Posted on November 21, 2019

Welcome to the brand-new Wager Wonderland, a weekly post saluting the hunt for the utopia of sports betting wins, with stories born of guts in pursuit of glory.

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Wager Wonderland celebrates the sports betting phenomenons, with unthinkable stories of the betting moves, chills, thrills and spills from the players who seemingly conquer the impossible.

It really is possible to turn a few dollars into a few thousand, not from a lottery pick, a fortunate slot-machine reel spin or the selection of one’s birthday at a race track.

This is sweat equity, and these are the tales that unite us.

Rolling at The Rivers

Big Bets keep on turning. Proud Parlays keep on burning. And they rolled it, rolled it last weekend at the Rivers Casino.

Indeed, Rivers Casino paid out a:

NINE-TEAM college football parlay of $26,151.71… on a $75 bet!

Think of how hard it is to hit three or four games against the spread, let alone five, six, or more.

This was a big fat nine, backed up by the $75.

The bettor was dialed in, comfortably winning with Alabama, Florida, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame and New Mexico covering. Typical of college football, the player wasn’t afraid of giving big points by nationally-ranked teams big against weak opponents.

  • Clemson? 34 and a half points? No problem, put it on my tab!

Clemson romped 52-3 over Wake Forest. The nation’s third-ranked team made -34.5 look like child’s play, even against a good 7-2 opponent.

You know the beads of sweat would form sometime. And they did. There were three selections remaining.

  • Pick 7: Wisconsin (-14)
    • Wisconsin was laying 14 points against Nebraska and prevailed 37-21.

Compared to what came next, that was a laugher. The ticket needed to survive the two West Coast games.

Oregon vs Arizona & Boise State vs New Mexico.

best sports bettor

  • Pick 8: Oregon (-27.5)
  • Pick 9Boise State (-27)

As fate would have it, this was the Santa Claus Slam. Both favorites were laying big numbers.

  • Boise State cleared first at -27, taking a 28-0 first-quarter lead and “staving off” New Mexico, 34-9.

And then we figuratively take you ringside to the finale.

Nothing like needing a 27.5-point favorite in the final game but that’s what this ticket required.

Oregon finally took a covering position, going ahead 34-6 in the fourth quarter. A half-point to the good.

But for how long? With 5:34 left in the game, Arizona stood 4th-and-5 at the Oregon 13.

Here was one scenario, one play, 26 grand, win or lose. White knuckles, no extra charge.

Imagine the bettor pacing, pleading with his television or mobile app. Please don’t kick a field goal, please get stopped on the play.

Consider the heart-stomping tension of nine games, eight already in the bank, being linked by one 4th-down call in a game that was already over.

The pass fell incomplete. But wait, it was not over. Fate teased the bettor one more time.

Oregon could not run out the clock and Arizona began using its timeouts. Down 28 points, who does that?

  • Finally, Oregon punted it away and held off Arizona on one final possession.

That brought celebration and, undoubtedly, relief. What a ticket. This is when props become palps, short for palpitations.

What else in life can give someone this kind of ride? The scenario would feel much different if this were the first or second leg of the parlay. But in this case, 26 grand came down to the wire.

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FanDuel-ing an 8-Team Parlay

This makes two straight weeks of a payout exceeding $20,000.

An online customer hit it big last week with an EIGHT-TEAM parlay focused on money lines in the NBA, Men’s College Basketball and Monday Night Football with FanDuel.

$20,708 win on an $11 bet

But how?

The ticket hit in the NBA with:

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves defeating the Detroit Pistons
  2. Boston Celtics over the Dallas Mavericks
  3. Memphis Grizzlies topping the San Antonio Spurs
  4. Houston Rockets besting the New Orleans Pelicans
  5.  LA Clippers toppling the Toronto Raptors
  6. Utah Jazz beating Golden State
  7. Winthrop beat St. Mary’s in NCAAB

All setting up the finale…

#8. Seattle Seahawks defeating the San Francisco 49ers on the final play of overtime on Monday Night Football.

Do you think this bettor earned this payday? Big Time. Consider what transpired.

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Imagine the mindset of seeing the Seahawks up 21-10 in the fourth quarter, with the ball. And then comes a sack and fumble, originally recovered by Seattle and fumbled again, on the same play, into the hands of the 49ers.

It goes for a score and a two-point conversion. Now it’s’ 21-18. Paranoia begins.

Then the Niners kick a field goal. We’re tied. Seattle scores a late field goal but on the last possession of regulation, its pass rush is gone. You can feel the energy for San Francisco.

