What’s On Tap: NBA Play-In Round, USFL Debut, And ICE London Conference

The post What’s On Tap: NBA Play-In Round, USFL Debut, And ICE London Conference appeared first on SportsHandle.

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.

Tuesday, April 12

ICE London returns after 26-month absence

Each year, the ICE London conference ranks as one of the preeminent events on the gambling industry calendar. The marquee gathering, which will feature attendees from 158 jurisdictions, returns on Tuesday after a 26-month absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sports betting will play a prominent role in the three-day conference, with scheduled appearances from top C-suite executives, state regulators, and industry lobbyists. To this end, the event will feature Jan Jones Blackhurst, board member at Caesars Entertainment; James Taylor, chief of the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s enforcement division; Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association; and Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith, among others.

Nets host Cavs in NBA play-in tourney

Beset by injuries, the controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 vaccination status, and the trade of James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets have endured a turbulent season. Despite it all, the Nets, the definitive favorite to win the NBA title in the preseason, still earned a spot in the league’s play-in tournament. On Tuesday, the No. 7 seed Nets will face the No. 8 seed Cavaliers in Brooklyn. The Nets are 8-point favorites at DraftKings, while the over/under is 229.

In the nightcap, the Timberwolves will host the Clippers for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. The Wolves ended last season with one of the worst records in the NBA, finishing with a 23-49 mark in Anthony Edwards’ rookie season. But behind a stellar sophomore campaign from Edwards, along with the return of All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves boast one of the league’s most improved teams and opened as 2.5-point favorites over Los Angeles at BetMGM.

The winner of Tuesday night’s matchup will receive the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, while the losing team will have another chance to reach the playoffs later this week. At FanDuel, the Timberwolves have odds of -1300 to advance to the playoffs, while there are odds of -590 on the Clippers to make the postseason. The losing team will face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between No. 9 New Orleans and No. 10 San Antonio.

If Brooklyn defeats the Cavs on Tuesday, Kevin Durant and company will face the second-seeded Celtics in the playoffs. The Nets have already ruled Ben Simmons out for the play-in round, but Simmons could makes his Nets’ debut if the team qualifies for the first round of the playoffs, ESPN reported. Simmons has been out with irritation in his lower back.

2022 NBA Champion odds at DraftKings

Wednesday, April 13

Man City eyes berth in Champions League semis

Manchester City holds a 1-0 aggregate lead over Atletico Madrid after Kevin De Bruyne’s 70th minute goal in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tilt. The teams meet again on Wednesday in Madrid with a spot in the semifinals on the line. Man City is a -125 favorite over Atletico Madrid (+340) at PointsBet, with odds of +250 on a draw.

As of Monday morning, Man City had odds of +175 to win the 2022 Champions League, the most prestigious title in world club soccer. Liverpool is the second-choice at PointsBet with odds of +185, followed by Bayern Munich (+450) and Real Madrid (+600). While Man City has never won the Champions League, the English club lost in the finals last season to Chelsea.

Also on Wednesday, Liverpool will face Benfica at Anfield with a decisive 3-1 aggregate lead. Liverpool has odds of -345 to prevail over the Portuguese squad (+800). Meanwhile, Bayern Munich is a -455 favorite over Villarreal on Tuesday, and Real Madrid will take on Chelsea in the other quarterfinal. Real Madrid holds a 3-1 advantage after Karim Benzema’s hat trick last week at Stamford Bridge.


Saturday, April 16

Stallions face Generals in USFL debut

More than 30 years after the original United States Football League folded in 1986, a revamped version of the USFL will make its debut on Saturday night. There are four games on the Week 1 slate, including Saturday’s opener between the Birmingham Stallions and the New Jersey Generals. The Stallions are 1.5-point favorites at FOX Bet, where the total is 55.5 points.

Before the season begins, bettors should familiarize themselves with the USFL’s unorthodox scoring rules. One option allows a team to attempt a 3-point play from the 10-yard line after scoring a touchdown. A team that trails by nine points late in a game can force overtime with a touchdown and a successful 3-pointer. Furthermore, an 18-point deficit can be erased quickly in the USFL, while traditional rules require three straight scores from the same team for an improbable comeback.

On the futures market, the Michigan Panthers (+425) are favored to win the 2022 USFL championship at BetMGM. Michigan has a potent backfield in former Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett and former Indiana running back Stevie Scott III. The Panthers selected former University of Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson with the first overall pick in the 2022 USFL Draft.

BetMGM lists Tampa Bay as the second choice at +450, followed by New Orleans and Pittsburgh, with odds of +500 and +600 respectively. Tampa Bay selected former Louisville wideout Eli Rogers and Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu in this year’s draft.  Led by former New York Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta, the Pittsburgh Maulers also feature former University of Miami wideout Jeff Thomas and Michigan State tight end Matt Seybert on offense.

Golden Knights take on Oilers in key late-season matchup

Perhaps no team in the NHL has been battered by injury as much as the Vegas Golden Knights, one of the favorites at the start of the season to win the Stanley Cup. If the season were to end Monday, the Knights would miss the playoffs, as they trail the Dallas Stars by two points for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

A recent six-game winning streak by Edmonton propelled the Oilers over the Knights in the Pacific Division standings. The teams will face off for the last time in the regular season on Saturday afternoon in Edmonton. The Oilers have odds of 30/1 to win the Stanley Cup at WynnBET, while the Knights are also a longshot at 35/1.

Have a good week, everyone!

The post What’s On Tap: NBA Play-In Round, USFL Debut, And ICE London Conference appeared first on SportsHandle.

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Author: Micheal May