That creates a rather specific opportunity, though. Namely that — if you place the right bet at the right time — you can earn the sort of returns in one afternoon that would otherwise take a lifetime of stock market growth. And there have been a handful of extraordinarily lucky or skillful gamblers that have managed to hit on one of those miraculous, once-in-a-generation payouts. Take a look at some of the biggest betting upsets ever and just how much the lucky winners made on their wagers.
Miss even one of the bets and you lose the whole wager. But, because the odds multiply with each added event, they come with enormous payouts. A questionable investment for sure, but one that turned out to be worth the risk. Long before he was splurging on Bengal tigers, Mike Tyson was the most feared boxer on the planet. On Feb. The next night he lay stunned on the canvas — in front of an equally stunned worldwide audience.
Buster Douglas was so mismatched that only one casino, the Mirage, was even willing to take action on Douglas — every other book in Vegas allowed bets only on which round Tyson would end the fight. You pick a bunch of games with a really tiny wager and show the ticket to everyone before kickoff along with its eye-popping final odds.
So, like so many gamblers before her, Tayla picked the winner against the spread for 14 of the games in week 15 of the NFL season. Where Tayla split from tradition was in actually winning her insane bet. It would turn out that 17 years was nearly twice as long as the Swiss tennis star would need to accomplish the feat. The six-figure payout was ultimately enough to feed some 10, West African families for a month, per Oxfam.
Her grappling skills were second to none, and she had been able to force rapid submissions from many of her opponents with devastating holds. And while people typically place futures bets on the World Series winner at the start of the season — when uncertainty swirls — sportsbooks continuously update the odds until a team is mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Such was the case when some unlucky casinos were still offering odds on the St.
Louis Cardinals, who were four and a half games behind the Atlanta Braves for the wild card slot in the waning weeks of the MLB season. The bet would require a pretty incredible run by the Cardinals — not to mention a pretty spectacular collapse by the Braves — for them to even make the playoffs, let alone win the World Series. But that was exactly what happened. The cheapest gambler put down 10 pence, the equivalent of about 14 cents at the time. The amount does not represent the collective total paid out by sportsbooks for the bet.
This is the second bet parlay on this list, but it might be the more impressive one. The bettor nailed 15 picks across both college and professional basketball in the course of one weekend. There are a number of professional athletes who are famous for allowing their competitive instincts to translate into a massive appetite for sports betting. One such person is Phil Mickelson, who won perhaps his biggest bet in Mickelson apparently saw in the Baltimore Ravens precisely the sort of stifling defense and run-centric, ball-control offense that has long been the archetype of Super Bowl winners.
A British fertilizer salesman plopped down 50 pence at the racetrack on his 60th birthday in — the equivalent of about 69 cents at the time. The gamble, however, was an insane wager in which he had to pick the winning horse in eight different races that came with cartoonishly astronomical odds of nearly 3 million-to According to the BBC, all eight of his horses won their races and the man went home with a check for 1 million pounds — and his name nominated for a place in the Guinness World Records.
Famed gambler Vegas Dave is known for making big bets on long odds in very public fashion, and among his best-known wins was when he went all-in on the Kansas City Royals returning to the World Series in and winning it all — just a year removed from a heartbreaking Game 7 loss in the Series. Dave ultimately plopped down six figures on the Royals to win it all, getting odds as good as on some of his wagers.
His confidence paid off, though, in a big way. So it was kind of like the Circle of Life. Mine that Bird had everything going against him: a crappy name, good but not great bloodlines, no testicles, and odds. However, Mine that Bird overcame it all to have a fairly remarkable racing career.
Douglas was an undecorated unknown. Mike Tyson was Mike Fucking Tyson. He was with 33 knockouts. He did this to other heavyweights. Buster Douglas had nearly 7 years of age and 4 more losses on Tyson. Regardless, despite getting knocked down in the 8 th round, Buster rallied and ended the era of Tyson with a 10 th round knockout.
Tyson was never the same as a boxer. Douglas was never again relevant after losing his next fight to Evander Holyfield. At the start of the Premier League season, perennial relegation-candidate Leicester City opened at anywhere from 2,to-1 to 5,to-1 dogs to finish atop the table. In a weird season that saw typical favorites Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea finish 5th, 8th, and 10th respectively, Leicester went on an improbable run to claim their first Premier League title.
And yet, they did. Lucky punters who rode with the Foxes at thousands-to-1 odds were celebrating like Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his first MLS goal. Would the NFL still have grown to be the biggest American sport? Would their ratings still be improved with legalized sports betting? Absolutely again! If nothing else, it certainly trumps his Suzy Kolber moment. From the improbability of scruffy college kids beating the best hockey players in the world to the Cold War importance of that victory to the absurd odds, there is no greater longshot.
