5 Bets to Make This Week
This week, 5 Bets takes a look at the Scottish Open, Tour de France, NASCAR, Los Angeles Dodgers and Wimbledon.
The Tour de France is one of sports most grueling tests and you can never tell who might be wiped out by a crash or some other odd circumstance.
And on the grass courts of Wimbledon, a showdown between a past champion and an up-and-comer may make history.
5 Bets to Make This Week
- Will Zalatoris to finish in Top 10 at Scottish Open +270
- Primoz Roglic to win Tour de France +400
- Kurt Busch wins Quaker 400 at Atlanta +2500
- Kershaw to defeat the Cubs in L.A. on Saturday -250
- Halep to win the women’s Wimbledon championship +110
Will Zalatoris Contends at Scottish Open
The Scottish Open is the final tune-up prior to the final major of the season, the Open Championship at St. Andrews. Lots of pros have used this event to get used to the weather and the links golf that you encounter in the UK and few other places.
But this year, the Scottish Open is actually part of the PGA Tour, which means it provides points toward the season-ending FedEx Cup. The field for this Open is much deeper than usual.
Like the Open Championship, the Scottish Open rotates through different courses each year. This year’s course, the Renaissance Club is a par-71 that measures just over 7,300 yards. Like virtually all UK golf tracks, the Renaissance is subject to the vagaries of the weather, so stellar iron play is required. While the long bombers can always be impactful, players like Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas can use their accuracy to contend for the title.
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Primoz Roglic Upset to Win Tour de France
You remember the Tour de France, right? That famous bicycle race that Lance Armstrong seemed to win every year? Right. And then he didn’t because he took steroids (along with most other riders), and American interest in the race fell off a cliff.
Well, they’re still running that crazy race after a short delay prompted by the pandemic. But like during the Armstrong era, it seems one rider is always head-and-shoulders above the field, and this year it’s Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar who won the 2021 version by more than five minutes, the equivalent of a country mile.
But the Tour de France is a brutal undertaking and even if you are the favorite by far—Pogacar is -140—you never know what could happen. Well it just so happens that Pogacar’s chief rival is a fellow Slovenian, Primoz Roglic. He would like nothing better to beat Pogacar and win his first Tour for his country. Will there be a wreck or some other kind of hazard that will take down Pogacar? Worth a shot with Roglic at +400.
Kurt Busch to Repeat at Quaker 400
As a Las Vegas resident, it’s always fun to watch our two hometown boys go head-to-head and last year’s Quaker 400 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway was one for the ages. Older brother Kurt held off Kyle Busch to take the victory, finishing 1-2 in the race.
This week in the return to Atlanta the younger brother has better odds to win at +1200. Considering the great competition last year, why not throw a few bucks on Kurt to repeat and get +2500? He likes this track and knows how to run high and long, so a bet on the Busch boy with the better payback makes sense. And when you consider that Kurt has finished in the Top 3 in three of the last seven races, winning at the Kansas Speedway less than six weeks ago, it makes sense.
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Clayton Kershaw will defeat the Cubs on Saturday
It’s almost the end of the line for the legendary Clayton Kershaw, one of the top pitchers to ever play for the Los Angeles (and Brooklyn) Dodgers. He signed a one-year extension this year after a somewhat disappointing season—for Kershaw—in 2021. But he came back stronger than ever to start the season with five consecutive wins before being struck down by a familiar back injury.
He’s back, and after a disappointing effort in Colorado (a disappointing place to play for many pitchers) he returned with a strong effort against the rival San Diego Padres last Sunday, tossing seven scoreless innings. But with little run support and a leaky bullpen he ended up with no decision.
With the All Star Game being played in Los Angeles next week, Kershaw is on the bubble for being selected. He needs another strong effort to join the squad and maybe go out in style in his hometown. His opponents are the awful Chicago Cubs.
But he’s facing what is probably the best Cubs pitcher in Keegan Thompson, with a 7-3 record and a 3.41 ERA. But if the Dodgers hitters wake up and the Cubs lineup continues to snooze it should be no contest as demonstrated by the hefty odds in favor of Kershaw at -250. But go with your heart. Clayton will win.
Halep to reign again at Wimbledon
The women’s bracket at the historic Wimbledon championships is always fascinating. Usually, it’s because one of the big superstars of the era—think Chris Evert, the Williams sisters, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles—dominate and put on a great show.
This year, with a roster of great tennis players, upsets took out many of the favorites. Serena Williams celebrated her first Wimbledon in five years with a first-round exit. Iga Swiatek went down swinging. American teenager Coco Gauff lost weakly. And Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka and Eugenie Bouchard didn’t even show up.
That left the field wide open for first time challengers, and in the semis, being played today, the only Grand Slam winner still standing is Simona Halep, even though she entered the tournament as only the 16th seed. But she’s played her heart out and hopes to repeat her 2019 victory on the grass. She’ll have to get by the surprising Elena Rybakina who was just one seed lower than Halep. Although Halep has the experience—and the odds at -310 in the semis—so she should move ahead.
The other semi-final features a more lopsided match with Ons Jabeur versus Tatjana Maria. Despite having no Grand Slam wins, the Tunisian Jabeur became the first Arabic woman to play in a semi with a come-from-behind win over Marie Bouzkova. She’s heavily favored in the semis at -800 while the inexperienced Maria is +500.
The final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London should pit Halep against Jabeur and again, experience should win out. If you get Halep prior to winning the semi, you can grab a +110 edge, while Jabeur is +125. Go with experience.
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