5 Bets to Make This Week
With NCAA hoops behind us, this week's 5 Bets is all over the pitch: UEFA soccer, golf, hockey, NASCAR. (OK, we also managed to sneak in an NCAA futures bet).
With NCAA Men’s Basketball behind us, this week’s 5 Bets go to pro soccer, golf, hockey, and NASCAR.
But we did manage to sneak in a college basketball futures bet. The 2021 NCAA championship game was less than a week ago, but I found a futures bet on the 2022 winner at William Hill. The Gonzaga Bulldogs, trounced in the title game Monday, are favorites to win next year. I bypassed the Zags and went with another team to win it all.
In this week’s 5 Bets, I also went with an underdog in the Masters Tournament. I didn’t bet him to win, but took him in a three-way bet.
In the NHL, I picked two teams that aren’t doing much in the East Division, but like to score plenty of goals when they face each other.
In soccer, I took a respected Premier League team to dominate a lesser squad from La Liga.
For my final wager, I took a NASCAR star to win the Blue-Emu 500.
- Manchester United -160 over Granada +475
- Justin Thomas +188 3-Way Jon Rahm+188, Dustin Johnson +150
- Buffalo/New Jersey Under 5.5 goals
- Brad Keselowski to Win 6/1 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
- Michigan 14/1 to Win 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
Manchester United Should Handle Granada
The quarter-finals are back in the UEFA Europa League and the first of two soccer games begin on Thursday. Manchester United is traveling to Spain to take on Granada. Man U is a -160 favorite over Granada, which is getting +475.
There are two big reasons Manchester United is such a heavy favorite. First, it plays in the Premier League, a much more competitive league than Spain’s La Liga. Man. U is currently in second place in the Premier League, while Granada’s in ninth in La Liga.
Second, Granada is missing two key players for the contest. Midfielder Luis Milla and attacker Luis Suarez are out with muscle injuries.
Even though Granada will be hosting the first match, expect Manchester United to handle them with ease.
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Justin Thomas to Prevail over Rahm, Johnson
I believed Justin Thomas should have been the favorite to win the Masters from the start, not Dustin Johnson. Johnson is still tops at 9/1, with Thomas lumped in at 11/1 with Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, and Bryson DeChambeau.
William Hill has a three-way bet with Thomas +188, Rahm +188, and +150 Johnson, and I like Thomas to come out on top of that trio.
Johnson might be the defending champion, but Thomas has a track record at Augusta National. He’s finished fourth, 12th and 17th at his last three Masters, and improved every year since his first appearance in 2016. I also like that he won the Players Championship a month ago—that tournament had a strong field, like the one that’s playing this week.
Rahm just celebrated the birth of his son, and that momentous event might distract the Spaniard from playing his best. Johnson probably won’t repeat because it’s hard to do so, and he isn’t playing his best golf right now.
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Buffalo-New Jersey Should Keep Scoring
The trend with the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils is that goals often come in bunches. The two played on Tuesday and the final was Buffalo 5, New Jersey 3, going well over the 5.5 line set.
The same 5.5 line is up for the second game on Thursday, and I’m banking on another high-scoring affair. While the over/under has a 3-3 record, the Sabres scored their five goals in New Jersey’s building. The two will be back in Buffalo on Thursday.
Another factor to consider is that Buffalo has hit the over in five of their last nine games. New Jersey been over five of their last eight.
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Keselowski Picks Up First 2021 Victory
In a NASCAR season that has so far been extremely unpredictable, Brad Keselowski might restore some sanity this Saturday at the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Keselowski won this race in 2017 and 2019, so superstition should point towards him capturing it again in 2021. Of course if you want to bank on something other than a quirky trend, look at his record in non-winning years.
The 37-year-old finished third in 2020, 10th in 2018, and fifth in 2016. He likes this track, and should be near the finish line on Saturday.
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Michigan Could Rule College Basketball in 2022
Watching most Big Ten Conference teams flame out in the 2021 NCAA tournament, I couldn’t help noticing the poise of the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan reached the Elite 8, and would have made the Final Four if not for an unbelievable performance by UCLA.
Next year, I see the Wolverines in the mix to win the National Championship. They have odds of 14/1, and that alone makes me want to take them. They also have a respected head coach in Juwan Howard. If most of the players who are eligible to return do so, I like Michigan’s chances.
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