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.
Tuesday, June 1
French Open moves on after Osaka’s stunning withdrawal
Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka shocked the tennis world on Monday with her withdrawal at the French Open. Osaka, the 2-seed in the women’s draw, was fined $15,000 on Sunday for failing to attend her press conference following a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Patricia Maria Tig. Prior to her withdrawal, Osaka was the fourth-choice in futures markets at FanDuel to win the tournament, with odds of 12/1.
Osaka, a two-time U.S. Open champion, announced last week that she planned to skip all post-match press conferences, citing mental health concerns. In rationalizing her decision to decline her post-match media obligations, Osaka noted that she has watched numerous clips of players in distress as the press grilled them in the media room following tough defeats. Osaka likened the treatment to “kicking a person while they are down,” and promised to donate her fines to a mental health charity. In response, the four Grand Slams said Sunday in a joint statement that Osaka risked a default and/or a suspension if she ignored her media obligations. With Osaka’s departure, Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova may capitalize with deep runs. Kvitova (16/1) moved to the fifth choice to win the title at PointsBet, one spot ahead of Williams (18/1). In a statement issued Monday, Osaka indicated that she decided to pull out because she didn’t want the issue to cause a distraction for the other players left in the draw.
⚠️KARMA KOMMITTEE ALERT⚠️
PointsBet is refunding all pre-tournament wagers on Naomi Osaka to win the French Open as Free Bets following her withdrawal from #RolandGarros
We hope to see her back on court soon. pic.twitter.com/stqiXtbbQd
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) May 31, 2021
Davis injury status hampers Lakers’ repeat chances
The Los Angeles Lakers swallowed a bitter pill on Sunday when All-Star forward Anthony Davis left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury after making contact with Jae Crowder on a layup attempt. Davis, who did not return, finished with six points in the 100-92 defeat. On Monday, with the series tied 2-all, Lakers coach Frank Vogel confirmed that Davis will be questionable for Tuesday’s Game 5 with a groin strain. The Lakers opened Sunday as heavy favorites to win the Western Conference, with odds of +110 at BetMGM. Davis’ injured groin, however, may put the Lakers’ chances of repeating as NBA champions in serious jeopardy. At DraftKings, the Lakers are now the third choice to win the title, behind the Nets and Jazz. The Suns are 5.5-point favorites to win Game 5. Phoenix is also -180 favorites to eliminate the Lakers (+145) in the opening round.
Frank Vogel says a MRI confirmed a groin strain for Anthony Davis. He is listed as questionable for Game 5 and the team will see how he is feeling Tuesday after treatment. Adds that the team is “hopeful” that KCP plays
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 31, 2021
Wednesday, June 2
Ohio Select Committee On Gaming meeting
Ohio stakeholders will keep a close eye on developments in Columbus, where the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming will hear debate on a bill that seeks to legalize sports betting in the Buckeye State. Sponsored by Sen. Niraj Antani, SB 176, calls for the issuance of up to 20 Type A licenses for sports wagering. Speaking at a committee meeting last month, Sen. Nathan Manning noted that a licensee does not necessarily need to be “tethered” to one of the state’s 11 casinos or racinos to receive licensure. Manning emphasized that a Class A must only have some sort of business presence in the state, while adding that the Ford Motor Company theoretically could qualify for a license. Proponents of SB 176 are hopeful that a bill on sports betting will be passed by June 30 at the latest.
There would be two types of licenses, including one for sportsbooks offering prop bets.
Up 40 licenses available in this proposal.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) May 6, 2021
Avs look to place Golden Knights in 2-0 hole in West Finals
Behind two goals from Nathan MacKinnon on Sunday night in Denver, the Colorado Avalanche crushed the Vegas Golden Knights 7-1 in Game 1 of the West Division Finals. The much-hyped series between the NHL’s top two teams in the regular season quickly turned into a blowout, as the Avs raced out to a 4-0 lead over the first 25 minutes. The Golden Knights only had one day of rest after Friday’s series-clinching win over the Minnesota Wild, while the Avs had a week to recover after eliminating the St. Louis Blues in four games. The physical affair on Sunday was marred by a late hit from defenseman Ryan Graves on Knights center Mattias Janmark. The NHL on Monday suspended Knights forward Ryan Reaves for his retaliatory actions against Graves in the third period of Sunday’s loss. Also on Monday, the NHL upheld an eight-game suspension of Avs forward Nazem Kadri for an illegal check in Game 2 vs. the Blues. Colorado is now a -500 favorite to win the seven-game series against the Knights (+360). Colorado opened as a -215 series favorite prior to Game 1.
Hawks on verge of eliminating the Knicks
Three series in the NBA Playoffs can come to an end on Wednesday night if the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz notch wins in their respective first-round matchups. The Hawks pushed the New York Knicks to the brink of elimination on Sunday with a dominating 113-96 win in Game 4. With a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Hawks’ odds (-1430) provide little return at DraftKings. Still, wagers on the Knicks (+700) represent about 70% of the handle and 73% of all tickets. Winners of three straight against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Jazz are now favored at DraftKings to win the West at +175. The Sixers are the third choice in the East, behind the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, with odds of +375.
Canadiens continue improbable run
There’s little rest for the Montreal Canadiens following Monday’s Game 7 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Trailing 3-1 in the series, the Canadiens captured the final three games to eliminate the Maple Leafs on Monday night. During the span, Carey Price stopped 103 of 108 shots (.944 save percentage) to stifle Maple Leaf snipers. Price returns on Wednesday against a potent Winnipeg Jets’ offense in Game 1 of the North Division Finals. The Jets are -125 favorites at Caesars William Hill. For the series, the Jets are slight -130 favorites over the Canadiens (+107). On the futures’ market, Price has odds of 20/1 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded each year to the most valuable player of the playoffs. Jets’ goaltender Connor Hellebuyck ranks just ahead of Price at 19/1.
Saturday, June 5
Essential Quality early favorite at Belmont Stakes
For the fifth time in six years, a Triple Crown will not be on the line at the Belmont Stakes. Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit finished third in the Preakness, but will be skipping the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Forced to the outside along the far turn in the Derby, favorite Essential Quality went six-wide aboard jockey Luis Saez. As a result, Essential Quality ran about 68 feet farther than Medina Spirit. Essential Quality has opened as the 3/1 favorite at the Belmont, ahead of Preakness winner Rombauer (+333), Hot Rod Charlie (6/1), and Rock Your World (8/1).
Derby final/split times adjusted for ground loss from Trakus. Essential Quality ran 68’ more than the winner. He traveled 6711’ in 121.18s for an avg of 55.4 ft/sec. His adjusted 1 1/4 time (6600’) is 1:59.20. Fastest in the race. By this measure Medina Spirit was 5th fastest. pic.twitter.com/JfJHYbjsuv
— Marshall Gramm (@truxtonstables) May 2, 2021