KU Looks To Repeat As March Madness Begins

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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.

Monday, March 13

Will the Jets land Aaron Rodgers?

After meeting with the New York Jets last week, Aaron Rodgers indicated Saturday that his destination for next season could be decided soon. When asked by former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall on the timeline, Rodgers said “it won’t be long” before the situation is resolved, without offering further explanation.

The clock is ticking on a potential trade by the Packers with NFL free agency set to begin on Wednesday. Most top sportsbooks nationwide have already baked in a move by the Jets to acquire the four-time NFL MVP. At BetMGM, the Jets have odds of 14/1 to win the Super Bowl, fourth-best among all teams from the AFC. Though the Packers have made it to the NFC title game in two of the last four years, Green Bay has odds of 35/1 to capture Super Bowl LVIII, placing the team near the middle of the pack.

Tuesday, March 14

Mississippi State takes on Pitt in First Four

Two bubble teams, Mississippi State and Pittsburgh, made the NCAA Tournament field of 68 despite 20-plus point defeats in their respective conference tournaments. Among the final at-large teams to make the field, the Panthers and Bulldogs will square off Tuesday night in Dayton. Mississippi State is a 2-point favorite at PointsBet; the total is 132 points. Four Panthers average double figures in scoring, including junior forward Blake Hinson, who averages 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

The tournament kicks off with a matchup between two possible 16 seeds in Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. With an NCAA NET ranking of No. 242, SEMO has one of the lowest rankings in the field. Texas A&M-CC, the Southland Conference champion, has only lost once since Jan. 21. By comparison, SEMO lost five of its last seven regular-season games before completing an improbable run in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. Texas A&M-CC opened as a 4-point favorite; the total is 153.5 points.

Wednesday, March 15

Sportradar reports quarterly earnings

The earnings season comes to a close on Wednesday when Sportradar reports 2022 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. The sports betting data provider is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue of €195.5 million ($209.7 million), up from €152.4 million in the prior year’s quarter. Last March, Sportradar projected adjusted EBITDA for full-year 2022 in the range of €123.0 million to €133.0 million. Ahead of Wednesday’s earnings call, Sportradar landed a six-year global tennis betting data deal with the ATP, defeating rival IMG Arena for the contract.

Thursday, March 16

Self set to return as Kansas opens title defense

Several days after undergoing an emergency procedure, Kansas coach Bill Self was discharged from the University of Kansas Health System on Sunday ahead of the NCAA Tournament. Self, a two-time national champion at Kansas, is expected to coach in Thursday’s opener against Howard. Self was admitted to the hospital with chest pain last Wednesday and received two stents to treat blocked arteries, the university said in a statement.

Kansas is bidding to become the first repeat champion in more than a decade. At DraftKings, the Jayhawks are 21.5-point favorites over Howard in the West region first-round matchup. In total, eight teams are double-digit favorites in the first round.

Other double-digit favorites on Thursday:

  • No. 2 Arizona (-14.5) vs. No. 15 Princeton
  • No. 1 Houston (-19.5) vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky
  • No. 4 Tennessee (-10.5) vs. No. 13 Louisiana
  • No. 2 UCLA (-17.5) vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville

Double-digit favorites on Friday:

  • No. 3 Xavier (-11.5) vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State
  • No. 2 Marquette (-10.5) vs. No. 15 Vermont
  • No. 3 Gonzaga (-15.5) vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon

Saturday, March 18

Quarters wrap up in World Baseball Classic

The last of four quarterfinals at the World Baseball Classic will be held Saturday night in Miami. After a stunning 11-5 defeat to Mexico on Sunday night, the U.S. may need to defeat Canada on Monday and Colombia on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals. Despite the defeat, the U.S. still has odds of +275 at DraftKings to win the WBC title. Japan, the new favorite, has odds of +225 to capture the title. Japan will face Italy on Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup.

Top seed Bama eyes trip to Sweet 16

Alabama thrashed Texas A&M on Sunday to win the SEC tournament for the second time in three years. With the win, Alabama earned the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed for the first time in school history. The Crimson Tide enter March Madness with an NCAA-high 15 wins over teams in the field.

On Saturday, the Crimson Tide could face No. 8 seed Maryland or No. 9 West Virginia in a second-round matchup. At BetRivers, Alabama has odds of +700 to win the national title, the second choice behind Houston (+500). Possessing a similar skill set and length to Kevin Durant, Alabama forward Brandon Miller is a projected top 5 pick in the NBA Draft. Alabama may need to defeat the likes of Arizona, Baylor, or Virginia on its path to the Final Four.

Sunday, March 19

South Carolina looks to extend unbeaten season

South Carolina enters the NCAA Women’s Tournament undefeated, looking to become the first team to repeat since UConn in 2016. Nearly every sportsbook in the country has installed South Carolina as a heavy favorite to win it all. At Caesars Sportsbook, South Carolina has odds of -180 to repeat as national champion. By comparison, Indiana, UConn, and Stanford, the three co-second favorites, have odds of +800.

South Carolina is expected to play the winner of South Florida and Marquette in Sunday’s second round. Last March, South Carolina opened the tournament with a 79-21 drubbing of Howard before reaching the Sweet 16 with a 16-point defeat of Miami (Fla.). Since South Carolina allowed an average of 27 points in the two wins, the under may be the right play on Sunday.

Have a good week, everyone!


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