TheLines gives a weekly preview of what should be the most wagered-on sporting events of the week. Here is the slate for Monday, July 13 through Sunday, July 19.
Boxing: Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo (Tuesday, July 14)
While not a blockbuster, Herring vs Oquendo is being held at the MGM Grand and puts Herring’s junior lightweight title on the table. The reigning belt-holder sits as a heavy favorite (-1600) over challenging Oquendo (+760). What makes this a good betting opportunity? It’s a rare live boxing match aired right on ESPN. Scrap the $80 spent on pay-per-view or waiting until the morning to find out who won; fans can follow this one along as it goes. When it comes to betting, boxing still has its place.
The Basketball Tournament finals (Tuesday, July 14)
It’s Upset City in Columbus; the top 7 seeds were bounced, including 1-seed Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State) in their first game. The championship in this year’s TBT is between 22-seed Sideline Cancer and 4-seed Golden Eagles (Maruqette). Sideline Cancer took a stunning win over powerhouse Overseas Elite, which included former-NBA All-Star Joe Johnson. The Golden Eagles haven’t faced a seed higher than 8th the entire tournament, but have won all their games with some breathing room. Marquette’s alumni team (-144) sit as slight 2.5-point favorites over Sideline Cancer (+114), meaning this game should be a good one. It’s the last basketball game before the NBA gets going later this month, so make it count.
NASCAR All-Star Race (Wednesday, July 15)
Night races are cool, and NASCAR’s All-Star race might be the best All-Star event outside of baseball. To make fun more interesting, NASCAR announced that the cars will be fitted with neon underglow lights. The league is testing several new rules to make racing more fan-friendly, including shifting the look of the vehicles, moving the race to rough-and-tough Bristol, and implementing the “Choose Rule.” Only 14 drivers will be running, including Kyle Busch (odds-on favorite to win the Cup Series Championship), Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamin, Joey Logano, and Jimmie Johnson. With a broken-up stage format, live betting will be intense for this one.
PGA Memorial Tournament (Thursday, July 16–Sunday, July 19)
Tiger Woods announced his intent to play in this weekend’s Memorial Tournament. What more needs to be said? Tiger’s impact on PGA interest is very real as in matches he plays, Nielsen ratings jump roughly 20%. It might be worth mentioning he is seeking a sixth Memorial tournament win. Joining Tiger is top-ranked Rory McIlroy, second-ranked Jon Rahm and household names Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, and Dustin Johnson.
FA Cup semifinals (Saturday, July 18–Sunday, July 19)
Manchester City (-322) is pretty hefty favorites over Arsenal (+611) in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal game. Arsenal’s plans to win a record-14th FA Cup title are still on track and Man City could be without their star Sergio Aguero. Man City is favored by a goal and a half (-114); keep an eye on Arsenal +1.5 (-120). Sunday’s matchup between Manchester United (-189) and Chelsea (+125) is much more of a toss-up and should make for some exciting soccer. Christian Pulisic led Chelsea to a win over much-favored Man City earlier in the year, and is looking to pull off some more magic this weekend.