TheLines Lookahead sets the table for the sports betting week. Here are the top five storylines to keep an eye on.
Cam Newton signs with New England Patriots (Futures)
The former NFL MVP had many scratching their heads after going months past free agency without being signed. Bill Belichick had said the Patriots not getting a quarterback in the past draft was “not by design,” so Cam Newton to New England just made sense. Finally, the Pats pulled the trigger and signed him to a one-year deal, which drastically affects their futures. Before Newton signed, New England was already projected for 9 wins, but it would be difficult to bet against another 10-win season now.
La Liga: Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid (Tuesday, June 30)
La Liga is already one of the most-watched soccer leagues worldwide. Without the competition of MLB and a recent void of sports on TV, numbers for La Liga have surged. Now, the second and third-ranked teams are on a one-way collision course with several major storylines ready to play out (most notably, Lionel Messi’s quest for 700 career goals). Barcelona (-125) sits as favorites to take this anticipated matchup, but there’s no question this match will draw massive numbers in viewers and wagers.
Premier League: Manchester City vs Liverpool (Thursday, July 2)
The only matchup that can one-up a 2 vs 3 is a 1 vs 2, and that’s exactly what the Premier League is delivering Thursday. Liverpool was just crowned champions for the first time in the club’s history, but they have little time to celebrate. They (-136) are favored to win the match, but Manchester City (5/4) sit as current favorites to win next year’s Premier League season. With the help of partial-owner LeBron James, US bettors will likely turn in more wagers for the EPL champions, especially in such a high-profile match. With Manchester City a half-point favorite, we can call this one about even.
PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic (Thursday, July 2–Sunday July 5)
In just its second year of existence, the Rocket Mortgage Classic returns to Detroit with a studded field – including six top 20 players (Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrel Hatton, Tony Finau, and Sungjay Im). Joining some of the top-ranked golfers are notable names Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, and Bubba Watson. Besides having a plethora of stars participating in recent tournaments, the sports gaming public has turned to golf for wagering, with the sport seeing some of its highest numbers ever. Without a wide pallet to choose from, the PGA should be on everyone’s radar for some Sunday afternoon betting.
NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sunday, July 5)
NASCAR is at the forefront of the news and the public’s attention; TV ratings soared after the sport banned the use of the confederate flag and the Bubba Wallace incident. The wild finish to Tallegeda’s race was the perfect cherry on top and should draw more attention to upcoming races, including this weekend’s at Indianapolis. Kevin Harvick most recently took home first at the Brickyard, finished 2nd at Pocono on Sunday, and currently sits first in the season standings. Although the race will be held without fans, it will surely draw a sizable betting crowd.