In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer pours one out for the Utah Jazz after their ugly collapse, congratulates Jon Rahm on his US Open win, and gets excited for Wander Franco’s MLB debut. He also makes some bet picks on UFC, golf, and the 2021 NBA Conference Finals.
I had just poured myself a second glass of wine (fine, it was my third). After winning my first bet of the evening, I was feeling it. And, even better, my second bet was cruising.
Now, you know where this is headed. Normally, I share my heartbreak wagers down below (and I’ll still do that), but this kind of moment warrants something more.
I loved the Utah Jazz (-3) against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of their series, and not just because Kawhi Leonard was out. It felt like a really good spot. And for at least a while, as I guzzled (slightly) above-average red wine, I was already celebrating a perfect night.
I should have known better. If you bet enough, you learn that regardless of score or sport, things happen. I’ve lost in ways that are truly hard to comprehend — beats that I still think about. And yet, with the Jazz dominating a team without its star player while facing elimination, I felt confident.
Consider that Utah led 75-50 early in the third quarter. This wager was won.
And then it wasn’t. The Clippers went on an 11-0 run. Then a 17-0 run. As Utah’s seemingly insurmountable lead evaporated, I still felt like they would find a way to pull it out. But it never happened.
Instead, the Utah Jazz collapsed in horrific fashion. The Jazz allowed an unfathomable 81 points during their second-half collapse — a good chunk of them to Terance Mann, who suddenly couldn’t miss. Eventually, Los Angeles simply swallowed Utah whole.
No drama. No suspense. This wasn’t just a terrible beat. This was simply a bet that looked so good, only to turn out so, so wrong. It produced a box score for the ages, a tale of two halves and a reminder of how quickly things can change.
The Jazz didn’t just not cover; they lost by 12 and got eliminated from the 2021 NBA Playoffs in humiliating fashion. As the game ended, I sat on my couch in disbelief, empty glass in hand.
I’m still not sure what happened or how it happened, but I know I won’t count the money before it hits my account again. Well, at least until I do it again the next time.
Utah Jazz Collapse, Jon Rahm Wins US Open, & Wander Franco Arrives
At The Window: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
THE GOOD: The UFC Hot Streak Continues
I went 2-1 on my UFC picks that were posted last week. Overall, I finished the night a very cool 7-2. It’s been a good run in the octagon — a mix of underdogs and chalk — and I hope that stays the case this week before a small break. Matt Brown’s upset knockout of Dhiego Lima was probably the highlight of the night. Let’s try to stay hot.
THE BAD: 2021 US Open Betting (AKA Jon Rahm’s Redemption)
It wasn’t a complete disaster. In fact, there were flashes that things might go our way. I bet that Collin Morikawa would finish top 10 (+200) and just missed Xander Schauffele finishing in the top 5. Jordan Speith was a miss to win the event, and my long underdogs didn’t really hit.
I said out of the gate that Jon Rahm was very much alive to win the US Open (he was the favorite, after all). Sadly, however, he wasn’t on our ticket. What a win for him after such a weird few months.
THE UGLY: Seriously, That Utah Jazz Collapse
You read everything I wrote above. And as much as I can play off the glasses of wine and the way I can stomach a loss like that, this is going to linger for some time. The 2021 NBA Playoffs have been hit or miss for me, although no miss was larger than this. Some losses sting more than others. This one’s going to hurt for awhile.
What I’m Watching: 2021 NBA Playoffs, UFC, & Wander Franco’s MLB Debut
2021 NBA Conference Finals
After a lackluster start, the NBA postseason action has simply been delightful. Sure, injuries stink. But the games and outcomes — even those that cost us money — have been great. While many will likely avoid the NBA postseason with both No. 1 seeds out and smaller markets making noise, I will be doing the opposite.
The storylines and intrigue are everywhere. Don’t avoid these games because of the “markets” — that would be very dumb. Embrace Milwaukee and Phoenix and Atlanta — and sure, the other LA team — for what they are and what they aren’t.
UFC Fight Night
We get a week off for the 4th of July, so we’ll be heavily invested and involved in the last card before Conor McGregor fights again. Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov is a fascinating heavyweight main event fight, and the co-main between Tanner Boser and Ovince Saint Preux is interesting as well. Just a heads up, the main card will start early at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, so make sure you get your plays in early (picks below).
WanderVision: Wander Franco Arrives In Tampa Bay
Baseball’s consensus No. 1 overall prospect — 20-year-old Wander Franco — will make his MLB debut this week. A five-tool shortstop with a superstar ceiling, Franco has been one of the more hyped prospects in recent memory. After tearing up the minor leagues, he’s ready for the bigs. If you watch only one baseball event this week, make it Wander Franco’s MLB debut.
What I’m Betting: MMA, 2021 NBA Conference Finals, & More Golf
The sports calendar has plenty to offer this time of year, and we will take full advantage of the unique lineup. Here is what I’ll be wagering on this week.
UFC Fight Night
Alexander Volkov (+135) vs. Ciryl Gane
Like I said, we’ve had some good luck with underdogs lately. Let’s see if we can keep it going.
Nicolas Dalby (+128) vs. Tim Means
Another potential upset I like on this card.
2021 NBA Conference Finals
2021 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks (-7) vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Bucks are the better team and they’re at home. I think they set the tone with a big Game 1 victory.
2021 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 2: Los Angeles Clippers (+6) at Phoenix Suns
The Clippers lost Game 1 but kept it close, losing by six. Even without Leonard, I like their chances of bouncing back to even the series in Game 2, or at least keep things close again.
2021 PGA Travelers Championship
Patrick Reed (+2000) To Win
Reed’s been getting favorable odds lately and I’m ready to take a chance on him.
Tony Finau (+2800) To Win
I’m feeling frisky with this one if you’re looking to take a longer shot.
All bet odds and lines courtesy of PointsBet. Our friends at PointsBet are offering new customers 2 Risk-Free Bets for up to $2,000. with our hands-on review.
Thanks for reading The Ticket! Check out more of The Game Day’s betting picks and tips here.