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, May 17
Fireworks in Tallahassee at Florida Special Session
The sports gambling world will be laser focused on developments in Tallahassee, where the Florida Legislature will begin a special session related to the implementation of a recent gaming compact signed last month between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state of Florida. Ahead of the extraordinary session, Sen. Travis Hutson filed nine gaming-related bills on Friday, including SB 2A, a measure that would ratify the compact and extend the Seminole’s authorization to several additional games, most notably sports betting.
As lawmakers debate a litany of complex issues surrounding the compact, there is concern among stakeholders that mobile sports betting could be stripped entirely. The largest hurdle ostensibly is on the federal side, where the compact must receive approval from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. There, the bureau will determine if the compact is in compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Numerous challenges still need to be overcome before legal sports betting goes live in the Sunshine State.
Lawmakers expected to sign off, but federal issue and state constitution roadblocks remain.
There's an "FAQ" addressing some issues.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) May 14, 2021
Tuesday, May 18
Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament begins
Months after reaching the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics limp into the postseason without All-Star forward Jaylen Brown. The 7-seed Celtics will take on the 8-seed Washington Wizards in Tuesday’s nightcap. The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Playoffs for a seven-game series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Last week, Wizards guard Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double against the Atlanta Hawks to break Oscar Robertson’s NBA record for career triple-doubles. The Celtics (-109) opened as a one-point favorite at DraftKings. Meanwhile, the 9-seed Indiana Pacers will face the 10-seed Charlotte Hornets in the opener. The Hornets, which finished the regular season 32-34, posted their best winning percentage since 2015-16, the last time the franchise made the playoffs. The Pacers opened as a two-point favorite at DraftKings.
The Eastern Conference #StateFarmPlayIn Tournament is locked 🔒
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 16, 2021
Wednesday, May 18
Warriors bid for return to NBA Playoffs in heavyweight matchup vs. Lakers
Beset by injury, the Golden State Warriors missed the playoffs last year raising concern that the team’s mini-dynasty could near an end. But Stephen Curry has carried the Warriors on his back since the All-Star break, willing his team to the NBA Play-In Tournament. On Sunday, Curry clinched the NBA scoring title with a 46-point outburst against Memphis. Curry finished the regular season with 11 40-point games, finishing just one behind Michael Jordan’s record for 40-point games by a player in his 12th year in the NBA. The flurry prompted Warriors coach Steve Kerr to declare that Curry has “never been better.” The Warriors will face the defending NBA Champion Los Angles Lakers on Wednesday, which clinched the 7-seed Sunday after a win by Portland. As of Monday morning, the Lakers remained a 5.5-point favorite over the Warriors at PointsBet.
It is important to note that neither team will be eliminated with a loss. The winner will advance to face 2-seed Phoenix, while the loser will face the victor of Wednesday’s play-in game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. PointsBet installed the Grizzlies as 4-point favorites over the Spurs.
New story: If the Lakers are to earn banner No. 18, they'll need 17 postseason wins to do so, one more than any previous champion. "It will be the hardest challenge any team has ever had in NBA history," says Jared Dudley. https://t.co/2n93gQ3ZL9
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 17, 2021
Thursday, May 20
Maple Leafs-Canadiens open first-round series
Nearly one week after the NHL Playoffs began last Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will open a seven-game North Division first-round series. The start of the series has been delayed as two non-playoff teams, the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, finish the regular season to satisfy television and CBA obligations. In fact, by the time the Leafs and Canadiens take the ice on Thursday night, the Bruins and Capitals will already complete three games in their opening-round series. Several others will be through their first two games by Thursday evening. The Maples Leafs open as heavy -350 favorites at BetMGM to advance.
Correct Series Result: Maple Leafs-Canadiens
- Maple Leafs 4-0: +600
- Maple Leafs 4-1: +333
- Maple Leafs 4-2: +350
- Canadiens 4-3: +650
- Maple Leafs 4-3: +400
- Canadiens 4-2: +700
- Canadiens 4-1: +1000
- Canadiens 4-0: +1800
Sunday, May 23
PGA Championship final round
Rory McIlroy ended an 18-month drought on the PGA Tour earlier this month with a one-shot victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. Now, McIlroy returns to the Ocean Course of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the home of one of the greatest triumphs of his professional career. McIlroy shot a 6-under 66 in the final round of the 2012 PGA Championship to dust the field by eight strokes. The PGA Championship returns to Kiawah Island this week on a setup that favors golfers who excel in windy conditions. McIlroy is the co-favorite at the Westgate SuperBook, along with 2017 PGA Champion Justin Thomas (12/1).
Other top picks at the SuperBook
- Dustin Johnson, 16/1
- Jon Rahm, 16/1
- Bryson DeChambeau, 16/1
- Jordan Spieth, 16/1
- Xander Schauffele, 20/1
- Viktor Hovland, 25/1
- Collin Morikawa, 25/1
- Patrick Reed, 30/1