Can Princeton Make Shocking Run To Final Four?

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Each week, 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, March 21

U.S. seeks WBC crown

The U.S. thrashed Cuba 14-2 on Sunday night to earn a trip to Tuesday’s final. Two nights after crushing a grand slam to defeat Venezuela, Trea Turner added two more homers in Sunday’s victory. Turner will lead a potent lineup in the final when the U.S. takes on either Japan or Mexico in Miami.

After a preliminary round loss to Mexico, the odds on the Americans to take the crown jumped to +300 at FOX Bet. The odds will be drastically shorter heading into the championship game. If Japan prevails on Monday, it can send Yu Darvish to the mound to face a talented U.S. lineup that includes the likes of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Kyle Schwarber.

Wednesday, March 22

Sports betting on the agenda in Texas Legislature

A Texas legislative committee will hear several gambling expansion bills on Wednesday, including one on sports betting. HB 2843 addresses issues surrounding commercial casino licensing, sports betting, and tribal gaming, among other provisions. Authored by state Rep. John Kuempel, the bill would create a state gambling commission if approved and signed into law. Legal sports betting in Texas has received backing from several professional teams through the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. Another bill from Sen. Lois Kolkhorst could bring the state $648.7 million in tax revenue over the first five years of sports betting, the alliance estimates.

Thursday, March 23

Florida Atlantic makes Sweet 16 debut

At this point last week, there was a strong possibility that Kentucky, Duke, Marquette, and Purdue would end up in New York representing the East Region in the Sweet 16. Instead, lower seeds Florida Atlantic and Michigan State will be among those playing at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” Thursday when Madison Square Garden hosts the regional semifinals.

Michigan State is a 1.5-point favorite over Kansas State in the opener; the total is 137.5. Florida Atlantic, which is making only its second NCAA Tournament appearance, will take on Tennessee in the nightcap. Tennessee, which ended Duke’s season Saturday, is a 5.5-point favorite at DraftKings. The total is 131 points.

Also on Thursday, UConn is a 3.5-point favorite over Arkansas in the West Region semis. The winner will advance to Saturday’s Elite Eight against UCLA or Gonzaga. Those two Western heavy hitters will face off Thursday in Las Vegas, with UCLA a 1.5-point favorite. The regionals mark the first time ever that Sin City will host an NCAA Tournament game.

Saturday, March 25

South Carolina looks to extend undefeated season

After trailing at the end of the first quarter, South Carolina’s women’s team held USF to just 16 second-half points Sunday in a 76-45 victory. With the win, South Carolina remains the overwhelming favorite to win the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament. South Carolina (34-0) will face UCLA or Oklahoma in Saturday’s Sweet 16.

At Caesars Sportsbook, South Carolina now has odds of -280 to win the national title. UConn and Indiana are the co-second choice at +900, followed by Iowa and LSU at +1400 and +2000, respectively. South Carolina could become the first undefeated team to repeat as national champion since UConn in 2016.

Sunday, March 26

Princeton eyes improbable Final Four trip

Princeton entered the NCAA Tournament seven months after the passing of its legendary former coach, Pete Carril. Mitch Henderson, one of his former players, now mans the sidelines for the Tigers. Henderson has led the Tigers as the South Region’s No. 15 seed to two upsets in the NCAA Tournament, including a 15-point drubbing of Missouri in the Round of 32.

With two more wins, Princeton would advance to its first Final Four since 1965. First, Princeton will need to defeat Creighton in Friday’s regional semifinals. Henderson still sprinkles in elements of Carril’s patented offense, replete with constant motion and back-door cuts. Princeton has odds of 150/1 to win the national title, the longest of the 16 remaining teams at FanDuel. Alternatively, there are odds of 25/1 on the Tigers to make the Final Four.

Have a good week, everyone!


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