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, August 2
Lowry, DeRozan highlight NBA free agent class
With the NBA Draft in the rear view mirror, the league’s free agency period begins on Monday evening. The NBA free agency window opens at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, when teams can begin negotiations with free agents. The market is headlined by a bevy of point guards, as several top playmakers may opt to test the waters. Veteran point guards Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, and Dennis Schroder all enter the offseason as unrestricted free agents, while Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul has a $44.2 million player option for the upcoming season that he will reportedly decline in order to to pursue a longer contract with the team. Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball also begins the offseason as a restricted free agent. Last week, the Lakers sent shockwaves across the league with the acquisition of 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. As a result, the Lakers’ futures’ odds for the 2022 NBA Championship improved to +400 at BetMGM, before falling back to +425 over the weekend. The Lakers are expected to pursue several long-distance shooters, with DeMar DeRozan, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kelly Oubre, and Reggie Bullock all on the market as unrestricted free agents. The Nets (+230) are still favored to win the championship at BetMGM, followed by the Lakers (+425), Bucks (+850), Warriors (+1100), Suns (+1400), Jazz (+1400), and Clippers (+1600). The Clippers’ top priority is re-signing forward Kawhi Leonard, who is recovering from surgery on a partially torn right anterior cruciate ligament. Leonard has a $36 million player option, which he is expected not to pick up and instead negotiate a longer deal with the Clilps.
2022 NBA Championship Insights
🎟 Highest Ticket %
• Lakers 21.0%
• Bucks 11.3%
• Warriors 9.6%
💰 Highest Handle %
• Lakers 39.7%
• Bucks 14.8%
• Warriors 9.2%
🏦 Biggest liabilities
• Nuggets pic.twitter.com/YvUuiW3esw
— NBABet (@nbabet) July 30, 2021
Wyoming Gaming Commission special meeting
The agenda for Monday’s special meeting in Casper contains only one item: the adoption of regular and emergency sports betting rules. A public comment period on the proposed rules ended Sunday with sections in nine chapters affected, according to the commission. Impacted sections include areas on responsible gaming and advertising, auditing and internal controls, as well as taxes and payments. The approval of final rules on Monday could enable online sports betting operators to launch in Wyoming by the start of the NFL regular season.
Tuesday, August 3
U.S.-Spain clash in Olympic men’s hoop quarters
After falling to France in its Olympic opener, Team USA’s men’s basketball has won its last two games by a combined 89 points. The Americans routed Czech Republic 119-84 on Saturday to earn a spot in this week’s medal round. On Tuesday, the U.S. will face longtime foe Spain in the quarterfinals. The teams met in the gold medal games at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympics, both won by the U.S. In Tuesday’s elimination game, the U.S. is favored by 12 at FanDuel. Led by guard Luka Doncic, Slovenia defeated Spain 95-87 on Saturday. Doncic finished one assist short of recording the first triple-double at the Olympics since LeBron James in 2012. All four quarterfinals in the men’s tournament will be held on Tuesday in Saitama, Japan. Slovenia, the tournament’s top seed, is a -1600 moneyline favorite in the opener over Germany (+750). France is also a -430 moneyline favorite over Italy, while Australia is a -440 moneyline favorite over Argentina in the nightcap. On the futures’ market, the U.S. is a -210 favorite to win gold, ahead of Slovenia (+550), France (+900), and Australia (+900). The U.S. could face Slovenia in the gold medal finals.
Luka Doncic is now 16-0 with Slovenia all-time after a 95-87 win over Spain on Sunday.
Luka had 12 PTS, 14 REB and 9 AST in the win. Slovenia wins Group C and advances to the quarterfinals. 🇸🇮 pic.twitter.com/wlTgrxrd2y
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 1, 2021
Biles returns for beam final
Sidelined throughout the Olympics while experiencing a condition known as the “twisties,” U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles is expected to return for Tuesday’s balance beam finals, U.S. Gymnastics confirmed on Monday. Biles has been out of competition since withdrawing from the team competition July 27, after participating in one rotation. Biles stumbled in the vault during last week’s team competition prompting her to sit out of the remainder of the event. She subsequently skipped the individual all-around competition and three event finals. In a series of Instagram posts on Friday, the four-time Olympic gold medalist said she still suffered from the twisties, which occurs when a gymnast gets lost in the air and is unable to keep their mind and body in sync. One of the featured stars of the Olympics, Biles entered the games in pursuit of five individual golds. Following her departure, DraftKings refunded all bets on total Biles’ gold medals (over/under 4.5). Biles captured bronze in the balance beam in Rio and is a three-time world champion in the event. As of Monday morning, the event remained off the board at several major books. The beam will be Biles’ final event at the Olympics.
