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Sports betting is 365-day, 24/7 adventure that doesn’t really have off-seasons. Sportsbooks are taking action on games for leagues most of us don’t know exist in random places on earth.
When scrolling through DraftKings Sportsbook‘s menu, you’ll see odds for Cornhole, Cricket, European Handball, something called “Snooker”, and even the Academy Awards.
I don’t have time nor would you care about sports betting results from obscure leagues abroad. Let’s discuss the sporting events you may have bet or at least seen.
‘Minneapolis Miracle II’
Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Ryan did it again and so did the Minnesota Vikings. Not only was Ryan on the losing end of the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history but he also holds the biggest blown lead in NFL history.
Minnesota rallied back from a 33-0 first-half deficit to beat Indianapolis 39-36 in overtime in Week 15. It’s being dubbed the Minneapolis Miracle II.
The Vikings were -3.5 pre-kickoff vs. the Colts in Week 15 so they didn’t get the “frontdoor cover”. But, there was money to be made in-gaming Minnesota if you’re a psycho like me.
Minnesota’s second-half moneyline (ML) down entering halftime got up to +3000 at some sportsbooks. Personally, I took a piece of the Vikings’ adjusted spread and live ML at much lower odds in the first half.
If you bet the Colts +3.5 preflop then you still got there. If you took Indianapolis on the ML then I send my condolences. That was literally the worst beat in NFL history.
Saudi Arabia upsets Argentina in the 2022 World Cup
We go from the biggest blown lead in the history of American football to the biggest upset in futbol. Per Fox Sports, Saudi Arabia were +1200 underdogs vs. eventual World Cup champs Argentina pre-kickoff.
Argentina’s 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the group stages was its first loss in a World Cup opener since 1990 when Argentina lost to Cameroon 1-0.
The in-game odds for Saudi Arabia-Argentina were outrageous too. Saudi Arabia’s live ML shot up to +10000 when Argentina took a 1-0 lead in the first half.
To be honest, the only bet I placed in the 2022 World Cup was on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s victory over Iran in the group stages.
But, Saudi Arabia’s incredible upset over Argentina is definitely the biggest international sports betting story and too crazy to ignore.
‘Mattress Mack’ cashes big on the Houston Astros’ 2022 World Series win
The Astros were one of the favorites to win the 2022 World Series at +1000 in spring training so this isn’t a huge payout. Unless you’re Houston businessman and Astros mega-fan Jim McIngvale aka Mattress Mack.
This sports betting whale has placed some insane wagers on the Astros over the years. But Houston’s 2022 World Series victory vs. the Philadelphia Phillies netted Mattress Mack an estimated $75 million win.
Rich Strike Wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby
Okay, not a team sport but Rich Strike winning the Kentucky Derby at +8000 is the second-biggest longshot to win the Derby behind Donerail at 91-1 odds in 1913.
Despite winning the first race of the Triple Crown, Rich Strike didn’t even compete in the second race — the Preakness Stakes — and finished just sixth in the Belmont Stakes.
As someone from Saratoga, New York, which is home of the oldest sporting venue in America — the Saratoga Race Course — Rich Strike’s win blows my mind.
Horse-racing is nicknamed the “sport of kings” and has been a fixture of sports betting since before there were sports leagues. When something “historic” happens in horse racing it has to be noted.
15-Seed Saint Peter’s Peacocks run in the 2022 NCAA Tourney
The Saint Peter’s Peacocks ruined a lot of people’s brackets last season when they upset the 2-seed Kentucky Wildcats in the first-round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Saint Peter’s were 18-point underdogs with a +1600 ML entering that game while Kentucky were -3800 favorites!
This win was the first part of the Peacocks’ miraculous run to the Elite Eight. They crescendoed with an upset of the 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers as 12.5-point and +750 ML underdogs in the Sweet 16.
In between those victories is Saint Peter’s ho-hum upset over the 7-seed Murray State Racers in the Round of 32. The Peacocks were +8.5 and +310 ML underdogs vs. the Racers. Eventually, Saint Peter’s got eliminated by the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Elite Eight.
But, everyone loves a Cinderella story and Saint Peter’s had one of the most miraculous runs in NCAA tournament history. Hopefully you bet the Peacocks in one of their upsets.
The Cincinnati Bengals
It’s hard to make a case for a team “coming out of nowhere” with a No. 1 overall draft pick at QB who had the greatest offensive season in college football history. But, that explains the Bengals over the past two seasons and running.
We are still in the middle of Cincy’s incredible sports betting streak. The Bengals represented the AFC in last year’s Super Bowl, cashing +8000 tickets to win the conference, and won the AFC North at +2500.
However, technically those bets were part of the 2021 NFL season. From the start of 2022, which includes some of the 2021 season, Cincinnati is 18-3 against the spread (ATS).
If you’re a $100 bettor and backed the Bengals in every regular-season or playoff game since Week 17 of last year, you’d be up $1,470. This includes Cincy’s 23-20 loss as 4.5-point ‘dogs to the LA Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
The Bengals enter Week 17 of this season on a seven-game winning and cover streak. This isn’t a picks piece but I wouldn’t hate throwing some change on Cincy as a home ‘dog vs. the Buffalo Bills this week.
Dmitry Bivol beats Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
Maybe this is TMI but I pretty much never pay for fights. There are too many UFC events for any of them to be important and boxing as a sport is a mess.
The one caveat to this is Canelo Alvarez prize fights. Alvarez is pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world and worth the price of pay-per-view.
I shelled out $85 to watch Canelo vs. GGG III and $85 for the Alvarez vs. Bivol fight. Canelo was a -550 favorite against Bivol who was +400 on the three-way line, according to Forbes
As a lifelong boxing fan, I understand most pay-per-views don’t live up to the hype. In this case, Canelo is a generational boxer and he was going up in weight, again, to win his 15th belt.
But, Alvarez bit off a little more than he could chew and Bivol outpointed Canelo in a 12-round unanimous decision. Alvarez’s only other defeat was to all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr.
There are rumors that Canelo wants a rematch with Bivol, which would be another $85 expenditure for me. However, it’ll be worth it to see if Alvarez can redeem himself. And maybe we get a better payout on Canelo in Bivol vs. Alvarez II.
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