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.
Tuesday, Nov. 14
ESPN BET makes highly anticipated launch
After forming a transformative partnership with ESPN in August, PENN Entertainment and the Worldwide Leader in Sports will launch ESPN BET on Tuesday morning.
While other media companies, including Bally’s and Fubo, have failed to gain traction with sportsbook partnerships, ESPN will look to capitalize on its globally recognized brand. The network receives approximately 117 million unique views a month, an amount that dwarfs Barstool Sports by nearly 15-fold.
PENN, which will pay approximately $150 million for the right to power ESPN’s sports betting platform, is optimistic that ESPN BET can reach nationwide market share of 20% by 2027, and anything short of that target may be viewed as a disappointment by the market.
Disney plans to purchase Comcast’s stake in Hulu, giving Disney full ownership of the streaming service. There’s a possibility of integrations between Hulu and ESPN BET, perhaps with a similar look or feel to FanDuel TV, writes @BennettConlin. (Click pic)https://t.co/2kGjH6j6x3
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) November 2, 2023
DraftKings annual Investor Day
DraftKings topped analysts’ expectations in the third quarter, a period when the company vaulted past FanDuel for the top position in U.S. sports betting and iGaming market share. In response to the strong quarter, DraftKings increased the midpoint of its full-year 2023 Adjusted EBITDA guidance by about $100 million.
The company is expected to provide more guidance on its path to 2024 full-year profitability at Tuesday’s annual Investor Day presentation. DraftKings may also outline its long-term plans for international expansion. Last week, the Financial Times reported that DraftKings engaged in early-stage discussions with shareholders of 888 Holdings over the summer. Gibraltar-headquartered 888 is the owner of SI Sportsbook and William Hill’s international assets outside of the U.S.
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EGR North America Fall Briefing 2023
On the same day PENN and ESPN roll out their betting platform, a host of leading industry stakeholders will converge in Nashville for the annual EGR North America Fall Briefing. One panel at the conference will analyze the developments in the sports betting regulatory landscape in 2023 and the changes that are in store for the next 12 months.
The panel will feature appearances from Mary Beth Thomas, executive director at the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council; Lou Rogacki, deputy director at the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE); Bill Pascrell III, partner at Princeton Public Affairs; and Martin Lycka, senior vice president, American regulatory affairs at Entain. The conference will also hold panels on microbetting in sports, the intersection between streaming and sports wagering, and legal developments in tribal gaming.
Thursday, Nov. 16
Ravens-Bengals on TNF
The red-hot Bengals had their four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday in a surprising loss to the Texans. The Ravens, the AFC North leaders, also saw their four-game winning streak come to an end in Week 10, blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 33-31 loss to Cleveland.
With little margin for error in the AFC North, both are in need of a victory on Thursday night in Baltimore. The Ravens captured a close 27-24 victory over the Bengals in Week 2. Despite the loss to the Browns, the Ravens are still averaging 34.3 points per game over their last four contests. Baltimore is a 3.5-point favorite at FanDuel; the total is 43.5 points.
The Browns win their first game where they trailed by 14 points since Baker Mayfield’s NFL debut in 2018 Week 3 vs the Jets. They had lost 24 straight in that situation. pic.twitter.com/A29hC8Dt5Z
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2023
Saturday, Nov. 18
Georgia faces Tennessee in border rivalry
Top-ranked Georgia blew open a close game Saturday against No. 9 Ole Miss, outscoring the Rebels by three touchdowns in the second half for a 52-17 victory. All-American tight end Brock Bowers returned in the dominating win, less than a month after he underwent surgery on his ankle. Bowers’ return is a boon for Georgia in its bid for a third consecutive national title as it travels to Knoxville to face No. 21 Tennessee. The Bulldogs are 10-point favorites at Circa Sports; the total is 54.5.
Elsewhere, Jim Harbaugh’s status for Michigan‘s matchup on Saturday at Maryland remains in question. No. 3 Michigan, which has been embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal over the past month, defeated Penn State in Week 11, hours after the Big Ten suspended Harbaugh for the final three games of the regular season.