On the final play of regulation, the Niners’ kick a game-tying field goal. The snake bit tease continued in overtime.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception and San Francisco lined up to kick a game-winning field goal.

Fortunately for this bettor, it missed.

The game still looked like an overtime tie until Seattle kicked a long field goal on the final play of the session. And it did not get through by much.

One foot to the right and that baby’s clanging off the goal post. But it sneaked through and the ticket was preserved.

That’s what the pursuit of $20,708 looks like and you can imagine what it felt like.

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More FanDuel Delight

Go with the flow, insert a tweak, insert a large wager and presto…

An incredible $33,049 win!

That’s what happened on Sunday when a bettor decided Crazy Eights was more than an old kitchen parlor card game.

A bet for the ages

The bettor wageres $200 on a crazy EIGHT-TEAM parlay,

  • Using live spreads from the second half of 1 pm NFL games

This was in-game wagering at its finest. The adjusted spreads involved:

  1. Buffalo Bills -12.5 at Miami Dolphins
  2. Detroit Lions in a revised +13.5 spread against the Dallas Cowboys
    • This was a nice tweak because Dallas covered the real line of -7. Just not this line.
  3. Minnesota Vikings in a revised +10.5 at halftime
    • When Minnesota trailed the Denver Broncos 20-0 at halftime, this ticket switched to +10.5, but the Vikes roared back to win outright.
  4. New York Jets, at adjusted -14.5, “held off” the Washington Redskins, winning by 17.
  5. New Orleans Saints prevailed over the Tampa Bay Bucs with the new line of -10.5. They won by 17.
  6. Baltimore Ravens, up 14-0 at halftime versus the Houston Texans, romped 41-7 and covered -18.5.
  7. The Atlanta Falcons, unlike the Broncos, did hold their halftime lead & beat Carolina 29-3, covering the new -15.5.
  8. The Indianapolis Colts at -3.5 kept rolling, blowing out the Jacksonville Jaguars, easily covering the adjusted line.

This bettor primarily rode the favorites, but sensed the shift coming from the Minnesota and Detroit in order to win big.

Pure genius because at least six of these picks merely projected the game’s momentum onto two more quarters. The other two required a sense of the tide turning and this bettor nailed that.

PointsBet – It Doesn’t Take Much

#1 Never mind a $75 or $200 parlay. How about 50 cents?

That’s all it took for a PointsBet wager to be creative last week.

50 cent bet on the OVER of 670 to win $331!

Within the Points Betting section of the site:

  • This unique bet was measured against passing yards and multiplied by touchdowns for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Well, Prescott went off, collecting 444 yards and three touchdowns.

  • Multiplying that combo produces 1332.
  • Subtract the 670-baseline total from that and the bettor had 662.

Multiply that by $0.50 and the grand total was $331 won. For less than a buck.

#2 Another case involved New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

The $1 bet involved OVER 390, a number measured against passing yards multiplied by touchdowns.

  • Darnold also went off with 293 yards and four TD passes, causing a total number of 1,172.
  • Deduct 390 and wind up with a total of 782 times $1…

For a $782 win!

Remember when the Jets’ special teams had more touchdowns than their offense? Ancient history.

#3 One bet that took courage pertained to Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

This was the UNDER with the number 308 multiplied by touchdown passes.

Fitzmagic had a good day passing with 323 yards, but zero touchdowns. That was the key number.

Even 600 yards times zero touchdowns would be zero.

So, the bettor collected $308, a high risk-reward scenario. Even two Fitzpatrick touchdown passes would have spelled disaster.

Betting that a quarterback who eventually threw for 323 yards to have NO touchdowns? That’s guts.

And that’s why they call it gambling.

Rooted in The Dream

Teases, bets by quarters, by halves and in-game lines punctuate the early start of this century’s Roaring Twenties, especially at New Jersey betting sites.

Beneath the betting lines, shifting nuance and gut-wrenching final seconds of the games lies the reason we track, handicap, wager via systems or by instinct. Predicting the future, for gamblers, commands a reward. For some, it can be recreational, and casual.

For others, it represents game-changing, perhaps life-changing fortunes on the strength of reasoned foresight. And, for a moment, it makes one float on air.

We look forward to relaying betting tales from the trenches throughout the season. They show that it can be done and that your hunches are probably not far off. A move here, a bounce there.

We all relate to this concept of reaching for the sky and Wager Wonderland will continue to be a weekly marketplace for those epic encounters.

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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