In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer talks about Jon Rahm’s DQ at the 2021 Memorial Tournament, Jacob deGrom’s dominance, and the 2021 NBA Playoffs without LeBron James. He also makes some UFC 263 bet picks.
I didn’t bet Jon Rahm. He’s been a fixture of the Adam Kramer Golf Betting Stable™ over the years, but I didn’t peg him to conquer the 2021 Memorial Tournament last weekend. If I had — even though he was the favorite and was hovering around 9/1 before the weekend began — the tone of this article would be very different.
For those who spent their weekend without internet or television, Rahm was disqualified from the 2021 Memorial Tournament after the third round due to a positive COVID test. The moment Rahm learned of his positive test after the round was painfully captured on the live broadcast. If you haven’t seen it, he reacted the way anyone with a six-shot lead would have reacted.
Now, a few pieces of information before we dive down the gambling wormhole. First off, Rahm appears to be fine. Devastated, undoubtedly, but fine. When talking about COVID, one must start there.
After Jon Rahm‘s DQ, Patrick Cantlay — who was 20/1 to win the event — ultimately beat Collin Morikawa (16/1) in a one-hole playoff to win the 2021 Memorial Tournament.
The result is final, although the gambling impact is certainly fascinating. Sportsbooks William Hill and BetMGM announced they were grading all Rahm bets as winners, meaning the tickets placed would be paid. Other sportsbooks, including Circa Sports and Westgate, decided not to honor those tickets as winners.
This is not the first time we’ve seen something like this. Bad beats and unique circumstances surrounding events have ultimately allowed certain sportsbooks to pay out both sides in an effort to generate positive headlines. And you know what? Not a bad idea.
But I also can’t help but side with Circa and others in not paying out, and I’m not saying that just because I find Circa to be a delightful book with a wonderful home base in Las Vegas.
Things happen. Injuries and other once-in-a-decade-type events can quickly alter the outcome of a bet. This situation, we hope, is more of an outlier than anything else. I simply don’t have a strong feeling about a book grading a wager based on the actual outcome, no matter how strange and unfortunate it might be. Consistency is important, regardless of where you placed your wager.
That said, I didn’t have that ticket. If I did, I would probably be writing a different opening. And if you did and didn’t get paid, well, the next beer is on me.
Actually, make it two.
Jon Rahm’s DQ, UFC 263 Bet Picks & 2021 NBA Playoffs Without LeBron James
At the Window: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
THE GOOD: UFC Fight Night
I gave out two UFC picks last week, and they both cashed. I had Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-118) over Augusto Sakai along with Marcin Tybura (-177) beating Walt Harris. Both ended in knockouts. Yes, chalk, but a good start nevertheless to a week that is UFC-heavy (see below for my UFC 263 bet picks).
THE BAD: The 2021 Belmont Stakes (and Hot Rod Charlie)
I did it again. After incorrectly picking Hot Rod Charlie to win the Kentucky Derby, I did the same in the Belmont Stakes. Once again, Hot Rod Charlie let me down. Kudos to Essential Quality on the victory: That might be a very quality horse in the future (pun intended).
THE UGLY: Anyone Who Bet on Jon Rahm and Lost (Yes, Again)
Again, it wasn’t me, but a loss this bad demands multiple spots in this weekly column. I’ve thought about Jon Rahm‘s DQ so much that it feels like I somehow lost money. Seriously, beers on me.
What I’m Watching: UFC 263, 2021 NBA Playoffs, and Jacob $%^&ing deGrom
What a card. I could probably just stop there, but allow me to elaborate. While certain fighters — Conor McGregor, for example — can lift a pay-per-view by themselves, some events are simply stacked.
This is one of those events. Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori and Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno are two wonderful headliners. Throw in Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz and Belal Muhammad vs. Demian Maia, among others, and we are very likely to be entertained. Full picks to follow.
2021 NBA Playoffs
No LeBron James? No New York Knicks? Whatever, man.
I hope we can all learn to celebrate teams from Arizona and Utah — markets that don’t always move the needle ratings-wise. As someone who simply loves great basketball, I implore you to see what incredible basketball is being played by teams that we might not be familiar with.
MLB (specifically Jacob deGrom)
I want to focus on something MLB-specific that I admittedly have a great deal of bias towards. If you are not watching every start Jacob deGrom makes at the moment, you are missing out.
Yes, I’m a Mets fan — there is no getting around that — but deGrom currently has an ERA of 0.62 (!). That is not a typo. Please tune in — you’ll be glad you did.
What I’m Betting: UFC 263 Bet Picks
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori Fight Goes Distance (-162)
I expect Vettori to follow the blueprint he used against Kevin Holland to bring Adesanya to the ground. If he can do that, he might be able to hang around.
Brandon Moreno (+195) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
The first installment of this fight, which took place in December, was one of the greatest I have ever seen and ended in a draw. Had Moreno not injured his shoulder, he would’ve fought even better. Give me the underdog.
Demian Maia (+185) vs. Belal Muhammad
I think Maia’s style could present an issue here. One concern is that his last fight was over a year ago, although I see some value in this line.
Jamahal Hill (-300) vs. Paul Craig
I have no issues playing big chalk when it’s warranted, and this is one of those moments.
Thanks for reading The Ticket! Check out more of The Game Day’s UFC 263 bet picks and fight predictions here.