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.
Monday, May 10
Canadiens near NHL’s final playoff spot
With two games remaining in the regular season, the Montreal Canadiens are a virtual lock to clinch the NHL’s last playoff spot. The Canadiens can secure a spot on Monday night with a win over Edmonton in Montreal. The Oilers, who hold the top spot in the North Division, are expected to rest a number of their top players as the regular season draws to a close. Montreal has two games in hand on Calgary, which trails Montreal by eight points for the final spot. The Canadiens have odds of 33/1 at PointsBet to win the Stanley Cup. Montreal is tied with Nashville and Winnipeg for the worst odds among the 16 teams still remaining in the futures’ pool.
Wednesday, May 12
Brady’s return to Foxborough highlights NFL schedule release
For the first time in NFL history, the league is expanding to a 17-game regular season. Although the extra game has forced sportsbook operators to make some modifications to season win-total offerings, dramatic changes are not in store. At William Hill US, the two-time defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs opened with the highest 2021-22 NFL win total at 12.
“Even with the added 17th game, setting these win totals was business as usual,” William Hill US Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich said in a statement. “We basically go through each game and come up with a number anyway, so it doesn’t really matter if it was 12 or 20 games or any other number.”
Four other AFC teams, the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Indianapolis Colts have season win-totals of 10 victories or higher. One William Hill bettor in Nevada placed a $5,000 bet on the Steelers at Over 9 wins (+105). The bet carries a potential payout of $10,250.
One game to circle will be Tom Brady’s homecoming to Foxborough when the Bucs take on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Led by Brady, the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs remain the second choice (+650) at FanDuel to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots, which missed the playoffs in Brady’s first season away from New England, have odds of +360 to win the AFC East.
Hashtag Sports opens two-day sports betting conference
The free webinar begins on Wednesday with panel appearances from executives with BetMGM, Yahoo Sports!, NASCAR, and The Athletic among others. The second day of the event features a series of panels on hot-button industry topics, as well as networking opportunities for Director, VP and C-Level executives, according to Hashtag Sports. Conference attendees could learn creative ways to monetize sports betting content and ways to quantify return-on-investment (ROI) through sports betting engagement.
Tethering debate expected to dominate Maine work sessions
While four pending sports betting bills are on Wednesday’s agenda for a work session in the Maine Legislature, one in particular should be closely monitored. A bill authored by Sen. Louis Luchini (D – Hancock) has gained traction in recent weeks. The bill, LD 1352, allows sportsbook operators to apply for a license without “tethering” their sports betting platform to an existing gaming facility. Stakeholders on both sides of the issue shared their thoughts on whether or not digital platforms should be required to have retail partners at a committee discussion on April 30.
Saturday, May 20
Medina Spirit’s positive test places cloud over Preakness
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s positive test for betamethasone rocked the sport of thoroughbred racing on Sunday, raising the possibility that Churchill Downs could invalidate the victory in the coming weeks. Although the connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test of a split sample, the results of a second test will not be known for weeks, perhaps even months. In response, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Sunday that it is consulting with the Maryland Gaming Commission on the status of Medina Spirit for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown. As of Monday afternoon, trainer Bob Baffert still planned on entering Medina Spirit and Concert Tour in the race. Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer, has disputed the positive test result, claiming that Medina Spirit was never treated with the anti-inflammatory medication. The Maryland Jockey Club delayed Monday’s draw of The Preakness until Tuesday as state racing officials review the facts of the case.
Baffert Tells Fox: "We Did Not Cheat" https://t.co/AZz5RFtc0v
Baffert on Gamine: "the medication (betamethasone) was administered to Gamine on Aug. 17 by her veterinarian"
Today on Fox on Medina Spirit: “That is not a drug that I would use on a horse. We don't use that drug."
— Michael Dempsey (@turfnsport) May 10, 2021
Industry experts converge on Betfest
A slew of top sports betting experts will appear Saturday at Betfest, an inaugural online event presented by SBC Americas in partnership with SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory. The conference kicks off with a session featuring former William Hill US CEO Joe Asher and Monumental Sports & Entertainment executive Zach Leonsis. Last July, the companies teamed up to launch the nation’s first in-stadium retail sportsbook when William Hill opened the Sports Book at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. Asher stepped down from his position last month upon the completion of Caesars Entertainment’s acquisition of William Hill plc.
Other topics to be covered at Betfest:
- Sports betting analytics, including in-play wagering and micro betting
- Sharp betting
- Data integrity
- League and team partnerships
- NBA Playoffs preview