Every week, TheLines looks ahead to what will be some of the most wagered-on sporting events in the coming days. Now that the clocks have changed and we’re into November, some huge NFL games are on the horizon with major playoff implications. Plus one of the more prestigious horse races takes place on Saturday.
Five major betting events this week
MAC & Pac-12 Football Kickoffs (Beginning Wednesday, 11/4)
It might be a couple months later than usual, but the final two conferences are beginning their football seasons and the FBS is at full strength. The MAC is playing its classic Wednesday slots for the season, with Toledo, Ohio, and Buffalo holding high hopes for the year.
USC and Oregon from the Pac-12 are looking to make runs at the College Football Playoff. “Pac-12 After Dark” also makes a triumphant return with Washington at Cal — a game that, last year, lasted past 4:30 a.m. EST. It’s the college football season we all hoped for, beginning Wednesday.
Packers vs 49ers (Thursday, 11/5)
Everyone remembers last season, where the 49ers blew out the 13-3 Packers not once, but twice. There were labels of “frauds” placed on Green Bay following the losses, with the latter ending Aaron Rodgers’ season altogether. This year is a different story– San Francisco (+112) is battling a laundry list of injuries and poor quarterback play and the Packers (-136) are playing lights-out most every week. Green Bay (-2.5) is a slight favorite in this one, but is coming off an upset loss to Minnesota at home. The 49ers were beaten soundly on the road by Seattle. It could be a do-or-die game for the Niners, who are clinging onto playoff hopes.
Breeders’ Cup (Saturday, 11/7)
Outside of the Triple Crown races, the Breeders’ Cup is one of the most prestigious and most bet-on horse racing events in the country. The Longines Classic features champion thoroughbreds from all around the world; this year’s pack is led by Improbable (+250), Maximum Security (+400), Tiz the Law (+350), and Tom’s d’Etat (+600). The race’s fifth-largest purse sits at $6 million this coming year to the winner and is the second-richest horse race in North America.
Saints vs Buccaneers (Sunday, 11/8)
It’s Brady vs Brees for the final time of 2020 and potentially ever– Drew Brees, 41, could be looking at his last NFL season. The two faced off as division rivals for the first time Week 1 where Brees’ Saints got the best of Tom Brady in his first game as a Buccaneer. Neither quarterback played particularly well, with Brees throwing for just 160 yards and Brady throwing two picks. Both of these teams are vying for the division crown (as most expected) and could see each other again in the postseason. Tampa’s had this game circled for months now, and it could look a lot different than their first meeting.
NASCAR Season Finale 500 (Sunday, 11/8)
After weeks of sprinting to the finish line (literally and figuratively), the championship race is finally here. The final four stand as Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Brad Keslowski, and Denny Hamlin; Kevin Harvick, despite leading NASCAR with 9 wins, did not qualify for the final race. The final race of the year goes down in Phoenix. The odds for the race will be posted in the coming days, but Logano will likely open the gates as the favorite. It all comes down to this, and all four drivers will be pushing the limits to hoist the cup.