What’s On Tap: The Week Ahead In Sports Betting: Selection Sunday, NCAA Conference Championships, And TPC

Each Monday, our “What’s On Tap,” series will preview 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 and Wide World of Gambling at US Bets for a look back at last week’s relevant news.

Tuesday, March 9

Gonzaga looks to extend unbeaten season in WCC Finals

Gonzaga, the nation’s top-ranked college basketball team, is attempting to complete a rare feat by entering this month’s NCAA tournament with an unblemished record. With a win on Tuesday night in the West Coast Conference finals, Gonzaga will become the first team to take an unbeaten record into the tournament since Kentucky in 2015. Gonzaga is a 17.5-point favorite on Monday night to defeat St. Mary’s in the WCC semifinals. If Gonzaga wins in the conference semis, the Bulldogs will face BYU or Pepperdine in Tuesday night’s final. As of March 7, Gonzaga had odds of -10000 at DraftKings to win the WCC tournament. Also on Tuesday, Bryant will take on Mount St. Mary’s in the Northeast Conference Tournament finals. Bryant (15-5) can reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, following the program’s transition to Division I in 2008.

Wednesday, March 10

Albany Law School webinar on mobile sports betting in New York

A distinguished panel will tackle hot-button issues associated with New York‘s proposal to include online sports wagering in the 2021 fiscal budget when Albany Law School hosts the Warren M. Anderson Series on Sports Betting Wednesday afternoon. The panel includes: Shanna Cassidy, committee director of the Racing, Gaming & Wagering Committee at the New York State Senate, Bennett Liebman, a former gaming advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Stacey Rowland, who serves as vice president and general counsel at Rivers Casino. The webinar will be moderated by Richard Rifkin, legal director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. New York faces an April 1 deadline to pass the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Illinois Gaming Board meeting

Stakeholders could learn more about the mobile sports betting landscape in the Prairie State when the Illinois Gaming Board meets on Wednesday. FanDuel officially moved its license to Fairmount Park on March 1, opening the door for BetMGM to partner with Par-A-Dice Casino through its tie-in with Boyd Gaming. At present, Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria is the only sportsbook operator in Illinois without a mobile tie-in. The board may also discuss a mobile license of The Argosy Casino in Alton, which is largely expected to be awarded to Unibet. Unibet, an online sportsbook and iGaming operator, has a tie-in to Penn National Gaming.

Thursday, March 11

Johnson, DeChambeau among favorites at The Players

Fresh off a dramatic victory on Sunday at The Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bryson DeChambeau is the second choice at DraftKings to win The Players Championship. DeChambeau has odds of +1500 to win his first title at TPC Sawgrass, just behind favorite Dustin Johnson, who has odds of +1200. One tip ahead of the prestigious tournament: avoid players who shrink under pressure on Sunday’s back nine. The famed par-3, 17th hole at Sawgrass features an island green with one of the most diabolical tee shots in golf. In 2013, Sergio Garcia fell out of the lead when he found the water twice leading to a double bogey. Garcia’s gaffe enabled Tiger Woods to win by two shots. With a $15-million prize pool, the purse at The Players is $3 million more than this year’s U.S. Open.

Saturday, March 13

ACC, Big 12, and PAC-12 highlight busy day of Conference tourney finals

More than a dozen conferences will hold championship games in college basketball, a day before Selection Sunday. While the Big 10 is widely viewed as the top conference in Division I, the Big 12 had seven teams in last week’s AP Top 25. On Saturday night, the league will crown a champion in Kansas City. Baylor, the tournament favorite, has never won the league’s postseason tournament. Also on Saturday, the ACC will hold its conference tournament finals in Greensboro. Virginia, which has won two ACC Tournament Championships over the last seven years, is favored at DraftKings to win the title this week.

ACC Tournament odds at DraftKings

  • Virginia: +225
  • Florida State: +260
  • North Carolina: +425
  • Virginia Tech: +600
  • Louisville: +700
  • Duke: +2000
  • Clemson: +2000
  • Georgia Tech: +2500
  • Pittsburgh: +5000
  • Syracuse: +5000

Sunday, March 14

Michigan State, UNC remain on bubble ahead of Selection Sunday

In an atypical season, traditional powerhouse programs such as Kentucky and Duke likely need to win the SEC and ACC Tournaments, respectively, to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. Other fixtures of March Madness such as Michigan State, North Carolina, and Indiana may need several wins this week to earn an at-large bid. The schools will learn their fate on Sunday night’s tournament selection show. With several days before the highly anticipated show, Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, and Illinois are the tournament’s top seeds, according to ESPN’s Bracketology.

Odds To Win 2021 Men’s Division I Basketball Championship (FanDuel)

  • Gonzaga: +250
  • Baylor: +330
  • Michigan: +420
  • Illinois: +1000
  • Houston: +1800
  • Ohio State: +1800
  • Iowa: +2000
  • Florida State: +2000
  • Alabama: +2000

Have a good week, everyone!

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