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, January 16
Cowboys face Bucs in MNF showdown
Only one game is left in the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott enters with a league-high 15 interceptions. On the other side, Bucs center Ryan Jensen (knee) is expected to appear in his first game this season. If Tampa loses, it could mark Tom Brady’s final game in a Bucs uniform. The Cowboys are a 2.5-point favorite at BetMGM; the total is 45.5.
Kraken return home after historic road trip
With a win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, the Seattle Kraken capped a seven-game road trip in which they recorded victories in all seven. The Kraken, a second-year NHL franchise, became the first team in league history to finish a road swing of at least seven games with an unblemished record.
More importantly, the Kraken enter Monday night’s matchup against the Lightning second in the Pacific Division with a 26-12-4 record, well on track to make the playoffs. The Kraken now have odds of -1200 at DraftKings to make the playoffs, with odds of +750 on missing the postseason. Seattle finished last in the Pacific in its inaugural season, with a 27-49-6 record.
Kraken set NHL record for longest road trip sweephttps://t.co/xHklMEDNuV
— Roy Bellamy (@roybelly) January 15, 2023
Tuesday, January 17
Djokovic begins quest for 10th Aussie Open crown
Novak Djokovic remarkably has not lost a match at the Australian Open since 2018, when he was upset by little known South Korean Chung Hyeon. One year after missing the tournament due to his COVID-19 unvaccinated status, Djokovic returns to the grand slam in Melbourne. Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to win the Aussie Open at FanDuel, with odds of -115.
Djokovic, who already owns a record nine Australian Open singles titles, has odds of -8000 to defeat Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena in Tuesday’s opening round.
After losing in last year’s final, Daniil Medvedev is the second choice at +460 to win the year’s first grand slam. Defending champion Rafael Nadal (+1300) is seeking his 23rd grand slam singles trophy.
Novak Djokovic is favored over the field (-110) to win the 2023 #AustralianOpen 🎾
Three times before he's had even odds to win or better: 2014 (lost), 2015 (won), 2016 (won) pic.twitter.com/znB2pLW1uq
— Lev Akabas (@LevAkabas) January 15, 2023
Massachusetts licensing hearings resume
Last week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reviewed standalone mobile sportsbook applications from several operators, most notably DraftKings, FanDuel, and Betr. On Tuesday’s agenda, the MGC is expected to hear a presentation from PointsBet. The MGC, however, is not expected to vote on each standalone mobile applicant until Wednesday at the earliest. Under Massachusetts state law, the MGC can issue up to seven standalone mobile licenses.
Jayhawks and Wildcats face off at Bramlage Coliseum
Through five conference games, the Big 12 schedule appears to be an absolute gauntlet. As of Sunday, five Big 12 teams ranked in the AP Top 25, with several others still in contention for an NCAA Tournament bid. On Tuesday night, No. 2 Kansas will visit No. 11 Kansas State. The matchup is the first between the in-state rivals since Kansas went live with sports betting in 2022. At FanDuel, Kansas (-220) is the heavy favorite to win the Big 12, with K-State the fourth choice at +1000. Kansas, the defending national champion, has odds of +750 to win the national title for the second straight year.
Saturday, January 21
Jags, Giants attempt to extend improbable runs
Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants were two of the worst teams in the NFL, finishing with a combined record of 7-27. But after victories in Super Wild Card Weekend, each team is two wins from the Super Bowl. Left for dead on Saturday after falling behind the Chargers 27-0, the Jaguars stormed back for a 31-30 win. The Giants, meanwhile, advanced with a 31-24 win over the Vikings.
Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence rebounded from four first-half interceptions to lead the Jags to the 27-point comeback, which ranks as the third-largest come-from-behind victory in NFL playoff history.
When the Chargers went up 27-0, a bettor bet $1.4 million on them to win the game to net $11,200.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 15, 2023
The Jaguars travel to Kansas City Saturday to face the Chiefs, the top seed in the AFC. The game is a rematch of a Week 10 tilt won by the Chiefs, 27-17. Since then, Jacksonville has won seven of eight. The Chiefs are favored by 8.5 at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 51.5. Keep an eye on the over at Arrowhead Stadium. During Super Wild Card Weekend, the total hit 55 or higher in the first four games on the schedule.
In the nightcap, the Giants will take on the Eagles in Philadelphia. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts used the bye week to rest his injured shoulder. The Eagles won both matchups against their NFC East rivals in the regular season. The Eagles are a 7-point favorite at WynnBET; the total is 48.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones went 24-of-35 for 301 yards with two touchdowns against the Vikings. The performance prompted running back Saquon Barkley to gush that the Giants’ offense is being led by an “elite” quarterback. Jones is in a contract season.
Daniel Jones is the 5th QB in the Super Bowl era with 200+ pass yds, 2+ pass TD & 70+ rush yds in a playoff game.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 16, 2023
Sunday, January 22
Bills and Bengals face off weeks after unprecedented emergency
When the NFL released the playoff bracket, a matchup between the Bills and the Bengals in the divisional round looked to be inevitable. The teams met in Week 17 on Monday Night Football only to see the game postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest early in the first half. The NFL later canceled the remainder of the game and ruled it a “no contest.”
Sunday’s rematch in western New York comes after both teams survived upset scares in the wild card round. Despite committing three turnovers, the Bills defeated the Dolphins 34-31, while the Bengals got past the Ravens 24-17 with the help of a pivotal 99-yard fumble-recovery touchdown. Against the Bengals, the Bills are a 4-point favorite at PointsBet; the total is 50. The 49ers will host the winner of Bucs vs. Cowboys in the nightcap.
Key injuries and lineup uncertainties heading into the NFL divisional round:
- Despite escaping with a win over the Ravens, the Bengals offensive line is a mess. There is a strong possibility that Cincinnati will head into the matchup against the Bills without three of its starting offensive linemen. Right tackle La’el Collins is already out for the season, right guard Alex Cappa missed the win against Baltimore with an ankle injury, and left tackle Jonah Williams went out in the second quarter Sunday with a knee injury and didn’t return. It makes sense to monitor the injuries to Cappa and Williams this week before placing any wagers on the game.
- Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari left the win over the Vikings with a quad injury. Ojulari is expected to undergo further testing on Monday, the NFL Network reported. Following the game, Ojulari walked around the locker room without a limp, according to the NFL Network. Ojulari will be needed against the Eagles and one of the league’s most mobile quarterbacks.
- Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson returned to practice last week after missing several weeks with an abdominal injury. Johnson put off abdominal surgery to return to the lineup. The Giants had two sacks against the Eagles in Week 18.