5 Bets to Make This Week
This week’s 5 best bets include NASCAR, UFC 265, a winning WNBA team, PGA golf, and a contender for NFL Offensive ROY.
With the Summer Olympics winding down and the NFL season a month away, there’s currently a bit of a lull in sports betting. But we get a bump with NASCAR returning from a two-week break. At Watkins Glen this week, I like a driver with an affinity for road courses. The main event at UFC 265 could provide the next contender for the heavyweight crown, and I’m leaning toward the underdog.
With men’s Olympic golf concluded, the PGA Tour gets some attention, with a Tokyo participant expected to make the Top 5. The WNBA Championship is still a few months away, but I like the favorite to capture the title. Lastly, I fulfill my NFL fix by betting on the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
This Week’s 5 Bets
- Xander Schauffele to Finish Top 5 +300 at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational
- Derrick Lewis +280 to defeat Ciryl Gane at UFC 265
- Kyle Larson +500 to Win at Watkins Glen
- Las Vegas Aces +220 to Win the WNBA Championship
- Kyle Pitts +1000 to Win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
Schauffele Will Deliver
Usually I’d shy away from a golfer who won the previous week, especially when it was an Olympic win. But I think Xander Schauffele is invigorated after winning the gold medal in men’s golf in Tokyo. I expect him to keep the momentum going at the World Golf Championship’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
The 27-year-old told reporters Tuesday that he’s still adjusting a bit from the 2020 games, but will be ready for this week. “Fortunately, I’m not coming to a new property, but one I’ve played a few times and had minimal success on,” Schauffele said. “I think I’m obviously in decent form coming overseas. Looking forward to the week.”
Schauffele is usually around the top of the leaderboard in big events, and with 48 of the Top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings playing in Memphis, the strong field should bring out the best in him.
That said, I don’t think he’ll win. I do believe he’ll make the Top 5. BetMGM has him at +300 to achieve that, and I’ll play it safe.
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Lewis Pulls Off Upset at UFC 265
The main event at UFC 265 features a heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Frenchman Ciryl Gane. Whoever wins will be the top contender in the division, so there’s a lot at stake on Saturday night.
The contest is in Houston, which favors Texan Lewis. He’s a pretty big underdog at +280 at Caesars Sportsbook (formerly William Hill), with Gane at -350.
For Lewis to pull off the upset, he’ll need to employ his thundering right hand. Gane will win if he can avoid that knock-out punch, which Lewis has used so devastatingly in past bouts.
Yes, Gane’s the overwhelming favorite, but I’ll take the underdog at +280.
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Larson Back on Track at Watkins Glen
Kyle Larson has been dominating NASCAR this season, though he’s recently cooled a bit. After finishing either first or second in seven consecutive races, he’s only posted one Top 5 finish in his last five races.
That could change this Sunday at Watkins Glen. The drivers are on a road course, and with Larson’s prior success on this type of track, I’m backing him to win at +500.
Chase Elliott is the favorite to win at +185 at PointsBet. Elliott has been impressive on road tracks, finishing with seven victories in his last 11 races on that layout. But Larson won at Sonoma earlier this year, and he’s due for another victory.
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Aces Favorites to Win WNBA Championship
I should have made this bet six months ago, and I’m kicking myself for waiting. The Las Vegas Aces opened the year at +350 to win the WNBA Championship, well behind the Seattle Storm, who were at +175.
As the season’s progressed, however, the Aces have shown they’re the team to beat; they’re now at +220 at BetMGM. Those were the best odds found, and I pounced on it, since I saw lines for the Aces at other sportsbooks at anywhere from +180 to +205.
The Aces are still a game behind the Storm in the Western Conference, but come playoff time, their talent will be too much for any team to overcome.
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Pitts Wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
I’m very excited about this pick. Most draft experts believe tight end Kyle Pitts will be an immediate impact player for the Atlanta Falcons. I share that belief, and take it one step further. I think Pitts will be the dominant offensive rookie. I’ll take the NFL’s Offensive ROY award away from the four quarterbacks listed above him.
Unlike the QBs, who will be thrown into an offense and be forced to climb a learning curve, Pitts is ready to make an instant splash. The Falcons traded away wide receiver Julio Jones, and this only ups Pitts’ potential. If he performs well, he’ll win the award. And at +1000, I like the upside of this bet.
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