In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer recaps his trip to Las Vegas after visiting it for the first time in over a year; recaps both the Kentucky Derby and NFL Draft; reveals bets on the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship; and places 2021 NFL future bets with the offseason largely complete.
As I eased into my Las Vegas taxi at 3:58 a.m. en route McCarran International Airport, the fine Bellagio employee who opened my door muttered two words as he sent me off.
“We’re back,” he said with a smile as he closed the door.
Off I went. And he was right.
I am writing this from 33,000 feet. I have just spent a weekend in Las Vegas, my favorite city on the planet. It is the first time I have visited Vegas since early March of last year, which is an eternity compared to how often I normally pop in.
I love Vegas for all the reasons you likely enjoy Vegas. The gambling. The sportsbooks. The restaurants. The pools. The drinks. The sun. The vibe.
I could do without the $25 cheeseburgers and the $6 bottles of water, but I can stomach those with everything else. The rest is just too wonderful.
As we enter May 2021, I was curious what Sin City would look and feel like a year (and change) removed from the start of the pandemic. Full transparency: I am fully vaccinated (Team Moderna), which made my decision to visit Vegas far more palatable.
To be clear, do you. Whatever your comfort is, have at it. This was merely mine.
While I was perhaps apprehensive at first, I was blown away by the energy of the city and also the way it treated the pandemic. People gave you space, even though the crowds were large with the 2021 NFL Draft and Kentucky Derby. Masks were largely worn. Casinos have taken great measures to keep the city safe, and it really showed.
I loved it. I gambled on the NFL Draft, lost my Derby pick (more on that in a bit), won a little at the tables and slots, and had a few of the best meals I have ever eaten. (If you are looking for an awesome place with a great vibe and great food, try Zuma at the Cosmopolitan.)
Once again, everyone’s comfort level with life will certainly be different. I get that. But I can plainly say I enjoyed being back, and that it was wonderful to see such a delightful city full of life again. I truly hope that only grows.
And finally, one gambling story.
My table game of choice is 3-card poker. For the uninitiated, you are dealt three cards and really want to be dealt a straight flush (40/1) or three-of-a-kind (30/1). That’s the game—as simple as it could possibly be.
On my last hand of the trip, I doubled my bet with an early flight looming and the night slipping away, I looked down slowly at my three cards.
Queen. Queen. Queen.
Vegas, I missed you. See you at the 2022 NFL Draft?
Vegas Is Back, Baby: 2021 NFL Draft In Sin City & 2021 Wells Fargo Championship Bets
At the Window: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
THE GOOD: Vegas Tomfoolery … Followed by a Wild Mets Victory
I’m feeling it. So much so that I bet the New York Mets money line against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night.
The end result? A wild, weird game that ultimately ended 8-7 in the Mets’ favor. New York nearly blew a four-run lead in the ninth, although the homerun was overturned in replay after it hit the very, very top of the railing to stay back in the field of play. The Mets then got the final out.
When you’re running well, you celebrate it. This was certainly running well.
THE BAD: 2021 NFL Draft Props Largely Miss the Mark
It wasn’t all bad. I hit:
- the Over on Alabama players selected in the first round (5.5)
- the Over on running backs selected in the first round (.5)
- and a handful of other prop bets.
But I missed on plenty of others. I took the Over for total offensive linemen selected in the first round (7) and lost. I bet that fewer than 13 defensive players would be selected in the first round (and lost). I had cornerback Greg Newsome for Under pick No. 25, and he was drafted a spot later.
Not terrible, but not great.
THE UGLY: Hot Rod Charlie Comes Up Short in the 2021 Kentucky Derby
I loved this horse. I picked this horse in my 2021 Kentucky Derby Bet Tips. And for a good part of the homestretch, it looked like Hot Rod Charlie was on the verge of overtaking Medina Spirit for the win. He received a wonderful trick around the track, which is half the battle in a race with 20 horses.
But unfortunately, Hot Rod Charlie ran out of juice and had to settle for third. Not an awful showing, but for about 15 seconds I thought we had a winner.
What I’m Watching: NBA & the Wells Fargo Championship
There are only a few weeks left in the NBA regular season. In most years, there would be drama surrounding the top seeds, a.k.a. home court, which is always the case.
But with the new NBA play-in tournament between the seven and ten seeds, the winddown is a bit more curious. Time to lock in for the playoffs.
2021 Wells Fargo Championship Bets
While golf is always a fixture on the weekends, we haven’t been engulfed in it as much since The Masters. That changes this week with the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at the lovely Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC. An awesome field headlines the start of yet another fabulous stretch of golf.
Oh, you know there are 2021 Wells Fargo Bet picks. See below.
What I’m Betting: Let’s Bet Some NFL Futures and Some Golf
2021 Wells Fargo Championship Bet Tips & Picks
We have been oh so close on some of the golf picks over the past two months, and this week we’re searching for a breakthrough. Here are three outright winner bets I’ll be making for this weekend’s tournament.
Jon Rahm To Win 2021 Wells Fargo Championship +1000
Corey Conners +3300
Abraham Ancer +3300
All lines are current at PointsBet. PointsBet is offering new customers a Risk-Free Bet for up to $600. Sign up to claim this welcome promotion and wager on the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship.
2021 NFL Futures Bets
With the draft in the rearview and the NFL offseason (largely) complete, it’s time to reinvest in some NFL futures. Here are a few of the tickets I’m putting in.
Los Angeles Rams to Win NFC Championship (+550)
I’ve been back and forth between the Rams and the Packers when it comes to betting 2021-2022 NFC Champion. The Aaron Rodgers drama, which feels very real for Green Bay, is all I needed to finally make my move.
Cincinnati Bengals Under 6.5 Wins (-110)
Let me be clear. I love Joe Burrow. I love Ja’Marr Chase as a wideout. It’s fun that they are reunited. But not taking an offensive lineman with your first pick when your star QB is coming off a major knee injury just feels like a mistake. Cincinnati will be better, but it will not hit seven wins.
Zach Wilson Over 3,850.5 Yards Passing (-115)
As a Jets homer, I love this prop bet on PointsBet. I also think it has a chance to hit.
The Jets, unlike what they did with Sam Darnold, have surrounded Wilson with weapons. They have upgraded the offensive line. They have an offensive system that should work well with Wilson’s abilities. Over 17 games, Wilson has to pass for about 224 yards per outing. He can do this. He should do this.