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 notable news.
Tuesday, August 31
NFL teams pare rosters to 53
On final cutdown day, a pair of potential quarterback moves should be monitored closely. During the offseason, the San Francisco 49ers made waves by trading three first-round draft picks to land North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. If the Niners name Lance as their opening-week starter, Jimmy Garoppolo could be on the move. With Carson Wentz nursing a foot injury throughout training camp, the Indianapolis Colts may be a potential landing spot for Garoppolo. The 49ers remained at 14/1 to win the Super Bowl on Monday, while the Colts stood at 35/1.
The New England Patriots could also jettison Cam Newton if Mac Jones wins the starting job. At BetMGM, the Patriots have odds of +350 to win the AFC East and odds of 16/1 to reach the Super Bowl. Others could look to shed cap space in attempts to land Deshaun Watson. Over the weekend, a rumor surfaced that the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers emerged as the top suitors for the Pro Bowl quarterback. A bevy of teams, meanwhile, may also look to ship out top veterans to extract value, rather than releasing the players outright. One candidate is Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, who has one year remaining on his contract. A team in need of a quick outside pass rusher may improve its future odds if Barr becomes the final piece to the puzzle on defense.
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) August 26, 2021
Djokovic seeks rare calendar slam
Novak Djokovic’s quest for a calendar year grand slam begins with a U.S. Open first-round matchup against qualifier Holger Rune. Djokovic, the top seed, has overwhelming odds of -125 at DraftKings to capture the rare achievement. Djokovic can become the first men’s player to win all four slams in the same year since Rod Laver accomplished the feat in 1969. Oddsmakers anticipate a fairly chalky draw. Besides Djokovic, just three players — Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas — have odds of under 25/1 at FanDuel to win the tournament.
On the women’s side, top seed Ashleigh Barty is favored to win the Open, with odds of +360. She is followed by Naomi Osaka (+600), Aryna Sabalenka (+1400), Iga Swiatek (+1400), and Karolina Pliskova (+1800). One FanDuel prop gives bettors the option of wagering on the two “big guns,” in Barty and Osaka against the field. A bettor receives odds of +160 on the Osaka-Barty combo to win the title versus odds of -230 on the remaining 126 players in the field.
Wednesday, September 1
Last Arizona stakeholder meeting before NFL opener
The Arizona Department of Gaming will hold its last stakeholder operations meeting on sports betting before next week’s expected rollout of sports wagering across the state. On Friday, the department announced that it had granted 18 sports betting licenses to 10 tribes, as well as eight pro sports teams/franchises. The ADG could have allocated up to 20 licenses. BetMGM plans to open a retail sportsbook inside State Farm Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals, but the launch is not expected until 2022. Legalized sports betting will not go live in Arizona until Sept. 9.
Potential license issuance at Wyoming meeting
Weeks after approving a set of online sports wagering regulations, the Wyoming Gaming Commission could issue several licenses to top sportsbook operators at Wednesday’s meeting. Prominent operators such as BetMGM and DraftKings are among the candidates that could receive licensure at the meeting in Cody. Although the state must issue a minimum of five licenses, a cap for a maximum number of licensees has not been formally set. Much like Arizona, Wyoming intends to go live with sports betting by the start of the NFL regular season.
Saturday, September 4
Top-ranked Bama faces Miami in Atlanta
When Alabama defeated Miami in the 1993 Sugar Bowl for college football’s national title, it came several years before the birth of any player in Saturday night’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Remarkably, the two powerhouse programs will be meeting for the first time since Bama’s victory more than 25 years ago. Alabama opened as an 18.5-point favorite over No. 14 Miami, which is led by Heisman Trophy candidate D’Eriq King. While King finished last season with 2,686 passing yards and another 538 on the ground, he is coming off a torn ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma State.
Alabama has a Heisman candidate of its own in quarterback Bryce Young. Entering Saturday’s opener, Young has odds of +900 to win the Heisman at DraftKings. He is currently the third choice behind Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler (+600) and Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (+750). Also on Saturday, No. 3 Clemson will take on No. 5 Georgia in Charlotte. The Tigers are three-point favorites, with the total set at 51.5 points.
Meanwhile, we are getting ready for actual football games in a few days … I got an inside glimpse into D’Eriq King’s rehab to get him ready for the opener vs Bama, including two-a-day sessions, film study on his actual leg movements and more https://t.co/dPfEIvrCHU
— Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) August 24, 2021
Sunday, September 5
NASCAR playoffs begin in Darlington
Kyle Larson enters the start of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs as the heavy favorite to prevail in November’s final in Phoenix. The playoffs kick off Sunday with the Cook Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Larson has odds of +270 at PointsBet to win the series title, far ahead of challengers Chase Elliot (+600), Kyle Busch (+700), and Martin Truex Jr. (+800). Larson leads Ryan Blaney and Truex by 28 points heading into Sunday’s opener. The playoff field is whittled down to 12 drivers after the first three events, then is reduced to eight after the Bank of America ROVAL 400 in October. When Elliott won the title last November he became the third-youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the Cup Series championship.