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In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer finds optimism for his New York Jets during draft week and also drops draft props. Adam also dives into the Kentucky Derby and celebrates an eventful week in UFC.
For my entire life, I have rooted for a football team that has largely disappointed me. In fact, “largely” doesn’t quite cut it. The New York Jets, the team I inherited from my father, have constantly crushed my soul.
Sure, we had that fling under Rex Ryan and two AFC Championship cameos. Chad Pennington had his moments, too. But the good has been drastically outweighed by the bad, and that’s putting it mildly.
This team has stunk.
But this week, I am hopeful. Just like always. The NFL Draft is, of course, football’s ultimate source of optimism—even if this optimism never materialized. (For the Jets, that has mostly been the case.)
I should know better, but I can’t help it. I can’t help but think that Zach Wilson will change the future and the days of being 90/1 to win the Super Bowl will soon be behind us. That now is the time they will finally get it right.
Perhaps you root for a bad football team. Maybe that team is the Jets or another sputtering operation incapable of prolonged success. If so, I wish you nothing but good fortune this draft. We have waited too long.
Also, let the optimism flow. I know you’ve been burned before. But this is your week and your year.
No games will be played, but I enjoy this week more than most actual contests. As such, I will be in Las Vegas for the draft. There will be cocktails enjoyed. Good food had. I will heavily invest in all sorts of draft props—many of which I will post below.
May the Jets’ selections be the right ones and the prop bets come in. Cheers to draft week.
This Week’s The Ticket
At the Window: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
THE GOOD: Rose Namajunas (+170) vs. Weili Zhang at UFC 261
This was my favorite bet of UFC 261, and Namajunas did not disappoint. An early high kick ultimately did the job, and a lovely underdog cashed before the fight could even reach much of a rhythm. While I pegged Namajunas at +155 last week, I was more than happy to see that line move in my direction. UFC picks went 2-0 last week. You love to see it.
THE BAD: I Bet the Brewers… and They Lost by Roughly 1,000 Runs
Betting baseball early in the season has provided some up-and-down results. That is a nice way of saying results have, well, varied. To be more specific, I bet the Brewers against the Cubs on Friday and they lost a cool 15-2. The Cubs scored six runs in the first inning and followed it up with four runs in the second inning. At that point, I stopped checking my phone for the scores. There is something to be said about losing this way versus a walk-off home run. I will gladly that this cratering over sudden, dramatic disappointment.
THE UGLY: Chris Weidman’s Broken Leg at UFC 261
I backed Chris Weidman as a slight favorite against Uriah Hall. Ultimately, that was a quick loser. But the bet itself was not the story. Weidman’s leg snapped on a kick from Hall, prompting some grotesque visuals and even more grotesque instant replays. (If you didn’t see it live and you would like to, search for it online. WARNING: It is not an easy watch.) I wish I could un-see it. All the best to Weidman on his path to recovery.
What I’m Watching: NFL Draft, Kentucky Derby
Oh, it’s time. After reading an ungodly amount of mock drafts and diving face first in speculation, the NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday night with the first round. Rounds two and three will take place on Friday night, and then rounds four through seven will be filled on Saturday. Beyond the betting and rooting interests in the Jets, I love this event for the spectacle that it is. Trades. Nonsense. All of it. I am just thrilled it is finally here.
Like the Masters, the Kentucky Derby was moved from its original time slate due to COVID last year. And like the Masters, it simply wasn’t the same. This event should be different from 2020 and certainly different from 2019, although it still presents a wonderful betting opportunity from the casual and experienced bettor. I’ll have picks on the website later this week once my scouting is complete.
New York Knicks (Yes, AGAIN)
On the topic of New York sports teams that have crushed my soul, here are the New York Knicks. They’ve won nine in a row and covered the spread in their last 12 games. This week, they get Phoenix (Monday), Chicago (Wednesday) and travel to Houston (Sunday). The Suns seem poised to end the streak, but this has been quite a run.
What I’m Betting: Lets Go Hog Wild on NFL Draft Props
As mentioned above, I’ll have a Derby breakdown later in the week. This week, however, is all about the draft. Below are draft props I’ve posted from previous columns along with new selections.
Previous Selections (With Original Odds When They Were Posted)
Total Alabama Players Drafted in First Round: Over 5.5 (-200)
Player To Be Drafted First: DeVonta Smith (-112) over Jaylen Waddle
DeVonta Smith NFL Draft Position: Under 11.5 (-125)
Running Backs Selected in the 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Over 0.5 (-250)
Wide Receivers Drafted in 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Under 4.5 (+130)
Kyle Pitts NFL Draft Position: Under 5.5 (-130)
Travis Etienne NFL Draft Position: Over 33.5 (+100)
Greg Newsome NFL Draft Position: Under 24.5 (-112)
Total Offensive Linemen Drafted in the First Round: Over 6.5 (-112)
Total Defensive Players Drafted in the First Round: Under 13.5 (+101)