Each week, 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, June 27
Djokovic, Raducanu in action on opening day at Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic has had a strange season. The defending Wimbledon champion only has two losses over the last two months, including a defeat to Rafael Nadal at the French Open. But Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, has dropped to No. 3 in the men’s ATP world rankings. Just a year ago, Djokovic won the first three majors of 2021 and had a shot at winning the Grand Slam before he fell in the finals of the U.S. Open.
Still, with Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev out of the draw due to Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players, Djokovic received the top seed at Wimbledon. While Nadal has won each of the year’s first two majors, he is not the favorite in London. Djokovic, the top choice at BetRivers at -125, has received about 58% of the handle. Nadal is the third choice at +700.
Djokovic is also favored at MaximBet, and Matteo Berrettini is the second choice at +500. Djokovic defeated Berrettini in last year’s Wimbledon final in four sets.
Wimbledon starts tomorrow! 🎾
Djokovic is favorite to retain his title:
🇷🇸 Novak Djokovic -125
🇮🇹 Matteo Berrettini +500
🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal +700
🇪🇸 Carlos Alcaraz +1200
Who you got? 🤔#Wimbledon2022 pic.twitter.com/bP7BgNWke9
— MaximBet (@MaximBetUSA) June 26, 2022
Djokovic and British teenager Emma Raducanu will appear on Centre Court on Monday. Raducanu, the defending U.S. Open women’s singles champion, is the fifth choice to win the Wimbledon title at +3500. Iga Swiatek, the French Open champion, is the clear favorite at +150. Swiatek needs a win in her first-round match to eclipse Venus Williams’ 22-year-old mark for consecutive WTA Tour victories at 34.
Tuesday, June 28
Deshaun Watson’s NFL disciplinary hearing reportedly expected to begin
An NFL disciplinary hearing surrounding the sexual harassment claims against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is, according to ESPN, expected to begin on Tuesday. Last week, an attorney for Watson said that 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits against the QB had been settled.
The NFL, ESPN reports, is expected to push for a lengthy suspension against Watson. Furthermore, the league is hoping for a speedy resolution in the case, perhaps by the start of training camp next month. Watson has the right to appeal any suspension. In May, a Houston grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Watson for the alleged inappropriate conduct.
The odds are out for every team – except for the Cleveland Browns for obvious reasons – but that shouldn't stop you from locking in some prop bets! These are sure to hit in 2022. https://t.co/VeFVvwaUSq
— Stadium Rant (@StadiumRantHQ) June 25, 2022
The outcome of the hearing is likely to impact the Browns’ futures odds. At FanDuel, the team has odds of 10/1 to win the AFC and 20/1 to win the Super Bowl. At BetMGM, Cleveland has odds of 30/1 to finish the regular season with the most wins of any team in the league. Notably, BetMGM has taken off the board markets on the Browns’ season win total and a prop on whether Cleveland will make the playoffs.
Watson has odds of 25/1 at bet365 to win NFL MVP in the upcoming season. There are 11 players with shorter odds, led by Josh Allen at 7/1.
Thursday, June 30
LIV Golf Series heads to Portland for U.S. debut
When the LIV Golf Series makes its U.S. debut on Thursday, several prominent newcomers will join the Saudi Arabian-backed series for their first appearance on the lucrative tour. After Brooks Koepka and Abraham Ancer joined LIV Golf last week, reports surfaced over the weekend that Matthew Wolff and Carlos Ortiz would be the latest to defect from the PGA Tour. The 54-hole event begins Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon.
Besides Koepka, major winners Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed have also joined LIV Golf since the series debut in London. The Portland field includes four former world No. 1 players and nine of the last 21 major winners. Interestingly, not a single LIV golfer placed in the Top 10 at the U.S. Open two weeks ago.
At least four major sportsbooks, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetRivers, and SuperBook Sports, offered lines on the LIV Golf opener at the Centurion Club in London. If a golfer shoots a 54 or under in a single round at Pumpkin Ridge, LIV will shower them with a $54 million bonus.
Upstart LIV Golf is wooing some big-name golfers to leave the PGA Tour by offering insane money. The most insane: $54 million for shooting a 54.
FOX Bet's Dylan Brossman (@dbrossman25) explains how insane shooting a 54 is.https://t.co/0WpBMEjoSx
— Victor Yoshida (@yoshida_victor) June 21, 2022
Saturday, July 2
Mandaloun highlights field in Stephen Foster
A small field is expected for Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap, the most prestigious race for older horses each year at Churchill Downs. Mandaloun will return to Churchill for the first time since crossing the wire second in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. In February, Churchill Downs named Mandaloun as the winner of that Derby upon formally disqualifying Medina Spirit.
Mandaloun finished ninth in February’s $20 million Saudi Cup, the world’s richest horse race. The race featured a talented field that included 2021 winner Mishriff, 2022 Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer, and 2021 Travers runner-up Midnight Bourbon. Mandaloun hasn’t raced since. He could be challenged in the Stephen Foster by 2022 Alysheba Stakes winner Olympiad and 2022 Oaklawn Handicap winner Last Samurai.
Sunday, July 3
Stallions face Stars in inaugural USFL championship
Trailing the New Jersey Generals 14-13 in the waning minutes of Saturday’s USFL semifinals, the Philadelphia Stars took the lead for good on an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown by Maurice Alexander. The Stars will face the Birmingham Stallions in Sunday’s title game.
THE @USFLStars DON'T QUIT 🌟@_hardtime3 takes back the lead with a HUGE punt return TD pic.twitter.com/0e1TB8iDAT
— USFL (@USFL) June 25, 2022
The Stallions improved to 10-1 on the season with a 31-17 victory over the New Orleans Breakers. Although the entire USFL regular season took place in Birmingham, Sunday’s championship — like the two semifinal games — will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
In their only matchup of the regular season, Birmingham defeated Philadelphia 30-17 in Week 5. At Circa Sports, the Stallions are 3.5-point favorites to defeat the Stars in the championship. The total is 44.5 points.