There was nothing better than ABC’s Wide World of Sports when I was a kid. Some weeks you’d get a boxing match, other weeks you’d get a luge competition, other weeks you’d get Mexican cliff diving.
But every week, without fail, you’d get the best opening in the history of television: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport … the thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat … ”
In recent weeks in the sports betting space, there have been a ton of “thrills of victory.”
How about that Michigan bettor who cashed out more than $133,000 with BetMGM when he managed to pick 15 of 16 NFL games in Week 2, with the exception of the Detroit Lions? While it’s unclear when BetMGM made the bettor the offer, it doesn’t matter, as he turned a free bet into big money.
One bettor at @BetMGM has a 16-game parlay on the line tonight. $25 to win $726, 959.
— Greg Rosenstein (@grosenstein) September 20, 2021
But if you think that was something, how about the $8, 12-leg Ryder Cup parlay on FanDuel that included two ties and won for … nearly a million bucks.
Absolutely bonkers 12-leg Ryder Cup parlay winner, @FDSportsbook reports.
Customer placed $8 bet on the final Sunday matchups and had a total payout of $966,290.
Bettor predicted a tie in the Morikawa-Hovland match (+550) and Morikawa missed a short putt on 18 for the tie. pic.twitter.com/PRtYXEJWuN
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) September 27, 2021
Of course, the sportsbooks are fond — it happens daily — of showing big parlay wins via their social media channels. And why shouldn’t they? Losing parlays are where the books butter their bread, so by hyping the big wins, more people will give it a shot.
And while we can argue all day about how sportsbooks operate their advertising and promotion arms, no one can dispute the following: Winning $100K — or nearly a million dollars — betting on sports certainly qualifies as the “thrill of victory.”
One area, however, that sportsbooks aren’t too fond of hyping is the “agony of defeat” losses gamblers incur.
Like the one that happened to Twitter personality “Joey Knish” over the weekend.
Knish — who has feuded with Dave Portnoy of Barstool, giving watchers of this space a true WWE-style “heel vs. heel” thriller — placed a sharp bet last Friday at DraftKings. He wagered $500 that Alexander Mattison of the Minnesota Vikings would have the most rushing yards on Sunday. This was a +15000 wager, set to pay $75,000. It was sharp because A) the Vikings were playing at home against the Seattle Seahawks, who just got run over by Derrick Henry, and B) Dalvin Cook had missed three straight practices, but there was still hope he would suit up Sunday, so the oddsmakers kept Mattison’s number inflated.
Knish clearly thought the odds of Cook playing were small enough to jump on the +15000 wager.
In the end, Knish was close. Mattison ended the day with 112 yards, good for second place. Henry paced the league, though, with his … 113 yards.
One yard. Three feet. Thirty-six inches. That’s what separated Knish from $75K.
So. Much. Pain.
If you need me I’ll be hanging in my closet. pic.twitter.com/FCRoZq6tri
— Joey Knish (@JoeyKnish22) September 26, 2021
And you thought Vinko Bogataj had it bad.
On to Week 4 …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
All right, I went a little bananas last week with a five-leg parlay, and if you could win money for getting two of the picks right, we’d be rich. But, as it turns out, that’s not at all how parlays work. Noted.
This week, let’s reel it back in. Headed over to DraftKings Wednesday and placed the following wager: under 51.5 in the San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game, Tampa Bay Bradys giving 6.5 in New England, the Los Angeles Chargers giving three at home against the Las Vegas Raiders, and the — gulp — New York Jets getting eight points at home against the Tennessee Titans. All told, it’s +1149.
Reasoning: The NFC West divisional game between the Niners and Hawks — two teams that want to control the clock — could be a recipe for a slog; the Buccaneers might win this game 35-0; the Chargers — this might end up being my pick of the week. And as for the Jets, well, eight points is a lot, the Titans defense is terrible, and … why not?
The on-paper, no-doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Book the W! Last week I had the Arizona Cardinals -1.5 over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Titans +1 over the Indianapolis Colts, and the Denver Broncos -4.5 over the Jets. Victory at +140.
