For 5 Bets this week I am going with an all Las Vegas version. This is one of those weekends when it seems like every sporting event is somewhere in Sin City.
You have NASCAR, UFC, NCAA basketball conference tournaments, MLB, and even an XFL game being hosted by the city.
So, let’s dive in and see what individual or team you should be backing. If you live in Las Vegas, try and check out some of the action live.
5 Bets to Make this Week
- Saint Mary’s -115 to win West Coast Conference Tournament
- Seattle Sea Dragons -3 over Vegas Vipers
- Ross Chastain +1000 to win Pennzoil 400
- Ciryl Gane +132 over Jon Jones in UFC 285
- Oakland A’s over Cincinnati Reds
St. Mary’s Snaps Gonzaga’s Steak
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have had a stranglehold on the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs have won nine of the last 10 conference championships.
The only time they didn’t win in that span was 2019 when the Saint Mary’s Gaels captured the crown.
Saint Mary’s is the -115 favorite to win again this year and even though Gonzaga gets more love from the media and bettors, this might be the year the Gaels win another championship crown.
Guard play often takes you deep in the postseason and Saint Mary’s guards are stronger than Gonzaga’s. The Bulldogs have the best player in big man Drew Timme, but he may not be enough to take this team to the conference title.
Even though the tournament begins on Thursday in Las Vegas, both teams have byes until Monday. Look for those two to be in the finals with Saint Mary’s getting the better of Gonzaga.
Prediction: Gaels to win WCC Tournament (-115 at Bet365)
Watch: Thursday-Tuesday, various times, ESPN and FuboTV
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Vegas Vipers Fall Again
Though Seattle is 0-2 they could easily be undefeated. They lost last week, 22-20, on a field goal as time expired.
The Vipers are struggling on offense. The team went from quarterback Luis Perez to Brett Hundley, but the offense didn’t get much better. They ended the game against the DC Defenders with just 178 yards in total offense.
It doesn’t appear that Vegas will suddenly find the cure for their offensive ills. Seattle, who has one of the best offenses in the XFL, should be able to cruise and easily cover the three points.
Prediction: Seattle -3 over Vegas (-110 at Caesars)
Watch: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, FX, ESPN+ and Fubo TV
Ross Chastain Builds on Vegas Success
NASCAR driver Ross Chastain is showing that Trackhouse Racing is for real. Along with teammate Daniel Suarez the two are taking their team to respectability.
Last week in Fontana was Chastain’s best performance of the year. He led 91 laps and finished third.
This week at the Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chastain could easily take this race. He finished second and third here last year.
Prediction: Chastain wins Pennzoil 400 (+1000 at Unibet)
Watch: Sunday, 3:30 ET, Fox and FuboTV
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Jones Takes Vacant Heavyweight Belt
The main event of Saturday’s UFC 285 in Las Vegas is one of the most anticipated fights in a long time. Jon Jones will be battling Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship belt.
Both fighters have held titles. Jones is the former light heavyweight champion and Gane was the interim heavyweight champion for a spell.
Jones hasn’t fought since 2020 and this is his debut in the heavyweight division. Those aren’t the only concerns for Jones. The other is his age. He is 35 and one has to wonder if his striking ability that was a main part of his game can still be effective.
There are question marks for Gane as well. He is just three years younger than Jones. Another concern is his lack of experience. He is 11-0-1 and hasn’t fought a whole lot of top-tier talent. He will certainly be tested in the octagon.
I think, however, this is a test he can win. Gane seems to have an advantage over Jones and Saturday could prove that.
Prediction: Gane over Jones (+132 at Golden Nugget)
Watch: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Pay Per View
Oakland Prospects Show Promise
The Oakland Athletics were awful last year. In addition to finishing last in the American League West, they had the worst record in the AL and the second-worst in all of baseball.
They enter 2023 with some bright spots. Their prospects are strong, especially with their top prospect, Tyler Soderstrom. The catcher/first baseman has been lighting up the minor leagues. He has succeeded at every level of the minors. In 191 games, he has a .279 average, with 88 extra-base hits, including 41 home runs, and 154 RBIs.
Another prospect has been turning heads as well. Lawrence Butler has been having a successful training camp so far and could find himself on the A’s starting roster.
Sunday is another chance for both Soderstrom and Butler to impress A’s Manager Mark Kotsay. They are facing the Cincinnati Reds in a split squad game at the Las Vegas Ballpark. The odds haven’t posted yet, but should be around +110 for Oakland.
Prediction: Oakland over Cincinnati (around +110)
Watch: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FuboTV
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