-point favorites.
Pre-tourney, UCLA was 100/1 at William Hill, 300/1 at Circa. If the Bruins finish off a 7-game rolling parlay against Michigan, Gonzaga, and Baylor, it would likely pay around 1700/1. (Obviously less if Gonzaga or Baylor lose beforehand).
— Jeff Fogle (@JeffFogle) March 29, 2021
Thursday, April 1
New York state budget due
The long-awaited quest to bring mobile sports betting to New York could be decided in the wee hours of Thursday morning. New York governor Andrew Cuomo crafted a proposal for online sports wagering in his executive budget proposal, one that has been met with pushback from the gaming industry. Cuomo’s proposal for a public-private partnership is fraught with ambiguity, inviting the possibility that a sportsbook operator could gain exclusivity in the mobile sports betting market in the Empire State. A competing proposal from Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. calls for the issuance of up to 14 mobile skins or sports betting brands across the state. The intense negotiations could go down to the wire before the budget is due on Thursday. Stay tuned.
Dodgers begin World Series defense
There are 15 games on the slate for Opening Day, as the Los Angeles Dodgers open their World Series title defense in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers opened at William Hill with odds of -500 to win the National League West, ahead of the San Diego Padres (+300), San Francisco Giants (+6000), and Arizona Diamondbacks (+6000). The season-win total at William Hill on the Dodgers is an astounding 104.5 wins. For the Dodgers to hit the over, the defending champions need to win at least 64.8% of their regular-season contests. The Dodgers (+350) are also overwhelming favorites to win the World Series at PointsBet, followed by the Yankees (+550), Padres (+800), Braves (+1000), White Sox (+1000), and Mets (+1000).
Other season win totals at PointsBet
- Yankees 95.5 wins
- Padres 94.5 wins
- Braves 91.5 wins
- White Sox 90.5 wins
- Mets 90.5 wins
- Astros 87.5 wins
- Rays 86.5 wins
- Blue Jays 86.5 wins
- Cardinals 86.5 wins
- A’s 85.5 wins
Saturday, April 3
College basketball’s marquee event returns after 2020 cancellation
The Final Four returns on Saturday evening after a one-year absence due to COVID-19. Each year, the event draws one of the largest handles on the U.S. sporting calendar. Prior to the start of the NCAA tournament, Bet.Works, a B2B sportsbook provider, set the over/under for total seeds in the Final Four at 12.5. During the first week, the over appeared to be a lock. With a bevy of upsets, the average seed per team in the Sweet 16 came in at 5.88, the highest ever in tournament history. If 12-seed Oregon State prevails on Monday, the over will easily hit. But with three 1-seeds, a 2-seed, and a 3-seed still alive in the Elite Eight, the under still has a chance. In fact, the seed total could be as low as five, if 1-seed Gonzaga, 1-seed Michigan, 1-seed Baylor, and 2-seed Houston all advance to the Final Four.
Welcome to the wackiest Sweet 16 ever. Average seed: 5.88.
Normal Sweet 16 seed, 1985-2021: 4.45.
Chalkiest: 2019 (3.09).
Wackiest: Now! Broke a record set in 1986 with No. 14 seed Cleveland State leading the way. pic.twitter.com/yNYSn38EqY
— John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) March 23, 2021