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 and Wide World of Gambling at US Bets for a look back at last week’s relevant news.
Monday, July 12
NCLGS begins two-day summer meeting in Chicago
A bevy of top state legislative leaders will convene in the Windy City for The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Summer Meeting. The two-day conference kicks off with a keynote address Monday morning by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The conference on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile features panels on problem gaming issues in sports betting, current considerations in parimutuel wagering, and near-term challenges facing tribal gaming entities. Neil Bluhm, who serves as co-founder and chairman of Rush Street Gaming, headlines Tuesday’s schedule with a keynote luncheon speech.
Ohtani heads talented field in MLB Home Run Derby
Shohei Ohtani has taken Major League Baseball by storm. Since June 1, the scorching-hot Ohtani has slammed 18 home runs to vault to the league lead with 33. Ohtani, a two-way player with the Los Angeles Angels, already owns an MLB record for home runs in a season by a Japanese-born player with nearly half the season remaining. Ohtani enters Monday night’s Home Run Derby as the favorite at DraftKings, with odds of +260. The derby returns to the thin air of Denver for the first time since 1998. In that year, Ken Griffey Jr. won the derby, with 19 overall homers. The high altitude in the Mile High City helps contribute to a favorable environment for power hitters. But in 2002, the Colorado Rockies began storing game balls in an indoor controlled environment with 50% relative humidity, a decision that led to a significant reduction in home runs at the venue. For the derby, MLB announced that the balls will not be stored in a humidor. The procedure is expected to result in a spike in homers on Monday night. One prop at DraftKings asks bettors to predict if the longest home run in the derby will travel beyond 510.5 feet. Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo is the second choice at +450, while New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is next at +500. Alonso, the defending champion, is the only participant in the field that has previously entered the contest. Ohtani is also the favorite at FOX Bet, while Rockies infielder Trevor Story is the seventh-choice at +750.
Shohei Ohtani’s 33rd homer went into the upper deck last night 😱
We’ve boosted Ohtani’s odds to win the Home Run Derby to +400.
— FOX Bet (@FOXBet) July 10, 2021
Tuesday, July 13
American League looks to extend win streak at MLB All-Star Game
When the National League last won the MLB All-Star Game in 2012, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain started for the NL, while teammate Melky Cabrera captured MVP honors. Now, both are out of the league with Cain four years into retirement. The American League has won the All-Star Game seven straight times, most recently in 2019 (MLB canceled last year’s Midsummer Classic due to the COVID-19 pandemic), a 4-3 win at Progressive Field in Cleveland. A bevy of top AL players will miss the 91st renewal of the contest, including Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Shane Bieber. The NL is a slight -115 moneyline favorite at Barstool Sportsbook, despite the absence of Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. The total is 10.5. The total has fallen under 10.5 in nine of the last 10 MLB All-Star Games. Ohtani is expected to start for the AL after becoming the first player in All-Star Game history to be selected as both a pitcher and hitter. As the first pitch nears, bettors should be on the lookout for props on if Ohtani will record a strikeout and hit a home run in Denver. Angels manager Joe Maddon has lobbied for Ohtani to hit and pitch in Tuesday’s game. Since Ohtani is listed in the starting lineup as designated hitter, MLB may need to adjust a rule that would cause the American League to lose the DH if Ohtani takes the mound.
MLB says Mookie Betts will not participate in All-Star Game. Also out: Two pitchers scheduled to pitch Sunday (Gausman, Woodruff), all four Astros (Altuve, Brantley, Correa, Pressly); deGrom; Darvish; Posey. Betts and others have injuries, per MLB. Pressly on paternity leave.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 10, 2021
Wednesday, July 13
Bucks attempt to even NBA Finals in Game 4
Trailing 2-0 in the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks clamped down on Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in Game 3 on Sunday night in a 120-100 win. Booker, a two-time All Star, went 3-of-14 in the Suns’ lopsided defeat, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range. With his team trailing by 25 early in the fourth quarter, Suns coach Monty Williams rested Booker for the entire period. Booker, the Suns’ leading scorer in the playoffs, averaged 29 points per game over the first two games of the finals, including scoring 31 in Game 2 when he drained seven 3-pointers. Paced by 41 points in Game 3 from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks won an NBA Finals game for the first time since 1974. Antetokounmpo joined Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in finals history to record 40 points and 10 rebounds in consecutive games. Prior to Game 3, the Bucks had odds of +370 to win the NBA Championship at FanDuel, with the Suns installed as massive -470 favorites. Since the Bucks’ dominating win, the odds shifted considerably with the Suns down to -270 as of Monday morning while Milwaukee improved to +200.
Thursday, July 14
Rahm pursues second straight grand slam at British Open
Jon Rahm captured an elusive major at last month’s U.S. Open with a scintillating final round 67 to edge Louis Oosthuizen by one shot. Rahm, the No. 2 golfer in this week’s Official World Golf Rankings, hopes to carry the momentum to this week’s British Open, the final major of the year. With odds of +750 at BetMGM, Rahm is the overwhelming favorite to win The Open Championship. No other golfer in the field has odds below 10/1, with second choice Brooks Koepka at +1400. Four others, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Rory McIlroy, are the co-third choice with odds of +1800. Dustin Johnson, the world’s top-ranked golfer, is the fifth choice at +2000. Johnson is slightly favored (-110) over Bryson DeChambeau in a head-to-head prop. When the British Open tees off on Thursday at Royal St. George’s, it will return to the links course in Sandwich, England for the first time in a decade. Johnson finished second in the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, three shots behind champion Darren Clarke.
Sunday, July 18
Pogačar strong favorite to repeat at Tour De France
Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar heads into Monday’s rest day at the Tour De France with a stranglehold on the yellow jersey. Pogačar, the 2020 winner, emerged from Sunday’s Stage 15 in the Pyrenees with a 5-minute, 18-second lead over Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran. Pogačar, 22, has overwhelming odds of -1200 at Caesars/William Hill to win the jersey for the second consecutive year. On Sunday, Pogačar can join Chris Froome and Miguel Indurain as the only consecutive winners of the Tour over the last 30 years. Lance Armstrong won seven straight titles from 1999-2005, but had his victories stripped for doping charges. Alberto Contador, another former champion, also lost his 2010 title after being found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. Denmark cyclist Jonas Vingegaard is the second choice at 10/1, followed by Richard Carapaz (20/1). There are two more mountain stages remaining, along with the Tour’s final time trial, a 19.1-mile sprint from Libourne to Saint-Emilion on Saturday.
— CyclingPub (@CyclingPub) July 11, 2021