In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer has a suggestion for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, gets primed for The Match, and previews Wimbledon. He also provides his picks for the week ahead, including the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Why The NBA Season Should Start On Christmas
Adam Silver, allow me to offer up a sliver of advice. I know you’re busy with the 2021 NBA Conference Finals and all, but what I’m about to say is something you and your league should strongly consider.
Start the NBA season on Christmas Day. It’s that simple.
Turn a day about joy and gifts (and NBA basketball) into a day about joy and gifts and even more NBA basketball. Turn Christmas into Gambler’s Christmas.
We have all been very good this year (well, except for a few idiot sports fans). Give us this present — we’ve earned it.
Better yet, accept the present I’m giving to you right now. I say this not just as a New York Knicks fan and someone who thoroughly enjoys wagering on your product, but as someone who sees where the NBA is and where it’s going.
The last two years have not been kind to anyone, especially NBA superstars — many of whom have suffered significant injuries lately. Your players are going to need more time to heal, and a few extra months of rest would do them and the rest of the league well.
Two long, challenging seasons due to COVID are not the only reasons why the NBA should adjust its calendar. The reality is that a later start and a later finish have no downside.
The fall belongs to football, so why not avoid competing with the NFL and college football as much as possible? Start your season as football starts to wind down around the holidays and wrap things up during the heat of summer — a well-known dead zone for sports beyond baseball.
I’ll always bet on the NBA on Christmas Day no matter what. But if these are the first games of the year, Mr. Silver, I promise you that I will wager much more and care a great deal more as well. I will be less distracted by football for more of your season and invest in the NBA in a way that I haven’t to date.
It’s not just the injuries, it’s everything. Make Christmas even better by accepting this free gift of advice.
A very active gambler.
Last Week’s Gambling Report Card
In a word, meh. The 2021 NBA Playoffs treated me well overall, with the exception of backing the Phoenix Suns as a small chalk in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers. At least I had the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which was as comfortable of a win in the NBA as I’ve had in some time.
In the land of MMA, not no grand. I lost the main event of Saturday’s UFC card when I backed Alexander Volkov over Ciryl Gane. I was back and forth through much of the day, unable to gather much momentum. Not an awful week, but not the one I’ll retire on, either.
What I’m Watching: 2021 NBA Playoffs, The Match, & Wimbledon
2021 NBA Playoffs
The 2021 NBA Conference Finals are in motion, although the question is for how long. Phoenix and Los Angeles delivered a throwback, defensive-focused slugfest in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, while Milwaukee topped Atlanta in Game 3 to take the lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. Regardless of how long they last, I will be investing in both series.
With the holiday weekend coming up, I’m including the July 6th event on this week’s installment. Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady will take on Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers in Montana, and I can’t wait. Mickelson is an incredible narrator of the event, DeChambeau will likely be painfully awkward, and Brady and Rodgers are two of the fiercest competitors in professional sports. Hook this into my veins.
I’m still buzzing after Novak Djokovic’s French Open performance, and that momentum should carry over into this event. On the men’s side, I’m curious if a new face can break through or if Djokovic will prevail. Will Roger Federer find health and youth?
On the women’s side, Serena Williams is always the big draw. Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka don’t trail far behind, however, and can Cori Gauff deliver? I’m admittedly a tennis novice, but I’ll still be betting and watching.
What I’m Betting: 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, 2021 NBA Playoffs, & College Football
2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic
Before we get to The Match, we’ve got a quality field at the Detroit Golf Club for a little Independence Day golf. Bryson DeChambeau is the chalk and the defending champ, although I’ll try to beat him with a couple of picks.
Hideki Matsuyama To Win Tournament (+1600)
Jason Kokrak To Win Tournament (+2500)
2021 NBA Playoffs
2021 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4: Atlanta Hawks (+7) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (-110)
Hats off to Bucks for an impressive Game 3 showing, but I don’t see Khris Middleton delivering another performance like that. The Hawks will remain scrappy and bounce back at home to even the series.
College Football Futures
As we get closer to football season, I’ll continue to throw futures into the mix as for NFL and college football.
Georgia Bulldogs To Win National Championship (+800)
Georgia is as gifted as any team in the country. This is the roster Kirby Smart has been building, and the rest of the conference lost plenty of talent.
Texas A&M Aggies To Win National Championship (+2500)
Two SEC teams, I know, I know. But the more I dive into this roster, the more I love it. I might be a year early here, but things are coming together in Aggie Land.
All bets, odds, and lines are courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM offers new players a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. with our hands-on review.