NBA Finals, LIV Golf and Canadian Gaming Summit


Each week our “What’s on Tap” series provides insight into the week ahead in the world of sports betting. Come here for a roundup of upcoming financial events, legislative and regulatory meetings, industry conferences, top games scheduled for the week, and more. Also check out our weekly “Get a Grip” review for a look back at notable news from the past week.

Monday, June 6

Avalanche aims to sweep Oilers

Tied at two goals apiece late in Saturday night’s Game 3 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals, a slap shot by Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard nearly gave a 3-0 lead. -2 to the Oilers. Instead, the shot deflected off the post, leading to a breakaway from JT Compher, who had just left the penalty area. Compher scored to give the Colorado Avalanche the lead en route to a 4-2 victory that put the Oilers on the brink of elimination.

Colorado now has four chances to end the Oilers’ season, starting Monday night in Edmonton. In the East, the Rangers and Lightning will resume their series on Tuesday, with the Rangers leading two games to one. On Monday morning, FanDuel ranked the Avalanche among the big -195 favorites to win the Stanley Cup, ahead of the Rangers and Lightning, both at +400. The Oilers are considerable marksmen to hoist the Cup, with odds of +5500.

Tuesday, June 7

Canadian Game Summit Opening Day

Sports betting set to dominate conversation on all three days Canadian Gaming Summit, which begins Tuesday in Toronto. After all, this will be the first time the summit has been held since Ontario launched its private iGaming marketplace in April. Since launch, a host of leading sports betting operators have gone live in Canada’s most populous province, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, bet365, 888sport, theScore Bet and Unibet, among others.

At some point during the conference, the Ontario AGCO may release opening month numbers for the private sports betting market. Single-event betting has been legal in Canada for about 10 months after the Canadian government decriminalized the activity last summer.

Key panels at the top:

  • Sports betting integrity
  • The future of sports betting
  • Ontario Sports Betting Advertising
  • Understanding the sports betting consumer
  • betting on esports

Wednesday, June 8

NBA Finals moves east for Game 3 in Boston

Fueled by a dominating third quarter on Sunday night, the Golden State Warriors tied the NBA Finals with a 107-88 win over the Boston Celtics. The Celtics will host the next two games in Boston, before the series shifts back to San Francisco for Game 5. The Celtics are favored by 3.5 points to win Game 3 at Caesars Sportsbook; the total is 212.5.

After Sunday’s decisive victory, the series odds have moved significantly in favor of the Warriors. Prior to Game 2, the Celtics had -170 odds on PointsBet to defeat the Warriors (+140) in the series. On Monday morning, both teams had odds of -110 to win the series.

Keep an eye out for how the Endgame MVP market evolves as the series continues. As odds on Al Horford fluctuated in the best books heading into Game 1, a rush of money poured in on the Celtics veteran following his impressive fourth-quarter performance last Thursday. Horford scored 22 of his 26 points in the fourth, a night he hit six 3-pointers.

Horford opened the final with odds ranging from 80/1 to 200/1 in various books. After Game 1 the odds dropped to 14/1 on Horford at FanDuel with around 25% of bets placed on him in the space of several hours. Horford also fell to 16/1 at BetMGM, where he opened at 80/1. Bettors holding Horford MVP tickets can’t feel right, however, after the Warriors held him to two points Sunday night on 1-of-4 shooting from the field.

Thursday June 9

LIV Golf Series debut at Centurion Club

Dustin Johnson surprised many last week when his name appeared on a list of participating players at the LIV Golf Series debut on Thursday. The controversial Saudi-backed tour kicks off on Thursday with a three-day event at the Centurion Club in London. At least four of the world’s top 50 players are expected to take part in the tournament, including Louis Oosthuizen, Talor Gooch and Johnson. As of Monday, several major sports betting operators are still awaiting state-level approval to accept wagers on the event, Sports handle has learned.

Saturday June 11

Derby winner Rich Strike returns to Belmont

After picking up an unlikely victory at the Kentucky Derby last month, the owners of Rich Strike chose to skip the Preakness to keep the Derby winner fresh for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Despite the Derby victory, Rich Strike is not expected to enter the third leg of the Triple Crown as a morning line favourite.

Mo Donegal, the Grade 2 Wood Memorial winner, rallied to the Derby with a strong run for fifth place. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Mo Donegal has the stamina to handle the 12-stadium endurance test at Belmont Park. If Mo Donegal isn’t the morning favourite, the designation could instead go to We the People, winners of Peter Pan last month at the same Belmont track. Suddenly escaping the gate, We the People took the lead at the start of the Peter Pan before pulling away for a 10¼ length win.

On the undercard, undefeated Flightline is set to take on Speaker’s Corner in the Met Mile. Flightline, a 4-year-old son of Tapit, recorded an 11½-length victory in last December’s Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Flightline will make its long-awaited debut in 2022. Speaker’s Corner, meanwhile, picked up a 4½ length win in April’s Grade I Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

Have a good week!


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