Play Small Ball, Win Big Payouts… Here’s How

Posted on December 2, 2019

NFL bettors, it’s time to celebrate small-ball.

With parlay-ticket killing victories by the underdog New York Jets, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, NFL bettors had trouble hitting the big one.

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But players scored several smaller victories in unique fashion.

Wager Wonderland uncovered some timely, well-leveraged collections at PointsBet in New Jersey.

The company has a points-betting section within its overall sportsbook. Operating like a stock option, it can produce a huge win or a substantial loss, depending upon the margin of victory and one’s betting stake.  The challenge involves every yard and every scoring play counting.

$2 Bet. $256 Win.

One involved Robby Anderson of the New York Jets, who made one big play and rewarded one nice ticket.

The client staked $4 on Anderson receiving yards multiplied by touchdowns with a combination of OVER 22.

  • Anderson ended up with 86 yards and one touchdown.
  • When you multiply the two together you get a total of 86.
  • Take the 86 and subtract 22 (what the over sat at) and get 64.
  • In this case, the client won 64x his stake of $4, or $256 total.

This was a calculated stake of a touchdown and a high payout. The absolute worse this bet would have cost was $88, if there had been no touchdowns. 

That means the most important of the 86 yards for Anderson was the one-yard dart he took in for a score.

The bettor anticipated a high-scoring affair and was rewarded. A second touchdown? And this ticket would have been worth about $600. Good call.

Allen And the Under

A gutsy misdirection play involved Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. He is an excellent runner, which chews into his potential passing yardage total, and the Bills have been a run-first team.

  • On this ticket, the client stake was $12.50 on Allen passing yards UNDER 205.
  • Allen only had 185 yards so the client won 20x his stake of $12.50 (205-185=20)
    • For a total payout of $250

That was an extremely low projected passing total and even 50 yards above that _ an average NFL passing day, would have delivered a loss of more than $600. You can imagine the bettor screaming for the Bills to run the ball.

These wagers become tricky with the shovel passes for NFL bettors. A glorified handoff that gets counted as a pass and goes for big yardage counts here.

Carson: Low Total, High Payout

Seattle running back Chris Carson suffered fumble-itis against the Philadelphia Eagles, coughing up the ball on two straight plays.

  • Then he was benched and his replacement Rashaad Penny ripped off a game-breaking 58-yard run.
  • That was sweet music to a bettor who took a $5 stake on Carson rushing UNDER 82 yards.
  • Carson only had 26 and the client won 56 times his stake of $5
    • For $280
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Saquon Barkley: Dropped Dollars

The flip side occurred to a backer putting $5 on the over-under of 46 receiving yards for New York Giants receiver Saquon Barkley.

He got one yard. Ouch. That’s 45 times the $5 stake for a loss of $225.

What may have been more painful was the big drop he had early in the game that looked primed to go for perhaps 20 yards.

  • On this bet, that’s roughly a $100 drop, compounded perhaps by reduced targets later.

This particular wager gains in popularity among people extending themselves from low to moderate risk propositions. Low rushing or receiving yardage mandates set up a winnable scenario.

Saluting the Deep Ball

Just because big money wasn’t hit, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t played. Even with the chalk teams being upended and big collections hard to find, we tip our hat to those who offered gusto and flirted with the colossal payout.

New Jersey unfurled two high-powered near misses because of some underdogs who “barked” out of turn.

One FanDuel wager displayed high-power leverage on favored teams.

The 12-leg parlay was a money-line extravaganza with NBA, NHL, College Football and NFL teams.

  • The bettor wagered $2,704 in an attempt to win $120,820

The pick was perfect through seven games on Saturday.

Prohibitive college favorites Notre Dame (-1125), Oklahoma (-925) and Virginia (-800) headlined a card that included victorious Georgia, Iowa, the NHL Boston Bruins and NBA Los Angeles Lakers.

On Sunday, the ticket easily extended with the Cleveland Browns throttling the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, a gutsy money-line pick at +3 according to most books, smashing the Oakland Raiders.

Win number 10 was a sweat-filled New Orleans Saints last-play victory over the Carolina Panthers.

And the New England Patriots held off the Dallas Cowboys to make it 11.

But in between that, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers torpedoed the card by ripping the Atlanta Falcons 35-22.

Even on the moneyline, it’s hard to be perfect, but that was a tremendous attempt.

$3,000 Bet To Win $71,607 – Did He Win?

A second New Jersey special was a $3,000 bet seeking $71, 607 via six picks.

The Houston Texans got the ticket started with a win Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

Ohio State, Georgia and Oklahoma, all huge college-football favorites, played their role with victories that brought the card to four.

This wager went risky, and conversely picked up most of its potential payout, with attempted road victories by the Cowboys over New England and the Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers.

The favorites, which had helped this ticket though four picks, “dogged” the owners’ hopes.

New England prevailed in a tight one and San Francisco won handily.


FanDuel Indiana reported a Sultan of Swat attempt, football style, with a $10,000 wager seeking $73,989 on a six-leg parlay.  This was another case of taking prohibitive money-line spreads the only place they could go, into parlays.

Although four parts of this came in heavy money-line favorites New Orleans, Cleveland, Buffalo and the Chicago Bears, the Los Angeles Raiders and Detroit Lions could not pull through on the road.

And then there is high leverage, in separate bets, $30,000 on the Denver Broncos to cover as +3.5 in Buffalo and for the Lions-Washington Redskins game to go under 40.5. Each bet was -110 and would return $57,272.

In this case, 1-for-2 was functional. Although Denver did not cover, this ticket got a break with two missed field goals in Washington’s 19-16 victory. That was an under and a ticket split.

When is losing $2,728 not too bad? In this case. With $60,000 in play, that’s chump change and an inexpensive swipe at a possible $54,000 profit for NFL bettors.

Bets Have Strategies

There are small investments with dream tickets reaching for the stars, highly-leveraged plays in which even money returns produce thousands and big money with an extensive parlay.

Although prices may vary,

  • William Hill usually pays 300-1 odds for a 10-team parlay
  • 450 to 1 for an 11-teamer
  • And 600-1 for 12.

The odds can change substantially if the ticket is loaded with large favorites.

Perhaps some bettors who took 12-team parlays will reduce to nine or 10 with the same attempt at the big score. Just as lineups change every week, so does betting strategy.

Throughout the wagering world, player props become abundant, especially for a player to score. Players have to be careful not to overload on them because they end up wagering against themselves.

William Hill had a good one with receiver Jarvis Landry scoring and the Cleveland Browns defeating the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.  It was a nice payout at +163 and better than the Nick Chubb prop.

Although the running back did score late in that game, the prop for him to score and the Browns to win was -188. Thanks, but no thanks.

For NFL bettors who took Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle to exceed 30 receiving yards last week against Houston, where are those final two yards? He had 28 early in the second half and that’s where he stayed. A 2-1 payout, gone.

Will the big collections return in Week 13? We’ll find out soon.

Dave Bontempo Avatar
Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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