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, May 1
Devils-Rangers face off in must-win Game 7
Thwarted by the Devils’ defense in three straight defeats, the Rangers erupted for five goals Saturday in a season-saving win over New Jersey. On Monday, the Hudson River rivalry moves to Newark for the final game of the series. At BetMGM, the Devils are slight -125 moneyline favorites over the Rangers (+105). The matchup is the final game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ opening round.
The Panthers eliminated the Bruins on Sunday night in overtime, while the Kraken knocked out the Avalanche in another Game 7. The Bruins set an NHL record for points in a regular season, but failed to make it out of the first round. The Avalanche, the defending Stanley Cup champs, lost to a team that did not exist three years ago.
Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards compared Boston's Game 7 loss to one of history’s most infamous disasters https://t.co/j2ZhJAuT9W
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 1, 2023
The defeats have rattled futures markets, as the Bruins and Avalanche entered the playoffs as the top two choices. As of Monday morning, the Leafs were favored to hoist the Cup at +375, just ahead of the Oilers and Stars, which had odds of +400 and +500, respectively.
The Panthers’ odds improved sharply to +1000, while the Kraken had odds of +1400 to win the title. The Kraken entered the playoffs with odds of around +4000 to win it all.
Fanatics ends beta testing in two states
Over the last several weeks, Fanatics Sportsbook has conducted beta testing on its new mobile app in Ohio and Tennessee. On Monday, Fanatics will make the app available to all customers in the two states, the company disclosed last week.
Customers in those states will be given a code that will grant them access to Fanatics Sportsbook, a company spokesman told Sports Handle. The rollout comes as Fanatics begins an ambitious plan to potentially disrupt the traditional sportsbook model. There are indications that Fanatics is on the verge of introducing its “FanCash” loyalty program, one that will enable bettors to exchange FanCash for merchandise and other Fanatics products.
Following beta testing of its mobile sports betting app in Ohio and Tennessee, #Fanatics will launch the app in those states next week.
As first reported by (@katherinesayre).
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) April 27, 2023
Celtics-Sixers open series with Embiid doubtful
After sweeping the Nets out of the first round of the NBA playoffs on April 22, the Sixers have had more than a week to prepare for the Celtics, the No. 2 seed in the East. But the extended period of rest might not be enough for All-Star center Joel Embiid to return to the court. Embiid, a top MVP candidate, has been out since suffering a knee injury in a Game 3 win over the Nets.
With Embiid likely out, the Celtics are a 9.5-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis. Embiid closed the regular season as the overwhelming -1000 favorite at BetMGM to win MVP. The NBA is set to announce the winner on Tuesday before Game 2 of the Knicks-Heat series.
Doc Rivers says Joel Embiid didn’t do anything today, and “if he’s a betting man, would say he’s doubtful” for Game 1.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 29, 2023
At Caesars, the Celtics are the favorite on the futures’ market with odds of +140 to win their 18th NBA title. The Celtics are the only team remaining with futures odds below +500. The Nuggets and the Warriors are the co-second choice at +550, followed by the Suns at +650.
Caesars has odds of +1200 on the Sixers to win it all, with the Heat and Knicks trailing the field at +2000 and +2500, respectively. The Heat, who opened the playoffs with odds of +13000 to win the title, beat the Knicks in Sunday’s Game 1.
The Warriors, the defending NBA champs, advanced to the second round with a dominating win over the Kings on Sunday. Steph Curry poured in 50 to set an NBA record for points in a Game 7 performance. While Curry entered Sunday with odds of +1300 to win NBA Finals MVP, the odds should continue to drop if Golden State defeats the Lakers in Round Two. On Saturday night, DraftKings had Curry as the eighth choice to win Finals MVP honors.
"We all take him for granted…that's how I felt in my playing days with Michael Jordan."
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Steph Curry's greatness over the years.#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel pic.twitter.com/KjfwMqU5vv
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2023
Friday, May 5
DraftKings Q1 earnings call
DraftKings looks to build momentum this week when the company hosts its 2023 first-quarter earnings call. Earlier this year, DraftKings projected that it would deliver profitability in the fourth quarter before generating full-year positive adjusted EBITDA for 2024.
As the sports betting industry nears the fifth anniversary of PASPA being overturned this month, investors are laser-focused on signs that top operators will get out of the red. DraftKings is projected to report first-quarter earnings per share of $-(0.85), according to Zacks Consensus Estimates, compared with per share earnings of $-(1.14) from the same period a year earlier. After its stock plunged in 2022, shares in DraftKings have rebounded this year. DraftKings traded at $22.50 on Monday, nearly doubling its levels from early January.
DraftKings will announce earnings results on Thursday after the bell, before hosting the call with stock analysts on Friday morning. DraftKings will cap a busy week of earnings with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Flutter all scheduled to report at various points this week.
Saturday, May 6
Forte enters Kentucky Derby as heavy favorite
Since upsetting 2/5 favorite Cave Rock in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Forte has spent months as the definitive pick on the Kentucky Derby futures market. In March, Bob Baffert took Cave Rock and Faustin off the Derby trail without transferring the contenders to another trainer. Baffert also temporarily transferred Arabian Knight to the barn of Tim Yakteen, who removed the son of Uncle Mo from Derby consideration after a poor workout.
The defections have cemented Forte’s status as the favorite to win Saturday’s first jewel of the Triple Crown. Forte, the 5/2 favorite at Circa Sports, has won his last five starts, including two races in 2023. At odds of 3/1, 2018 Kentucky Derby winner Justify was the last morning-line favorite to win the Run for the Roses. Before Justify’s victory, the Kentucky Derby favorite crossed the wire first in four of the prior five years.
Beyond Forte, the field is wide open, presenting an opportunity for a lucrative payout among exotic wagers. As of last Friday, only two horses at Circa had single-digit odds to win the Derby. Derma Sotogake, the co-third choice at Circa, looks to become the first Japanese horse to capture the prestigious race. Rich Strike won the 2022 Kentucky Derby with odds of 80/1.
Skinner, the third-place finisher in the Santa Anita Derby, received a spot last week after Wild On Ice suffered a fatal injury. The John Sherriffs-trained horse has odds in the range of 20/1 to 25/1 at three Las Vegas sportsbooks. Skinner has odds of 20/1 at SuperBook Sports, placing the son of Curlin in the upper half of the 20-horse field. Ahead of the Triple Crown, FanDuel stated that it was the only sportsbook that allows customers to wager on horse racing and sports from a single wallet.
Canelo fights in Mexico for first time since 2011
Nearly a year after defeating Gennady Golovkin in a much-hyped championship bout, Canelo Alvarez returns to the ring on Saturday night, where will defend his super middleweight titles against WBO interim beltholder John Ryder in Mexico. The fight marks Alvarez’s first bout in his native country in more than 11 years.
Alvarez is a heavy -1200 favorite at PointsBet to defeat Ryder in the 12-round fight. Ryder, who enters the bout with a 32-5 record, has odds of +800 to pull off the upset. There are odds of 22/1 on a draw.
At DraftKings, there are odds of -350 on Alvarez to win by knockout, TKO, or DQ. The distinguished boxer enters with a 58-2-2 career record, with 39 knockouts. DraftKings is offering a prop on an Alvarez win by decision at +320.
Have a good week, everyone!