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, April 18
Doncic expected to miss Game 2 vs. Jazz
Despite the absence of Luka Doncic on Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played valiantly in a narrow 99-93 defeat to the Utah Jazz. Doncic, a two-time All-NBA first-team guard, practiced on Sunday but is expected to miss Monday’s Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals with a calf strain. With Doncic likely out, the Jazz are a 5.5-point favorite over the Mavs at BetMGM.
Injuries will also play a critical factor in Philadelphia, where the Sixers will face the Raptors in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series. Versatile rookie Scottie Barnes is expected to miss Monday’s game with an ankle injury. Trailing in the series 1-0, the Raptors may also be forced to even the series without Gary Trent Jr. and Thaddeus Young, who were both listed as doubtful on Sunday. Following a 131-111 win over the Raptors on Saturday, the Sixers are 7.5-point favorites over Toronto at Caesars Sportsbook.
New ESPN story: An already difficult challenge of getting back into this series was made more difficult for Toronto Sunday when Nick Nurse said Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes and Thaddeus Young were all doubtful to play in Game 2 Monday night. https://t.co/cFkzN9Qt0W
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 17, 2022
Finally, in Monday’s late game, the Warriors will look to take a 2-0 lead on the Nuggets after cruising to a 16-point win Saturday. Steph Curry scored 16 points in his first game back in a month, while Jordan Poole finished with 30 in his first career playoff appearance.
The Warriors’ new small-ball lineup of Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Curry, and Poole only appeared together for five minutes in Saturday’s win. But over the key stretch in the second quarter, Golden State outscored the Nuggets by 14 while seizing momentum heading into halftime.
It remains to be seen how often Warriors coach Steve Kerr will utilize the lineup in the remainder of the playoffs. On Monday night, the Warriors are 7-point favorites over the Nuggets at FanDuel, while Golden State’s odds to win the NBA title at FanDuel have dropped to +550. As of Monday afternoon, the Warriors are the third choice at FanDuel, behind the Suns and Bucks.
Tuesday, April 19
California referendum takes center stage at gaming conference
Now in its 35th year, the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention ranks each year as the preeminent event on the annual Indian gaming calendar. When this year’s four-day conference begins on Tuesday, the California sports betting debate is expected to dominate the convention.
Last year, three disparate groups filed proposals in California that would allow for mobile sports wagering across the state. After a packed Tuesday schedule, a panel on Wednesday, titled “Election 2022: California Sports Betting,” will tackle the issues around this November’s competing ballot initiatives. The panel, moderated by conference chairman Victor Rocha, will include three California tribal gaming executives.
If legalized, sports betting in California could produce an annual handle in excess of $20 billion, according to various estimates.
It's going to be a scorcher this summer https://t.co/ZGlsl3DgWp
— Victor Rocha (@VictorRocha1) April 6, 2022
Wednesday, April 20
Celtics eye 2-0 lead against the Nets
The opening game of the Celtics-Nets first-round playoff series lived up to its hype on Easter Sunday when Jayson Tatum’s layup at the buzzer gave the Celtics a 115-114 victory. Tatum paced the Celtics with a team-high 31 points and eight assists in the thrilling Game 1 win.
With the victory, the Celtics are now -220 favorites at SuperBook Sports to capture the series. The Nets, who rallied on Sunday from a 15-point third-quarter deficit, will attempt to earn a road split on Wednesday night. Kyrie Irving led the Nets on Sunday with 39 points and six assists.
Irving’s interactions with the Celtics’ home crowd in Sunday’s loss adds juice to an already intriguing series.
Kyrie Irving is embracing “the dark side” after playing in front of the Boston crowd 😳 pic.twitter.com/zSQneSpVS2
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 18, 2022
Thursday, April 21
Hutchinson favored as top overall NFL Draft pick at Caesars
Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker without Wi-Fi over the last three months, you are probably aware that the NFL Draft will begin a week from Thursday on April 28.
Bolstered by a spectacular senior season at Michigan, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has emerged as the favorite at Caesars to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick. The Heisman Trophy runner-up had odds of -220 as of Monday afternoon to go first overall.
Hutchinson recorded 14 sacks last season in leading Michigan to the College Football Playoff. Hutchinson, who attended high school in Dearborn, Michigan, appears to be a fit for both Jacksonville and Detroit, which hold the top two picks in the draft.
Speaking of Aidan Hutchinson, the big question around here: Will the Jaguars take him No. 1?
That seems to be the prevailing thought, but it’s far from a lock … https://t.co/csJKkrqFtr
— Aaron McMann (@AaronMcMann) April 18, 2022
Georgia defensive end Travon Walker is next at +140, followed by two offensive linemen, N.C. State tackle Ikem Ekwonu and Alabama tackle Evan Neal. Ekwonu has odds of +1200 to go first, while Neal is listed at +1400, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is at +2500, and Liberty quarterback Malik Willis is at +3000.
Willis is a slight favorite over Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett to be the first quarterback taken in the draft.
First quarterback to be selected (Caesars)
- Liberty quarterback Malik Willis (-130)
- Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (+130)
- Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (+1000)
- Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral (+2500)