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” for a look back at last week’s notable news.
Monday, January 17
Aussie Open begins without defending champ Djokovic
Novak Djokovic’s bid for a record 10th Australian Open men’s singles title ended on Sunday when a federal court upheld a decision by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel the star tennis player’s visa. Following the unanimous court decision, Djokovic left the country Sunday on a flight to Dubai.
On Jan. 5, Tennis Australia provided Djokovic, the three-time defending Aussie Open champion, with a medical exemption from the tournament’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. But one day later, Djokovic spent eight hours in detention at a Melbourne airport after immigration officials revoked his visa. Hawke rejected the exemption on Jan. 14, setting the stage for Sunday’s extraordinary hearing.
— Simon Love (@SimoLove) January 16, 2022
With the departure of Djokovic, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev became the heavy favorite to win his first-ever Australian Open title. Medvedev, the reigning U.S. Open champion, has odds of +140 at DraftKings to win the year’s first major. Prior to Sunday’s hearing, Djokovic and Medvedev were co-favorites at +150.
Medvedev will be in action on Monday night (U.S. time) against Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland. A win against Laaksonen in the first round could set up an intriguing match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia in Round 2. Kyrgios has odds of 100/1 at DraftKings to win the tournament.
BetMGM launches mobile sportsbook in New York
BetMGM began taking bets Monday morning on its New York online sportsbook. With the launch, BetMGM became the fifth mobile sportsbook to go live in the Empire State joining BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
While BetMGM is firmly entrenched as one of the top three sportsbooks nationwide by market share, the competition will be intense in New York. Over the state’s first two days of mobile sports betting, customers placed more than 17.1 million wagers across the state, according to geolocation tracking company GeoComply. In November, BetMGM signed a comprehensive marketing agreement with Madison Square Garden, home of the NBA’s Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers.
Much like the other New York licensees, expect BetMGM to offer a plethora of promotions to prospective bettors in an effort to bolster customer acquisition. BetMGM is also expected to shower the airwaves with commercials over the first several months of online sports betting operations in New York. On Sunday, the venture aired a commercial featuring actor Jamie Foxx during the Cowboys-49ers playoff game.
Ready to make a Manhattan-sized impact as the partner of the Knicks and Rangers, #BetMGM is set to launch mobile operations in New York on Monday.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) January 14, 2022
NFC West rivals Rams-Cards close out wild card weekend
For the first time, the NFL will hold a Monday night wild card game when the Los Angeles Rams take on the Arizona Cardinals in Inglewood, Calif. The NFC West rivals split in the regular season, including a 30-23 win by the Rams in Glendale last month. The Rams are 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp led the NFL in the regular season in both catches (145) and receiving yards (1,947). Kupp recorded at least 100 receiving yards in 10 of 17 games on the season. He has odds of -135 to finish with more than 7.5 catches Monday night. There is juice of -115 on Kupp to eclipse 106.5 receiving yards.
Monday night’s winner will face the defending Super Bowl champ Bucs in Tampa.
Thursday, January 20
Nevada Gaming Commission considers measure on remote registration
Weeks after the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) recommended a measure that would allow customers to open an account for cashless gaming remotely, the commission will consider the measure for approval at Thursday’s meeting. The NGCB recommended the measure last month after determining that it would not violate federal anti-money laundering standards. The proposal applies to accounts for cashless gaming, but not to accounts for sports betting. Still, the policy could help prompt regulators to consider remote registration for sports betting in the near future.
Saturday, January 22
Packers favored over the Niners in NFC divisional playoffs
During his illustrious NFL career, Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs, including a lopsided defeat two years ago in the NFC Championship. Rodgers could exact a measure of revenge Saturday night when his Green Bay Packers host the 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs. Niners defensive lineman Nick Bosa suffered a concussion in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys and will enter the NFL’s concussion protocol, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. The Packers are 4.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 47.5 points.
Aaron Rodgers career against the 49ers in the playoffs:
– lost on road in 2019 NFC Championship
– lost at home in 2013 Wild Card
– lost on road in 2012 Divisional Round pic.twitter.com/Qu7dLEbgwE
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 17, 2022
Before that game, the Tennessee Titans will host the Cincinnati Bengals in Nashville. Cincinnati is coming off a close win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the first playoff victory for the Bengals franchise in more than 30 years. The Titans have an extra week of rest and will welcome back All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, who has been out for the last 10 weeks with a foot injury. The Titans opened as 3-point favorites at FanDuel; the total is 46.5 points.
Sunday, January 23
Chiefs-Bills will be rematch of AFC Championship
Two of the hottest teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, will meet Sunday evening in a highly anticipated divisional round matchup. The Bills outlasted the Chiefs 38-20 in Week 5, but fell to the two-time defending AFC champs last January in the AFC title game.
Buffalo is coming off a superlative effort on Saturday night when the AFC East champions blitzed the Patriots 47-17. Josh Allen went 21-of-25 for 308 yards and a franchise-playoff record five passing touchdowns. Allen also rushed for 66 yards on six carries while recording a near-perfect 157.6 quarterback rating. Since December 2019, only one quarterback (Tom Brady, Dec. 26, 2020) has notched a perfect rating in an NFL game. On Monday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager called Allen’s effort the best performance he has ever seen by a quarterback in the playoffs.
Bills ended every possession with a touchdown or kneeldown, unprecedented in NFL history. https://t.co/3tTrAtoZ9g
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 16, 2022
Kansas City went down 7-0 on Sunday night to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it then exploded for 35 unanswered points in a 42-21 victory. In each of their first nine drives on Sunday, the Steelers did not run a single offensive play past the 50-yard line. The Steelers also became the first playoff team since the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 to punt on their first seven offensive drives in the opening half. Kansas City opened as a 2.5-point favorite over the Bills at FanDuel; the total is 53.5 points.
Super Bowl futures at FanDuel
- Packers — +370
- Chiefs — +450
- Bills — +500
- Bucs — +550
- Titans — +850
- 49ers — +1000
- Rams — +1100
- Bengals — +1300
- Cardinals — +2400