What’s On Tap: NFL Preseason, FedEx Cup Finale, And The Return Of College Football


BetMGM opens new sportsbook at Cosmopolitan

Several months after MGM Resorts completed a $1.63 billion purchase of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, BetMGM will open a new retail sportsbook Monday at the glitzy resort. Several top company executives including BetMGM Vice President of Trading Jason Scott will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. In addition, BetMGM’s trading team will preview the upcoming NFL season at Monday’s event while unveiling the sportsbook’s biggest wagers and liabilities. BetMGM has pegged the Buffalo Bills as the favorite to win the Super Bowl, with odds of +600.

Tuesday, August 23

DeGrom faces Yankees in Subway Series

When the New York Mets swept the Yankees in a brief two-game series last month, they were without injured staff ace Jacob deGrom. Since then, deGrom has recorded 37 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.31 in four starts in August. DeGrom will be on the hill Tuesday when the Mets face the struggling Yankees in the Bronx. After entering August with the most runs scored of any team in Major League Baseball, the Yankees rank among the worst this month in batting average and runs scored.

The Yankees entered the All-Star break with a league-best 64-28 record, but since then, the Bronx Bombers have dropped 20 of their last 30 contests. The tailspin may be causing indigestion for whale bettors who placed five-to-six-figure wagers on the Yankees to win the American League East. Over the weekend, the Yankees’ lead in the division shrunk to seven games, the least it’s been since June 13. The Yankees still have odds of -2000 to win the AL East at FanDuel, along with odds of +220 to win the pennant.

Thursday, August 25

DraftKings up for licensure in Maryland

When the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency meets Thursday, it will consider the Sports Wagering Facility Operator License of Crown Maryland Gaming LLC, more commonly known as DraftKings. At the moment, at least six retail sportsbook accept legal sports wagers in Maryland.

DraftKings gained market access in Maryland last August through a partnership with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. John J. Mooney, managing director of regulatory oversight for the Maryland Lottery, will give a presentation Thursday on DraftKings’ qualifications for licensure. There are strong indications that Mooney plans to recommend that DraftKings has established its qualifications for an operator license with “clear and convincing” evidence.

Cantlay pursues second straight Tour Championship win

Over the short history of the FedEx Cup, no golfer has won the PGA Tour playoffs in consecutive years. Patrick Cantlay, the 2021 winner of the Tour Championship, put himself in place Sunday to potentially become the first. Cantlay tapped in a par on the 72nd hole of the BMW Championship to defeat Scott Stallings by one shot. With the victory, Cantlay enters Thursday’s Tour Championship as the second seed behind Scottie Scheffler.

Because of Scheffler’s prolific season, the reigning Masters champion will receive a two-shot advantage over the field at the start of the Tour Championship. Based on the event’s unorthodox format, Scheffler will open the tournament with a score of -10, two shots ahead of Cantlay. Will Zalatoris will start at -7, followed by Xander Schauffele at -6 and Sam Burns at -5.

Scheffler is the favorite at DraftKings with odds of +260, ahead of Cantlay and Schauffele at +330 and +600, respectively. Zalatoris is next at +1000, followed by Rory McIlroy (+1100) and Jon Rahm (+1600). Cameron Smith, who missed the BMW with a hip injury, has odds of +2800.

Saturday, August 27

Nebraska takes on Northwestern in Dublin

Nebraska’s long-awaited trip to Ireland finally occurs this week after a year-long delay due to COVID-19. Originally scheduled to face Illinois in the 2021 season opener in Dublin, Nebraska moved the game back a year because of travel complications associated with the pandemic. Northwestern has replaced Illinois in the 2022 Aer Lingus College Football Classic at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

In the offseason, Nebraska added former Texas quarterback Casey Thompson, one of the nation’s top quarterbacks on the transfer market. Thompson threw for 2,113 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. As of Monday, Nebraska remained a 13.5-point favorite over Northwestern at BetRivers. The Dublin matchup marks Nebraska’s first game outside the U.S. since 1992, when the Cornhuskers faced Kansas State in Japan.

Other college football matchups on Saturday

  • UConn (+27.5) at Utah State — Total 60 (Over -109/Under -112)
  • Wyoming (+10) at Illinois — Total 44 (Over -110/Under -110)
  • Charlotte (+7) at Florida Atlantic — Total 57.5 (Over -117/Under -105)
  • North Texas (-1) at UTEP — Total 55 (Over -109/Under -112)
  • Vanderbilt (-6.5) at Hawaii — Total 54.5 (Over -115/Under -106)
  • Nevada (-9) at New Mexico State — Total 50.5 (Over -113/Under -108)

Travers field marred by scratch of Charge It

The field for Saturday’s Grade I Travers took a hit on Sunday when trainer Todd Pletcher scratched Charge It with a foot abscess. Charge It, a 3-year-old son of Tapit, was expected to challenge favorite Epicenter after recording a dominating 23-length win in last month’s Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes. The absence of Charge It removes a key challenger for Epicenter, who won last month’s Jim Dandy Stakes on the same track at Saratoga Race Course.

Known colloquially as the Midsummer Derby, the Travers is typically the most prestigious race for 3-year-olds each year outside of the Triple Crown. The Travers features a rematch between Epicenter and Zandon, the runner-up in the Jim Dandy. The field will also include Rich Strike, the improbable winner of the Kentucky Derby at odds of 80/1. Rich Strike has not raced since a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.

Sunday, August 28

Final opportunity for Flacco in preseason finale

The final day of the NFL preseason schedule will provide Joe Flacco with another opportunity to become accustomed to his new wide receivers before the New York Jets’ regular-season opener on Sept. 11. Flacco, a 15-year veteran, could start in Week 1 of the regular season vs. the Baltimore Ravens if Zach Wilson remains out with a knee injury. The Jets will face the Giants Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Several other teams enter the week with lingering questions at quarterback. The Seattle Seahawks have yet to name a starter for their regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos. Drew Lock missed last Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears while Geno Smith struggled in the 27-11 defeat. The uncertainty at quarterback has prompted some Seahawks fans to push for the acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo. It is unlikely that the San Francisco 49ers will trade Garoppolo to a division rival, but Seattle could sign the veteran quarterback if he is released.

The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, head into the regular season with Jacoby Brissett at starting quarterback after the NFL Players Association agreed to the NFL’s 11-game suspension of Deshaun Watson through early December. If Brissett fails to replace Watson adequately, Cleveland could consider Garoppolo as a stopgap measure. Garoppolo is on the trade market after Trey Lance won the starting job in San Francisco. The Browns’ season-win total at PointsBet is 8.5 (over +135/under -165).


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