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Ons Jabeur

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur kicks the ball after failing to chase down a volley by Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in their women’s singles semifinal match on day eleven of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Thursday, July 13, 2023.

It’s the slowest sports week of the year, at least that’s what many say.

There might be some truth to that, at least in America, with Major League Baseball taking its midseason pause for the All-Star Break. But anyone who says they can’t find anything to bet on this weekend simply isn’t looking hard enough.

There’s plenty of action available at sports books far and wide, which Weekend Wagers hopes to prove with this week’s bets. I’m not even toeing into the two local basketball events — the WNBA All-Star Game and tail end of the NBA Summer League — and still make eight bets as part of the column.

Last week brought a loss thanks entirely to UFC 290, but I’m confident I can come back with a winning outing with this week’s odds-and-ends approach.  

Read on for eight bets in this week’s Weekend Wagers. Odds are the best currently available in Las Vegas at publication time with the sports book noted. Plays outside of the column will be linked and tracked in the record at the bottom of the page.

Golf (3-7, $5):

Tennis (2-0, $900): Ons Jabeur -220 vs. Marketa Vondrousova in Wimbledon Final (Circa Sports)

$440 to win $200

No woman in the world is better on grass than Jabeur. I’m just disappointed it took me this long to realize it. Better than late never, though. The groove the Tunisian pro has found in London is more suffocating than the line for the final match suggests. Vondrousova, a Czech Republic native, is a great story herself as the first unseeded player to ever make it this far at Wimbledon but she’s benefitted from a mostly forgiving path. She hasn’t faced anyone on the level of Jabeur, who should roll here. Jabeur should be closer to a -300 favorite, leaving plenty of room for wager on this morning’s championship showdown.

MLB (8-4, $980): Milwaukee Brewers +105 at Cincinnati Reds (Wynn)

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Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 30, 2023.

$200 to win $210

The Reds are the story of the Major League Baseball season, but their ascent isn’t going to last forever. The hot, young roster is due some regression, and this feels like a spot where it could start hitting them against their primary competition for the National League Central crown. That same overall description could apply to this pitching matchup, which sees Reds rookie Andrew Abbott favored over Brewers veteran Freddy Peralta. Abbott has played well and exceeded all expectations, but there’s no way he should be considered more reliable than a proven veteran like Peralta. Milwaukee should be the short favorite here, not the short underdog.

UFC (11-16, -$430): Alexander Munoz -192 vs. Carl Deaton at UFC Fight Night (Boyd Sports)

$384 to win $200

The number might seem chalky, but it should be even chalkier. This preliminary lightweight bout is a mismatch, one that’s already at least -200 at every other local sports book. It could reasonably even rise from there. Munoz has technically lost two straight but many thought a split-decision loss against Luis Pena his last time out should have been a win. He’s a former Oklahoma State wrestler, and that part of his game will be difficult for Deaton to match. Look for Munoz to smother Deaton in a fashion that blows out this price tag.

Tennis (2-0, $900): Carlos Alcaraz +168 vs. Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon Fina (Boyd)

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Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, reacts after scoring a point against Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in New York.

$125 to win $210

The two best tennis players in the world met a month ago, and Alcaraz was a -200 favorite. Yes, it was on a different surface (the French Open’s clay vs. Wimbledon’s grass) and Alcaraz lost but this is too large of a shift. Alcaraz’s lack of success in that championship match was largely due to full-body cramping, and while it could always happen again, that seems unlikely. From a skill perspective, this price is far too wide. Djokovic is magic at Wimbledon and deserves to be favored, but no higher than -150 given Alcaraz’s upside. The 20-year-old Spaniard cashed Weekend Wagers’ first-ever tennis bet earlier this year, and hopefully this weekend, he can be a part of keeping the column perfect on the sport.

NASCAR (10-8, $3,220): Martin Truex +105 head-to-head in Crayon 301 vs. Christopher Bell (Caesars/William Hill)

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NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch, left, and Daniel Hemric head to driver introductions during the 25th annual Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday, March 6, 2022. Driver Martin Truex Jr. is at back left.

$300 to win $315

There are rumblings that Joe Gibbs Racing is set up to dominate Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. If that’s true, Truex — not Bell — should be the favorite on the short, flat course. The veteran has been Gibbs’ best driver over the last month or two, and has always performed well on this track type. Truex might even be worth a bet at 7-to-1 to win outright at South Point — other sports books have him as low as +575 behind Bell at as low as 5-to-1 — but instead I’m going to hope to beat Toyota and back a different manufacturer.