Last week, the university filed a lawsuit against the conference seeking a temporary restraining order on Harbaugh’s suspension. A Michigan court is expected to rule on the order before the matchup against the Terps, where Michigan is a 19-point favorite and the total is 52.5.
Michigan’s lawsuit challenging the Jim Harbaugh suspension has a new judge. Could there be another new judge? The Big Ten likely will try to find a way to remove the case to federal court, as soon as Monday. https://t.co/H7iXlKIo08
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 12, 2023
Finally, No. 5 Washington looks to improve to 11-0 when it takes on No. 10 Oregon State in Corvallis. Heisman Trophy favorite Michael Penix Jr. had three touchdowns in Washington’s 35-28 win over Utah on Saturday, and the Huskies moved to 10-0 for just the second time in school history. Washington is a 2-point favorite; the total is 66.5.
Verstappen huge favorite at Vegas Grand Prix
After months of construction and pavement resurfacing on the Las Vegas Strip, the city will host its first race in 41 years when the Las Vegas Grand Prix revs up on Saturday night.
Last week, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle described the race as the largest single event in the history of the city in terms of total economic activity. While major casinos will benefit through room occupancies and increased table action, top sportsbooks will likely see a spike in handle from the influx of VIP international tourists.
On the track, Max Verstappen has won an astounding 17 of 20 races on the 2023 Formula One World Championship circuit and is a heavy -300 favorite at BetMGM to win in Vegas. Lando Norris is the second choice at 1200, followed by Charles LeClerc and Lewis Hamilton at 1400 and 1600, respectively. With two races left on the season, Verstappen has 528 points, more than double the amount of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, the next closest driver.
Sunday, Nov. 19
Djokovic eyes ATP Finals record
At 36, Novak Djokovic has put forth a tremendous season in 2023 with three Grand Slam titles and appearances in all four major finals. Djokovic can cap one of the finest seasons of his career with a record seventh title at the year-end ATP Finals. Djokovic currently shares the record for ATP Finals’ singles titles with Roger Federer.
Djokovic opened round robin play Sunday with a three-set victory over Holger Rune of Denmark. Djokovic is a heavy 110 favorite at DraftKings to win the singles title in Turin. Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz, and Daniil Medvedev, also have single-digit odds.
Vikings look to extend winning streak
Despite the absence of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson on Sunday, the Vikings raced out to a 24-3 halftime lead en route to a win over the Saints. After opening the season 1-4, the Vikings have won five straight to move into wild card contention. Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs notched two touchdowns and accounted for 312 all-purpose yards in the win.
Dobbs is the first quarterback in NFL history to record at least 400 yards passing and 100 yards rushing without an interception in his first two games with a team. At FanDuel, Minnesota has odds of -230 to make the playoffs. The Vikings will face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football, where Denver is a 1.5-home favorite and the total is 42.5.
Josh Dobbs really posted this on his TikTok after today’s game 😂 pic.twitter.com/jEyVv0Ma4C
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 13, 2023
The 49ers, meanwhile, remain one of the favorites in the NFC. San Francisco ended a three-game losing streak Sunday with a dominating 34-3 win over the Jaguars. The Niners’ defense recorded five sacks and forced four turnovers in the punishing victory. In Week 11, the Niners opened as 10.5-point favorites over Tampa Bay at Caesars, where the total is 42.5.
Key injuries and absences heading into the NFL’s Week 11:
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was seen in a walking boot following Sunday’s win over the Ravens. Watson told reporters that he is fine and that he plans to play in Week 11 against Pittsburgh. The Browns are 3.5-point favorites over the Steelers; the total is 38.5.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen sprained his shoulder in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Despite the injury, Allen had 11 catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the defeat. The Chargers are 3-point road favorites against the Packers; the total is 43.5.
Saints quarterback Derek Carr left Sunday’s loss to the Vikings after suffering a shoulder injury. Jameis Winston, Carr’s replacement, threw for two touchdowns to rally New Orleans, but also tossed two interceptions in the defeat. The Saints, who lead the NFC South by a half-game, have a bye in Week 11 and are -110 favorites at FanDuel to win the division.
Have a good week, everyone!
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