WAGER WONDERLAND was a carnival of handicapping acrobatics and emotional high-wire acts over the past few days, especially for one particular FanDuel winner.
It featured gamblers hitting some collections of approximately $30,000, a dollar returning more than $6,000 and bets encompassing more than the bread-and-butter likes of college football and basketball, pro football, the NBA and NHL.
Sports-betting jackpot fever went international, with parlay cards featuring soccer (football) games from Argentina, and Portugal.
Let’s unravel it. Starting with an impossible FanDuel winner…
FanDuel Fantasia: The Spectrum of Winners
A FanDuel winner who beat impossible odds.
Several levels of payouts unfolded via FanDuel. One player turned $50 into $33,605.
The strategy was straightforward. Load up the moneyline with prohibitive NBA and college basketball favorites. Pocket the easy ones and reduce a multi-leg parlay card to a handful of tough calls.
Spreads? We don’t need no stinkin’ spreads!
Not for this FanDuel winner.
FanDuel Winner: NBA… Easy!
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers
College FanDuel Winner Picks
Genius Pick: Purdue Upends Virginia
There were two pieces of insight from this bettor. It was worth a “smaller” payout to lay 10-1 odds on Villanova. Close calls? Never happened, as these teams won in a relative breeze.
The magic? Taking Purdue over defending champion Virginia. Purdue came in 4-3, Virginia was 7-0. The sportsbooks had a hunch about this, making Purdue a 3.5-point favorite. So, this bettor decided not to waste time in points and went moneyline. What a call, 69-40.
This was the final “box score”
- A customer placed 15-leg parlay across NBA and College Basketball on Wednesday Night (12/4), all on the Moneyline. The $50 wager paid out $33,605.
✅ Charlotte Hornets @ -136
✅ Milwaukee Bucks @ -440
✅ Orlando Magic @ +106
✅ Boston Celtics @ -225
✅ Brooklyn Nets @ -160
✅ Indiana Pacers @ -112
✅ Chicago Bulls @ -290
✅ Dallas Mavericks @ -215
✅ LA Lakers @ +116
✅ Portland Trail Blazers @ -194
✅ Villanova @ -1000
✅ Purdue @ -150
✅ Maryland @ -550
✅ Ohio State @ +135
✅ Colorado @ -2000
Twenty Grand _ By International Transport
One sharpie brought international intrigue into the picture. Presto, $28 on an eight-leg parlay became $20,626 at FanDuel.
One could figure the NBA, NHL and College Football into the picture. But how about Argentina SuperLiga? That’s showing a real depth of knowledge.
The bet involved games on Dec. 7.
Wisconsin covered the football angle at +15.5 adjusted spread against Ohio State. Smart move, that line was nine points and the final margin was 13. Would have been a loss without the teased line.
The NHL is tricky because a player can’t lay just one goal. It’s 1.5 and the Penguins came through with an empty-net goal against the Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars held off the New York Islanders, 3-1. Two half-puck triumphs. Can’t shave it any closer.
How about Argentina Ecstasy? It arrived via this bet on football, or soccer in the United States. The ticket had Lanus over the Racing Club, a 1-0 victory, and a draw between Tucuman and Newell’s, which ended 2-2.
Are you kidding? Soccer has many draws, but many are scoreless or 1-1. Picking a draw when four goals will be scored? In a league that’s not as well-known as the circuit in England? That’s worth every bit of $20,626.
A Buck and A Bundle
You can’t go wrong for a dollar but how much can you
go right? How about a 14-leg parlay on the NBA and NHL, which a patron recently won with FanDuel, turning $1 into $6,051.?
This player had a clear “under” standing of the landscape. The ticket had NBA unders of 209.5, 214, 216, 218 and 230.5. and the Oklahoma City Thunder giving four points in a game they won by 12. So, the NBA portion was The Thunder and the Under.
All the NHL picks won easily, and many were unders. The exception? The Pittsburgh Penguins were giving 1.5 goals to the Arizona Coyotes and they won, 2-0.
We don’t know who the bettor was, but we’re certain the player has at least considered that even a $10 bet would have returned more than $60,000. Nonetheless, 14-for-14 is astounding.
It’s one thing to get bang for a buck. It’s another to get 6,051 bangs.
A seven-team parlay turned $220 into $28,869 for a sharp PlaySugarHouse bettor, who combined a dash of pro football and a sprinkle of moneyline acumen atop the main dish of college football games against the spread.
