This week’s sports menu is chock-full of goodies as we’ll see a lot of different action across the landscape. But the biggest event to bet on is UFC 248: Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero.
There’s NBA, NHL, college basketball, NASCAR, PGA golf, XFL and even some NASCAR. Let’s take a run through the array of options and see what the best bets on the board are:
UFC 248: Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero
Date: Saturday, March 7th
The next big UFC card is upon us as Saturday’s festivities in Las Vegas feature two top-tier fights. On the women’s side, we’ll see Joanna Jedrzejczyk take on Weili Zhang for the Women’s Strawweight belt and on the men’s side, we’ll see up-and-comer Israel Adesanya face a tough test from Yoel Romero.
Maybe at this point we should stop calling Adesanya a fast-riser as he’s now the Lightweight Champion. He’s won all 18 of his professional bouts and has rarely – if ever – looked like he’s in trouble.
Yoel Romero is a very gifted, athletic fighter with a great reputation but one has to wonder if he’s a bit in over his head here for this UFC 248 fight. To some, it’s even surprising that Romero is getting a shot at the belt.
He’s lost three of his last four fights overall. He took quite the beating against Paulo Costa in his latest bout. That and two losses to Robert Whittalker has curbed his ascent.
The key at UFC 248 is will Romero be able to touch Adesanya? Adesanya has mostly avoided the big hits but if Romero gets a hold of him, it might only take a couple of big shots to change the trajectory of his career.
Everything he throws is full power and he only moves forward. If he’s chasing Adesanya, stalking him and hunting him down, it could lead to trouble for the champ.
However, what’s more likely to happen is Adesanya – who is so hard to hit – will avoid the flurries, be clinical and catch Romero when he’s being wild. Expect the champ to get the win.
Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers
Date: Thursday, March 6th
The Carolina Hurricanes were deemed to be one of the winners at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline but it hasn’t translated into wins on the ice. The team will enter Thursday’s meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers having lost three in a row and six of their last nine.
While the story of emergency goaltender David Ayres coming in and getting the win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was a magical moment, the team has labored mightily every since. Of course, losing their top two goaltenders is the story as they simply haven’t been able to recover.
Carolina has now given up at least three goals in five straight games. They don’t have good options right now as Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg are brutal. Nedeljkovic has an .857 save percentage on the year while Forsberg is at .885.
The Flyers are on a roll right now as they’ve won six in a row. Yards Brewing Co. in Philadelphia has even created a new beer for Flyers superstar Kevin Hayes, called the “Big Hayes-y 13”.
They’ll have a meeting with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday but I expect them to roll through Carolina when they see them on Thursday.
Carter Hart is an incredible 18-2-2 at home this season with a 1.67 GAA and a .941 save percentage. If he’s between the pipes, the Flyers will have a huge edge here.
St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders
Date: Saturday, March 8th
What has happened to the DC Defenders? The team that started the year 2-0 and was the favorite to win the XFL Championship before Week 3 has completely nosedived ever since.
What’s even more surprising is not just that they’ve lost but that they’ve been completely blown out. In Week 3, they lost 39-9 to the LA Wildcats. In Week 4, it got even worse as they lost 25-0 to the previously winless Tampa Bay Vipers.
Quarterback Cardale Jones, who looked like an early MVP candidate in the first two weeks, has just 175 passing yards in total over the last two games while throwing no touchdowns and five interceptions.
Meanwhile, the BattleHawks look like the real deal as quarterback Jordan Ta’amu continues to produce solid results.
The numbers aren’t spectacular but he’s had quarterback ratings of 100 or more in three of the four games while completion 75% of his passes. More importantly, St. Louis might have the best defense in the league as they’re allowing a league-low 15.5 points per contest.
They should feast on Jones here, get the win and cover the spread.
Pick: BattleHawks -3.5
Other Things To Watch This Week
College Basketball Conference Tournaments – We’re less than two weeks out from Selection Sunday for March Madness, which means we’re just about to get into conference tournaments. Next week is the big week when all of the power conferences get in gear but we’ll still see some important ones this week. The Atlantic Sun, Missouri Valley and many other mid-majors get going this week.
Arnold Palmer Invitational – Sun-Jae Im earned the win last week at the Honda Classic as tournament favorite Tommy Fleetwood just fell short (third place). Now the PGA Tour heads to the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Golf Course this week with $9.3 million on the line. Rory McIlroy is the heavy favorite this week while Fleetwood is second in line.
FanShield 500 Race – After Alex Bowman held off the Busch brothers in California last week, the NASCAR series shifts its focus to the Phoenix Raceway for the FanShield 500 Race. Kyle Busch has an excellent track record here as he’s placed no worse than seventh in nine straight races while winning two of the last three. He’s finished no worse than second in four straight appearances at Phoenix.
See you same time next week when we start off the week with our Best Bets Of The Week!
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