- We’ve rounded up the most eagerly anticipated sports events of 2019
- The College Football Playoff National Championship is just around the corner on January 7th
- Super Bowl 53 promises to be another betting bonanza on February 3rd
2018 is officially in the books and what a year it was! France won the World Cup, the Capitals won their first Stanley Cup, the Warriors won their second straight title, and the Red Sox won their fourth World Series since 2004.
What will 2019 bring? Will it be another year full of historic firsts and legacy-defining victories? We think so, and we can’t wait to get started. Here are the sport events and championships that we’re most excited to see in the year ahead. All entries are in chronological order.
2019 College Football Playoff National Championship
- Date: January 7
The first big event of the season will be the College Football Playoff National Championship. In it, the winner of the Orange Bowl will play the winner of the Cotton Bowl, and the new College Football Playoff National Champion will be crowned.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 28, 2018
National Championship Odds suggest that the game will be a rematch of Alabama and Clemson’s previous three meetings in the College Football Playoff.
Super Bowl 53
- Date: February 3
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting day of the year, generating approximately $5 billion in wagers. This could also be the first time in a while that the New England Patriots are left out of the big game, as the Pats aren’t currently in the top three in Super Bowl 53 odds.
— Daniel Hwang (@DanHwang) December 24, 2018
If the chalk holds, the New Orleans Saints will be playing in the Super Bowl in Atlanta, a moment that federal emergency response infrastructure is honestly not equipped for.
- Date: March 19-April 8
If the Super Bowl is betting Christmas, March Madness is betting Hanukkah. Sports books rake in about $10 billion in bets over the course of the tournament, and all of it is risked on the highly volatile sport of amateur basketball.
You’ll be telling your grandchildren about the time you watched 16-seed UMBC slay 1-seed Virginia. pic.twitter.com/RbDGIdrGoh
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 17, 2018
They don’t call it March Madness because it’s so stable. Check out our 2019 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker to see which teams are likely to square off.
Tiger Woods Plays at the Masters
- Date: April 11-April 14
Tiger Woods had an incredible comeback in 2018, flirting with victory more than once before finally (and dramatically) winning at the Tour Championship.
Crazy scenes around the 18th green as Tiger Woods win the Tour Championship. Crowd chanting ‘Tiger, Tiger, Tiger’ and ‘USA, USA, USA’pic.twitter.com/lFwUg0i2AB
— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) September 23, 2018
That fervor is only going to grow as we get closer to the Masters. Seeing Tiger play at Augusta National, the old Tiger, that is, will be a long-awaited return to golf’s golden age.
Tiger’s a huge draw for bettors, and regularly gets absurd Masters Odds as sportsbooks struggle to keep up with the liability. Look for value betting on anyone else to win a green jacket.
2019 Kentucky Derby
- Dates: May 3 & May 4
The Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses. The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports. Increasingly the territory of Bob Baffert-trained favorites, the Kentucky Derby is appointment television for even casual fans of horse racing.
— Group 1 Stakes (@G1Stakes) May 6, 2018
2019 NBA Finals
- Date: May 30 – onwards
Only three teams have ever achieved an NBA Finals three-peat: the Bill Russell-era Boston Celtics, the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, and the Kobe/Shaq-era LA Lakers. The Minneapolis Lakers did it in 1952-54, but the later moved to LA anyway.
Getting on that list means being one of the very best basketball teams ever assembled. The Golden State Warriors probably fit that description already, but haven’t yet achieved the three-peat.
Draymond Green with a nice assist to Klay Thompson’s face pic.twitter.com/J1rYTFckUE
— Someone’s An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) December 28, 2018
They’re currently odds-on favorites to win the 2019 NBA Championship, but are playing wildly inconsistent basketball and losing their fair share of games.
The Warriors got down to some pretty crazy odds last year, and were at -250 at the end of January and -2800 towards the end of the playoffs.
2019 Stanley Cup Finals
- Date: Late May-Early June
You have to hand it to the NHL: they know how to make the playoffs interesting. With a well-controlled salary cap and effective draft system, the league has achieved a level of parity unrivalled in American sports. Betting on the Stanley Cup Finals is thus extremely fun for betting, because it’s always the case that either team could win.
Alex Ovechkin doing a keg stand out of the Stanley Cup, living his best life pic.twitter.com/0qX6cpuTLf
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) June 9, 2018
If you look at the 2019 Stanley Cup odds sheet, nobody’s even close to even odds, and it’s very much anyone’s game now. Could Toronto finally win a cup? How about Calgary, or Winnipeg?
2019 UEFA Champions League Final
- Date: June 1
The final of Europe’s premier club football tournament will be played on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, and if last year was any indication, it should be must-see TV.
- Dates: July 1-14
Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and if you forget that, don’t worry, they’ll tell you. It’s also been home to some of the greatest tennis matches of the past decade, so it’s not all strawberries and cream.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 14, 2018
The International 2019
- Dates: August 20-25
You didn’t think we were going to forget about esports did you? The International is set to make history in 2019 when it takes place in Shanghai. It will mark the first time the marquee gaming championship will be held in Asia, and just the second time it will be held outside of North America.
The Road To Shanghai begins!
Do you think your DOTA 2 team has what it takes to make it to the biggest esports event of all time?
— Dota 2 (@dota2updates) September 6, 2018
Last year’s event attracted millions of fans around the globe and generated a record $25,400,000 prize pool.
Conor McGregor Fights
- Date: TBD
Conor McGregor is currently the world’s most famous fighter, and each of his two most recent fights have been huge events. His fight with Floyd Mayweather drew 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America, and its revenue puts it about even with the biggest fights of all time. His fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov drew more pay-per-view buys than any MMA event in history, and became a national moment.
Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov still need to go before the Nevada commission to receive potential sanctions for the 229 brawl. Dana White says he doesn’t know what they’ll get, but I asked what he thinks worst case scenario is. pic.twitter.com/O8R4fFWLpf
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 1, 2018
If McGregor and Nurmagomedov can both avoid being banned from the sport, they’ll have a rematch of some sort. Mayweather has also teased a rematch with McGregor. Either way, McGregor will have a hugely anticipated fight in 2019, one that will break all kinds of pay-per-view records.
McGregor’s fights generate a huge amount of action, and even a good deal of liability for sportsbooks. If Conor fights Mayweather again, expect to see a ton of small bets in the Irishman’s favor and a lot of late, huge bets on Mayweather.
2019 MLB World Series
- Dates: October 22-October 30
The 2019 World Series is an awfully long way off, but we already have some ideas about who will contend for it. The Red Sox, Astros, Yankees and Dodgers are all considered favorites, and could become odds-on favorites by signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) December 27, 2018
Given his youth, marketability, and productivity at the plate, Harper’s likely to become the highest-paid free agent in baseball history. He could even become the most expensive sportsman of all time, depending on his contract and how you count Neymar’s buyout.
Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury Rematch
- Date: TBD
Boxing fans were treated to a gem on December 1, 2018 when defending WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder faced former WBA and WBO heavyweight champ Tyson Fury at Staples Center. The heavily-hyped fight ended in a controversial split draw, leading to immediate talk of a rematch even before both men had exited the ring.
? PEOPLE’S CHAMPION ?
Comeback Of The Year ✅
Round Of The Year (Round 12 against Wilder) ✅
He got knocked down and when nobody expected him to… he got up
? ? ? pic.twitter.com/6KLU7KFGoV
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) December 28, 2018
It remains to be seen if and when Wilder-Fury 2 will take place, but rest assured, there’s enough bad blood between these two fighters that a rematch is all but guaranteed.