In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer talks about the potential new college football playoff format, gets primed for the 2021 US Open, and recaps UFC 263. He also tries to stay hot betting MMA, throws in some NFL futures, and touches on the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Normally, this opening is largely about gambling. Bad beats. Conquering parlays. Window drama. If you’re a regular reader, you know the drill.
But I can’t help but sink into college football and the proposed shiny new college football playoff format. It’s not just the format, but what it would mean from an entertainment and gambling perspective if it is indeed adopted (spoiler alert; it almost certainly will be).
For those who missed out, here’s a quick recap of the new college football playoff format. The sport is likely moving towards a 12-team playoff that would place the top six conference champions and six at-large teams in a remodeled postseason. The top four teams would get byes, and first-round matchups would be played on college campuses (yes!) before moving to traditional bowls in the next rounds. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee would still exist, sadly.
Overall, I like it. It seems odd that a team like Notre Dame would never earn a bye because it’s not in a conference. It’s also strange that the top four seeds would be deprived of games on their campuses because their seasons were too good. But on the whole, I’m excited about it.
As for you, Joe and Jane Gambler, you should be thrilled. College football is the best sport in the universe to wager on. Everything else is a close second. Rivalries, massive home-field advantages, imperfect special teams. Seriously, I get excited just thinking about a new season inching closer.
This new college football playoff format would not hurt your experience; it would only add to it. More high-profile games to bet on. More meaningful in-season results. More of what makes college football the greatest sport on the planet — something I cannot state enough.
The commercialization and NFL-ization of CFB should not be feared; it should be embraced. This won’t make Alabama-LSU in the regular season any less relevant. If anything, this allows the regular season to breathe and other teams and conferences to join the fun.
Expanding the college football playoffs was a formality, a matter of how and when. And by the looks of it, we know what is coming.
You don’t have to do anything but continue to enjoy all the incredible things college football provides. Only now, there will be more high-stakes games to watch and wager on from the moment the season begins.
How do you make a sport this wonderful that much better? Just give us more of it.
New College Football Playoff Format, UFC 263 Recap & UFC Bet Picks
At The Window: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
THE GOOD: UFC 263
Our picks last week finished a very “meh” 2-2, although the overall card was a success as I bet 11 fights and finished 8-3. The highlight, of course, was picking Brandon Moreno as a (+195) underdog vs. Deiveson Figueiredo. The fight and those odds made for a fantastic evening, the kind of memorable moment we’ll be talking about for some time. With more fights coming, I’m going to stay active. More picks below.
THE BAD: I Bet The Denver Nuggets, And It Didn’t Go Well
Game 3. Denver giving two points. To me, this felt like a perfect bounce-back opportunity for the Nuggets after two rough opening games to start the series with the Phoenix Suns. Within the first 10 minutes, I felt like I had made a huge mistake, which was indeed the case.
As an aside, why has Chris Paul changed teams so many times? The guy is an absolute machine. Like my pick of this game, trading him has largely been a bad idea.
THE UGLY: Jamahal Hill Loses At UFC 263 And Dislocates His Arm In The Process
I can say that I have been on the wrong side of all the brutal injuries suffered during UFC fights during the past few months. The latest — a dislocated arm suffered by Jamahal Hill at the hands of Paul Craig — ultimately ended the match.
Even with his arm flopping around, Hill still tried to fight back. It was a surreal scene that the ref inexplicably allowed to continue, and the replays were not easy on the eyes. The shocking and good news for Hill is that his arm wasn’t broken, just dislocated. What a weird sentence to type.
What I’m Watching: 2021 US Open, More UFC, And 2021 NBA Playoffs
2021 US Open
What I appreciate most about the US Open is how stubborn and difficult the golf course is usually staged. We’ll never know what we would shoot under these conditions — the distance, the rough, the pins — but we can see the pain and anguish on the faces of the game’s best players for four days. Torrey Pines Golf Course should deliver some spectacular views and wonderful entertainment. Oh, and we’ll have picks — that much is certain.
UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige
While it doesn’t have the same intrigue as UFC 263, I’ll try to keep my hot streak alive with a little UFC Fight Night fun. The main event — Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige — is a doozy. Plus, the seasoned Aleksei Oleinik is fighting, which is always entertaining. And while the card isn’t the same quality as what we just watched, it’s still plenty good. Count me in.
2021 NBA Playoffs
Injuries. Drama. Underdog franchises. You want it, this postseason has it. I’ve really enjoyed these playoffs thus far, and I only expect that to continue. There are lots of great betting opportunities and plenty of reasons to tune in.
What I’m Betting: A Little Bit Of Everything
2021 US Open
I’m sorry to be a tease here, but I have to be. I will have a full breakdown of picks on the site later this week. Best believe we will be all over this in a big way — so big that we need our own story to cover it.
UFC Fight Night
I’ve got three picks for Saturday’s event — two favorites and one underdog:
Dan Ige (-105) vs. Chan Sung Jung
Matt Brown (+150) vs. Dhiego Lima
Kalinn Williams (-165) vs. Matthew Semelsberger
2021 NFL Futures
I am currently doing videos for the site each week where I make my NFL division picks. A few notable ones have stood out:
Tennessee Titans To Win AFC South (+110)
Washington Football Team To Win NFC East (+250)
All odds and bet lines are courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM offers a Risk-Free Bet for up to $600 for new players. with our hands-on review.
Thanks for reading The Ticket! Check out more of The Game Day’s betting picks and tips here.