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What’s On Tap: NFL Schedule Release, NHL Playoffs, And Bucks-Celtics


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, May 9

Panthers enter desperation mode in series against Caps

At the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Florida Panthers were one of the favorites to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup after finishing the regular season with the most points in the NHL. But the Panthers are down 2-1 in a best-of-seven series against the Capitals following a 6-1 drubbing Saturday by Alex Ovechkin & Co. On Monday night, the Capitals can push the Panthers to the verge of elimination with a victory in Washington, D.C.

For the most part, top sportsbooks expect the Panthers to claw back into the series. At FanDuel, the Panthers still have odds of -140 to advance past the Capitals (+116). As of Monday morning, Florida ranked as the second choice at BetMGM to win the Cup at +650. Colorado, which leads Nashville 3-0 in a Western Conference opening-round series, remains the overwhelming favorite to win the Cup with odds of +250.

The Avalanche have cruised through their opening round series against the Predators with 16 goals in three games. The Predators need to defeat the Avalanche Monday in Nashville to avoid elimination. Also on Monday, the Rangers will face the Penguins in Pittsburgh and the Flames will face the Stars in Dallas. Both Pittsburgh and Dallas maintain 2-1 series leads after notching victories on Saturday.

Bucks, Warriors seek 3-1 series leads in NBA conference semis

The Bucks withstood a frantic Celtics rally on Saturday to take a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Milwaukee defeated Boston 103-101 when officials ruled that Al Horford attempted a game-tying tip-in just after the buzzer. Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 42 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists in the critical win.

If the Celtics hope to even the series in Monday’s Game 4, Jayson Tatum will need to emerge out of a frustrating slump. In an opening-round sweep over the Nets, Tatum averaged 29.5 points per game on 45% shooting from 3-point range. Against Milwaukee, though, Tatum is averaging 20 ppg, as his field goal percentage beyond the arc has dipped to 31.5%.

Tatum went 0-for-6 from 3-point range in Saturday’s loss, as the Bucks’ perimeter defense forced him into a dreadful 4-of-19 shooting night overall. The Bucks have odds of -174 at FanDuel to defeat the Celtics (+146) in the series.

In the West, Ja Morant is expected to miss Game 4 of the Grizzlies’ series against the Warriors after suffering a knee injury Saturday night. The expected absence of the star Grizzlies guard sent the line soaring on Sunday. Leading the series 2-1, Golden State became a 10-point favorite over Memphis for Monday’s matchup. The Warriors are also massive -1000 favorites to win the series over the Grizzlies (+640).

Wednesday, May 11

Genius Sports Q1 earnings

Investors should receive further indications of in-game betting trends throughout the U.S. market when Genius Sports releases the company’s 2022 first-quarter results Wednesday. During the company’s annual Investor Day presentation in January, Genius indicated that in-game wagers across the U.S. represented about 25% of the NFL’s overall handle in the 2022 regular season. Outside of the U.S., in-play wagering accounts for around 75% of the total handle in many top jurisdictions.

Genius is projected to report earnings per share of -$0.14, according to the Zacks Consensus Estimate, up from EPS of -$1.68 over the same period in 2021. Genius previously announced that it expects to generate group revenue of approximately $340 million and group Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $15 million in Fiscal Year 2022. Genius traded on Monday at $3.45 a share, down considerably from last May’s levels around $19.

Thursday, May 12

Critical Game 6 matchups in NBA playoffs

Last week, the Suns and Heat looked like strong bets to advance to the conference finals after racing out to 2-0 leads in their respective series. But their opponents, the Mavericks and the Sixers, turned the tables by knotting each series, with two straight wins over the weekend. Both series can conclude on Thursday night, as the Heat take on the Sixers in Game 6 in Philadelphia, while the Suns face the Mavericks in the nightcap.

Although the Suns entered the weekend as favorites to the win the NBA title, they have ceded the position to the Warriors, the current favorite at DraftKings. As of Monday morning, the Warriors had odds of +215 to win the championship. The Sixers and Mavericks are still considerable longshots to win it all.

NBA championship futures odds at DraftKings

Top execs converge at iGaming Next conference

Approximately 700 top-level iGaming and investment professionals from around the world are expected to appear in Manhattan this week for the iGaming Next NYC conference. Panelists from Madison Square Garden, Caesars Entertainment, Blackstone, Bloomberg LP, and GeoComply are among those scheduled to speak at the two-day event.

As sports betting stocks remain near 52-week lows, the long-term investment horizon of top gaming industry companies will likely be one of the hottest topics at the conference. Also this week, Wynn Resorts is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, while BetMGM is scheduled to hold its annual Investor Day presentation on Thursday.

Bills await NFL schedule release

During last month’s NFL Draft, the league took an unprecedented step in announcing a Week 2 matchup to take place between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The NFL disclosed the matchup as a way of promoting its new Thursday night package with Amazon Prime. Then, last week, the NFL released the schedule for four international games, including a Week 10 tilt between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks in Munich.

The NFL will release the full schedule on Thursday night during a primetime special. The Bucs, the Super Bowl LV champions in 2021, are scheduled for a handful of marquee games during the 2022 regular season. Besides the Seahawks matchup, Tom Brady is also scheduled to face the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams at home, as well as the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers on the road.

Each year, the tenor of the schedule has a considerable impact on season win totals along with division and conference futures bets. When looking at season win totals, bettors might consider the timing of each team’s bye week, as well as whether any teams are scheduled for three straight road games. Historically, roads teams struggle in the final leg of a three-game road swing.

At PointsBet, the Bills remain +700 favorites to win the Super Bowl, slightly ahead of the Bucs (+750), Chiefs (+900), and Packers (+1000). PointsBet has listed the Bills’ season win total at 11.5, with some juice on the over at -120. The Bills face a challenging schedule in 2022 with matchups against the Chiefs, Rams, and Packers.

Have a good week, everyone!

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