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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

NFL Draft

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.

Kentucky Derby

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)

 

New Selections

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)

 

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NBA Betting News

  • Celtics +300 to win NBA Title

    The Boston Celtics are +300 to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship, per BettingPros consensus odds.

    Betting Impact:
    The Celtics are +300 ahead of their home date with the Warriors for Game 6. We will see a considerable odds shift if the Celtics can win Game 6 on their homecourt. Boston was +310 after Game 5.

  • Celtics vs. Warriors over/under listed at 210

    The over/under for Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors is listed at 210, per BettingPros consensus odds.

    Betting Impact:
    The total for this contest sits at 210, down from the 210.5 it opened at. 60 percent of the public action has come on the over.

  • Warriors -400 to win NBA Championship

    The Golden State Warriors are -400 to win the NBA Championship, per BettingPros consensus odds.

    Betting Impact:
    Golden State now sits at a prohibitive -400 to win the NBA Championship. For comparison, Stephen Curry MVP is -360. Andrew Wiggins, the dark horse to steal the award with a big close-out game, sits at +2000.

  • Celtics +310 to win NBA Championship

    The Boston Celtics are +310 to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship, per BettingPros consensus odds.

    Betting Impact:
    The Celtics peaked as high as high as -230 prior to Game 3 and now sit at an attractive +310. Boston entered the season at +4000. The odds could swing wildly again if Boston wins Game 6.

  • Warriors vs. Celtics over/under listed at 210.5

    The over/under for Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics is listed at 210.5, per BettingPros consensus odds.

    Betting Impact:
    The total for this contest sits at 210.5, down from the 212.5 it opened at. 72 percent of the public action has come on the over.