The initial strategy: taking prohibitive favorites LSU and Clemson, which romped by 47 and 27 points against Virginia and Georgia respectively. Ohio State completed the roundup of top national teams, slipping past Wisconsin 34-21 as a nine-point favorite.
And there was a dog component. Baylor needed almost all the nine points it was getting from Oklahoma, covering in a 30-23 loss. Cincinnati used some of its 9.5-point cushion in a 29-24 defeat to Memphis.
What would nearly $29,000 be without a game that looked real close? Appalachian State was a 5.5-point pick against Louisiana Lafayette and snuck out with a 45-38 triumph.
But this was not heavy sweat, because App State had a 42-17 lead. It did, however, give up two touchdowns in the last five minutes.
The ticket finally needed nerves of steel, where a stand must be made and where underdog status heightens the pay line.
The bettor took two of them, starting with the Chicago Bears, at 3- and 3.5-point underdogs at the major sportsbooks, on the moneyline against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night football. Bing! The Bears came through 31-24.
The gutsiest call may have been saved for last. Oregon was a 6.5 underdog against Utah at home for the Pac 12 tittle. But the spread was not involved in this pick.
The bettor went all-in, taking Oregon on the moneyline itself at +205 and was that ever prophetic. Oregon romped 37-15, providing the needed underdog score to make a card pay well.
Another PlaySugarHouse bettor hit a $50 nine-leg parlay to win over $11,000. Highlights of the anxiety: Saint Bonaventure was down by eight at the half but ended up winning by seven over Florida Atlantic to cover the four-point spread, and Hofstra made two free throws with seven seconds left to cover the six-point spread by a single point in a seven-point win over Canisius.
How’s that for pressure? Good thing Canisius was fouling in an attempt to get the ball back. And it’s a good thing both free throws were drained. After the first one went in, 11 grand and change was riding on ONE FREE THROW.
That’s big-time gambling.
The international flair surfaced here too. This ticket included a moneyline victory for S.C. Braga over Rio Ave. for soccer, in Portugal.
POINTSBET: Sweating Out $60,000
PointsBet has gained notoriety with its margin-of-victory component at its sportsbook, making every additional yard or score multiply the payout of victory or defeat. But that’s only one section of the operation.
Last week, in its traditional sportsbook area, a gambler took one of the routes we’ve seen deep-pocketed players use: leverage.
The bettor put $60,000 in play on the 49ers moneyline at -130, when they led the New Orleans Saints 28-27 at halftime. When the Niners won 48-46, with a field goal as time expired, the bet returned $46, 152.
The player emotionally earned it. The Niners fell behind in the final minute and were down to their last play. It was 4th-and-2. They trailed 46-45.
The game was nationally televised, you know the bettor was watching. One unsuccessful play and $60,000 would be lost on this ticket. The Superdome was rocking, trying to bring the Saints to victory.
Could we take that kind of pressure? It’s what gamblers live for if they can live through it. This player was bailed out by tight end George Kittle’s terrific fourth-down catch and run, putting the Niners in field goal range for the kick they made on the final play.
I would not be surprised if Kittle was sent a thank you card.
Another big bet came in during halftime in the 49ers/Saints game on the second-half half total (OVER 24) after 55 points were scored in the first half. The client stake was 50,000 at -120 odds. After 39 points were scored in the second half, the ticket was paid out a little over $40,000.
A Little Razzle Dazzle
Big money was wagered and pocketed on a different bet, a four-part parlay that highlighted adjusted lines.
One leg involved the Tennessee Titans -3 over the Oakland Raiders, whom they throttled 42-21. Then there were “two-fers,” spreads mixed with teased point totals on each winning selection.
The Los Angeles Chargers gave three and hit the over 35.5 line with a 45-10 win in Jacksonville. The Kansas City Chiefs were teased up to +9.5 and the over-under was moved down to 56 as Kansas City won 23-16. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 23-17 and were teased to +4 and the underwent to 50.
This was an intelligent use of line movement and resulted in $15,020 for $1,050.
Keep It Comin’
The big hits make the news, but unlike major payouts like slot-machine jackpots, sports betting tickets involve analysis. We see a common theme of loading up on big favorites on the moneyline to create a foundation for a large winning ticket.
Then it’s a matter of bringing some close bets in. It is likely that bettors lay the foundation with several favorites and play multiple cards with different combinations on the rest.
In any case, the triumphs are exhilarating. So is the pursuit.
Will you be the FanDuel winner story? Maybe.