NASCAR (10-8, $3,220): Kyle Larson to win Crayon 301 at 10-to-1 (South Point) and William Byron to win Crayon 301 at 14-to-1 (Circa)

$150 to win $1,500 on Larson and $100 to win $1,400 on Byron

Sunday’s race will feature a new package so it’s dangerous to make too many assumptions, but in general, Hendrick Motorsports has been the team to beat on track types like New Hampshire’s. Richmond and Phoenix are arguably the most similar tracks the Cup series has visited this year. Larson won the former. Byron won the latter. There’s a gap between Larson and everyone else on courses like this, so he’s my favorite bet to win this weekend and might have been the only one listed here if not for the price. Byron has been just as successful, if not more so, this season and getting him at 14-to-1 is too much to pass up as a complementary wager.

College football (0-0, $0): Colorado under 3.5 wins at -130 (Caesars/William Hill)

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Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders calls out to his players during the first half of an NCAA college football against Edward Waters in Jackson, Miss., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. The game marks Sanders’ collegiate head coaching debut.

$260 to win $200

Deion Sanders may very well succeed as the head coach at Colorado. It’s just not going to be in his first season. The Buffaloes’ dramatic roster turnaround has yielded them with a few great players but not much around them, and certainly not enough depth to preserve through a long regular season in a trending-upwards Pac-12 Conference. Colorado was one of the worst teams in the nation last year, going 1-11, and it’s more difficult than advertised to make a dramatic climb in one season. The Buffaloes could be much improved and still go 3-10 this season to fall under. This was an easier bet to make when the under was -110 earlier in the week, but there’s still enough room for a bet with the slightly increased juice.  

Golf (3-7, $5): Ryan Armour -105 vs. Jason Dufner in third round of Barbasol Championship (Caesars/William Hill) 

$157.50 to win $150 

Both Dufner and Armour are now in their late 40s and not nearly the golfers they were in their primes a decade or longer ago. But Armour still has one exceptional skill — his driving accuracy. That should serve him well over the weekend at Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky where he finished fifth the last time he competed in this tournament. Armour feels like a perennial top-20 threat in these swing events when there’s a bigger tournament with the higher-ranked players elsewhere. Most of the eyes in golf are understandably on the Scottish Open this week, but with the time difference, it’s impossible to cover here so let’s settle for the Barbasol. Dufner, a former PGA Championship winner in 2013, might have put together the better career but Armour is the more trustworthy golfer currently.  

Weekend betting column year to date: 63-79-2, $7,548 

Weekend betting column all-time: 541-575-7, $26,047.95

Previous pending wagers: Texas to win the College Football Playoff at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000); Tanner Mordecai to win the Heisman Trophy at 200-to-1 ($30 to win $6,000); Atlanta Braves at 5-to-1 to win the National League ($300 to win $1,500; Atlanta Braves at 10-to-1 to win the World Series ($300 to win $3,000); Buffalo Bills at 9-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($300 to win $2,700); LSU to win the College Football Playoff at 20-to-1 ($150 to win $3,000); Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl 58 at 9-to-1 ($300 to win $2,700);  Nolan Smith to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year at 20-to-1 ($100 to win $2,000); Kansas to win 2024 NCAA Tournament at 14-to-1 ($200 to win $2,800); Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 vs. Miami Dolphins in Week 1 ($330 to win $300); Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 at Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 ($220 to win $200); Baltimore Ravens -9 vs. Houston Texans in Week 1 ($330 to win $300); Buffalo Bills at 10-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($100 to win $1,000); Lamar Jackson to win NFL MVP ($150 to win $2,700); Green Bay Packers +2.5 at Chicago Bears in Week 1 ($330 to win $300); Ohio State to win the College Football Playoff at 8-to-1 ($350 to win $2,800); Carson Beck to win the Heisman Trophy at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000); LSU -1.5 at -115 vs. Florida State in Week 1 ($345 to win $300); Las Vegas Aces to win WNBA Championship at -115 ($575 to win $500); William Byron to win NASCAR Cup Series championship at +750 ($300 to win $2,250); Edmonton Oilers to win 2024 Stanley Cup Final at 12-to-1 ($250 to win $3,000); Mississippi State under 6.5 wins at -145 ($435 to win $300); US women’s national team to win World Cup at +250 ($200 to win $500); Scottie Scheffler to win Open Championship at 10-to-1 ($200 to win $2,000); Xander Schauffele to win Open Championship at 26-to-1 ($80 to win $2,080); Cameron Young to win Open Champonship at 60-to-1 ($35 to win $2,100)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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