We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 2, 2021
Wednesday, August 4
Busy night on the track
There are more than a dozen events on Wednesday’s track and field schedule at the Olympics, including the highly-anticipated men’s 200-meter final. U.S. sprinter Noah Lyles is favored to win with odds of -165, far ahead of Canadian counterpart Andre De Grasse, the second-choice at +350. De Grasse nearly defeated Usain Bolt in the 200 semifinals, five years ago at the Rio 2016 Olympics. “I ran a good, hard 150, I looked to my side and I was like: ‘OK, he’s starting to slow down, and I’m close to him,'” De Grasse told Betway. “That was really just me going out there having fun, and trying to do my best.” De Grasse won silver at 200 meters in Rio. Lyles’ personal record of 19.50 is the second-fastest ever by an American sprinter. There are also finals in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, the men’s hammer throw, and the men’s 800 meters on Thursday.
25 years ago today, Michael Johnson broke the 200m world record in Atlanta…🔥
Current 200m Odds:
🇺🇸Noah Lyles: -165
🇨🇦Andre De Grasse: +350
🇺🇸Kenny Bednarek: +400pic.twitter.com/ZT6Ihx4cX8
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) August 1, 2021
Thursday, August 5
NFL Preseason kicks off with Cowboys-Steelers’ opener
Forty-five years after an epic victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, the Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Cowboys again in Thursday night’s annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Former Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann caught four receptions for a Super Bowl record 161 yards in the 21-17 win, becoming the first receiver ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors. The Steelers clinched the win when safety Glen Edwards intercepted a pass in the end zone with no time remaining. Pittsburgh won the rematch 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII, a game that featured an astounding 19 Hall of Famers. For the upcoming season, the Cowboys opened with the NFC East’s highest win total (9.5 wins) at William Hill (over -125/under +130). Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury. Prescott has been out since suffering a gruesome leg injury last season against the Giants.
ICYMI: #Cowboys QB Dak Prescott with me on the status of his shoulder injury, how the gruesome leg injury might impact his willingness to run and the potential this offense possesses. https://t.co/dtdGZM6zJm
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) August 1, 2021
Strong earnings expected for Penn National
Analysts are expecting a big quarter for Penn National Gaming when the company reports second-quarter earnings on Thursday. Last month, Penn National released pre-announced quarterly adjusted EBITDAR of between $540-$580 million, an amount that will top Truist Securities’ estimates by more than 20%. Nevertheless, Truist Securities analyst Barry Jonas anticipates that Penn National will report earnings per share of $0.74, down slightly from prior estimates of $0.76 for the quarter. While inflation worries could impact sports betting volumes, the “social stickiness” of Barstool Sportsbook’s product will help drive a competitive margin advantage, Jonas notes.
Friday, August 6
DraftKings reports second-quarter earnings
Investors are expected to learn more about the timing of DraftKings’ migration to its in-house technology platform on Friday morning when the company hosts its 2021 second-quarter earnings conference call. DraftKings previously announced plans to complete the transition to a new odds platform by the end of the third quarter in September. The company began testing in select states in early July. DraftKings is expected to post second-quarter revenue of $240.8 million, according to Zack’s Consensus Estimates, up 239.6% from the same period last year. Nevertheless, analysts expect DraftKings to report earnings of $0.61 per share, representing a year-over-year decline of 177.3% from its second quarter of 2020.
Sunday, August 8
Tokyo Olympics draw to a close
The Tokyo Olympics conclude on Sunday with finals in eight sports. The U.S. women’s basketball team will carry a 52-game Olympics’ winning streak to the medal round, a streak that dates back to the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. The U.S. opened the Olympics with odds of -1110 at PointsBet to win gold in Tokyo. Among all sports, the U.S. had overwhelming odds of -750 at the start of the Olympics to finish with the most gold medals of any nation. As of Sunday evening the U.S. ranked second in golds with 20, four behind first-place China. Before the Olympics started, FanDuel had odds of +470 on China to lead all nations in golds.