Back to FanDuel this week, and I’m rolling with … a four-team teaser. I’m feeling frisky, what can I say? Here it is: over 45.5 in the Minnesota Vikings-Cleveland Browns game, the Dallas Cowboys getting 1.5 points at home against the Carolina Panthers, the Bucs giving one point to the Patriots, and the Chargers — there they are again — getting 2.5 points against the Raiders. It’s a +240 teaser. I win this, I might go five-team teaser next week. Buckle up.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
No I did not, but I finally booked a solid week of victories.
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
My play of the week last week was Justin Fields, and lemme check my notes to see how he did, and …
My goodness did he ever bust. My grave error was assuming the coaching staff was going to let him throw the ball deep and cook up some designed runs for him. Neither happened. Good gawd.
This week, the pickings are slim. Feels like pricing is finally a little bit tighter, and finding that hidden gem isn’t as easy, but here’s one for you: Terrace Marshall Jr. for $4K. He has 14 targets through three games, and he’s turned it into 10 catches for 91 yards. Yawn, right? Well, this week I expect a shootout in the Panthers-Cowboys game, and without Christian McCaffrey, you have to figure the game plan is going to be a little more pass-heavy. Running out of the slot, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Marshall flirt with six … eight … 10 targets?
Here’s a bonus play for you: I mentioned Clyde Edwards-Helaire last week in this space as a bargain at $4.8K, but everyone was nervous about it. He hit, with over 100 yards and a score. This week, the closest we get to another Edwards-Helaire situation is … Edwards-Helaire. Priced up to $5.4K, and facing a Philadelphia Eagles team that, much like the Los Angeles Chargers, dare you to run the ball. And you see what the Cowboys did to the Eagles on the ground Monday night. Assuming the Chiefs coaching staff watches game tape, Edwards-Helaire may be in for another solid week.
Survivor pick of the week
Survivor is the only gambling action I didn’t do this year, and I’m on fire to start, naturally. Rams in Week 1, Browns in Week 2, Broncos in Week 3. This week I’m going with the Bills. Too easy. By the way, if this keeps up, and I end up running the table in my faux Survivor game, I will punch a hole in the drywall for not actually joining a Survivor pool. I’ll commit that to video. Exciting times.
Best odds boost of the week
This isn’t really an odds boost, per se, but it kind of is. FanDuel is offering $10 in site credit — and FanDuel’s site credit is as good as cash once you bet it — if you place a $20 four-leg parlay with odds over +400. Not the best offer, obviously, as you have to bet a four-leg parlay to get the site credit, but it’s effectively a boost, as you’re getting the $10 back win or lose.
Trap game of the week
Another area where I’m killing it. I’ve nailed all three trap games so far (taking the Cincinnati Bengals against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, the Ravens against the Chiefs Week 2, and then the Chargers against the Chiefs last week).
This week? Tough, as I’m not seeing a ton of “obvious” plays, but if I had to pick one … it’s going to be me picking on the Chiefs again. They’re touchdown road favorites against the Eagles, and that’s a ton of points considering the way their defense has been playing.
Player props I like
Hit on the Austin Ekeler over 98.5 combined rushing and receiving yards last week, so I’m starting to feel my oats a bit here. I also won big with a Sunday bet I noticed that morning: Robert Woods over 0.5 rushing yards. It was listed at +140 on DraftKings, and Woods had hit that number both times this year, and 11 out of 16 times last year.
So of course, I went to check out that prop again this week, and … it’s all the way up to 4.5 yards at -115. He did that six times last year, and is three-for-three this year. I’m gonna pass.
So what do I like? Chuba Hubbard over 23.5 receiving yards (-110) because I think the Panthers will at least try to use him like they would use McCaffrey; Taysom Hill under 2.5 receiving yards (-110) because the Saints won’t need trickery to beat the New York Giants (and Hill has only hit the over on that six times in his last 19 games); Jaylen Waddle over 3.5 receptions (-145) because he’s had four or more every week; and Terrace Marshall over 3.5 receptions (+100) because I already talked about him.
Mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t-lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Finally got this one right last week with the over in the Buffalo-WFT game, and I’m pretty sure you know where I’m headed here: the Chargers giving a field goal, at home, to the Raiders (at -120 at DraftKings at the time of this writing). (I’m also comfortable giving 3.5 at -105 at Caesars.) I have to think this number is going to rise the closer we get to Monday night, but remember: I know nothing. Always remember.