Chops began writing and producing content for digital media sites during the early poker-boom years. He has twice been voted by his peers as one of the 20 Most Influential People in Poker.
Not all longshots are created equal. Some of these selections were no-brainers, etched in gambling lore forever. Others were a little more under-the-radar, but still bore note-worthy significance. With 15 games left in the season, the St.
Las Vegas sportsbooks had them listed at to win the World Series. While it takes a lot to make baseball exciting and interesting, a run does the job. The version of the team they beat for the Super Bowl that year, the St. Louis Rams, claim the honor for biggest pre-season Super Bowl longshot to win it all.
Turrrible , as Charles Barkley would say. Their star free-agent QB signing, Trent Green, suffered a season-ending injury before week 1, so grocery bagger Kurt Warner took the reins. What happened next? Karelin went on to help Russian influence the U. Presidential election. Stanford and Harbough have independently had a good run of success since then. USC had one more season of glory in before falling behind the SEC for college football supremacy.
Ok, even though Stanford vs. Michigan was ranked fifth entering the season, Appalachian St. Until Appalachian St. Michigan went on a spiral downward, eventually hiring The Greatest Upset Ever coach Jim Harbough to bail them out as head coach in Appalachian St. So it was kind of like the Circle of Life. Mine that Bird had everything going against him: a crappy name, good but not great bloodlines, no testicles, and odds. In fact, since February when they met in the big game, the teams have played three times—including a preseason matchup in August—meaning that this could silently become one of the newer NFL rivalries.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the only game they won was the meaningless preseason affair. In case you haven't paid attention, four of the past five NHL seasons have ended with either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings lifting the Stanley Cup, with the Kings set to defend their crown as the puck drops again this month. That's not necessarily a sure thing, but as someone who likes to gamble, I'd take the odds to go with them—especially now that the Hawks have secured young stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
This may not have been one of the biggest title-shockers ever, but when it comes to the NBA Finals, one can't help but think that it ranks up there. The Heat—in their first season with three future Hall of Famers—were the people's and experts' pick to win it all. That is, until Dirk Nowitzki showed why he was a former league MVP and future Hall of Famer himself, and LeBron James suddenly forgot what it was like to play as the best player in the world—especially when it mattered most.
Want to win your bracket? Make sure you choose a No. While the rest of your bracket will totally be busted by the end of the first weekend, you can take solace in knowing that you hopefully chose the correct upset, seeing how this has occurred in 27 of the past 30 NCAA tournaments, with three No. Filling out your bracket can become an obsessive, back-and-forth science—but it shouldn't be when matching up these two seeds. There's actually no need to answer that any longer, because the NCAA finally got something right and booted the BCS to create what every sport has to decide a champion—a damn playoff system.
While it still incorporates some subjectivity from a committee to decide who the top four teams are—meaning it's bound to have some arguments—it's a hell of an alternative to the process it just replaced. He may not always win it—though, if you want another safe bet, he probably will this year—but L.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will undoubtedly finish in the top three of voting for the Cy Young Award each season he plays. Still just 26 years old, the lefty is, generally speaking, still in the early stages of his prime, yet he has finished in the top three in Cy Young voting the past three years , winning twice, with his third Cy Young bound to happen at the conclusion of the postseason. Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game, and until he shows otherwise, there's no reason to bet against him racking up the individual awards.
No, it's not like Trout has been searching for one over a long career—he's still just 23 years old and in his third full season—but because he has finished as runner-up in voting to Miguel Cabrera the last two years, it's probably a small monkey lifted off of his back. Trout can do it all and is widely considered the best position player in the game, so, while this is technically an upset in the sense that he won't just be sitting in second, it's probably just the first of many for the guy.
But for those who follow the lower-level schools that aren't televised nationally—or, sometimes, even locally—they are well aware of the rivalry that's been going on between Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater, as the teams have faced each other in seven of the past eight title games.
Even if you've never expressed any interest in D-III sports, it's a safe bet to assume these two will somehow, some way, meet in the playoffs. While the aforementioned D-III national title is fairly easy to predict—if that's possible in sports—the big boys in D-I have suddenly found themselves with a few more teams that might be capable of winning a championship.
That's because, after a seven-year run of cradling the crystal football at season's end, the SEC's reign of winning a national championship ended in The SEC is still head and shoulders above the rest of the conferences in the nation, but the gap may have closed because of the few aforementioned factors. Whether you're a Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even at 38 years old, the boxer is still a perfect in his career, meaning that he has never tasted what it's like to walk out of the ring bloodied without a belt.
That's pretty damn impressive, meaning any time he steps between the ropes, there's absolutely no reason to say anything other than, "He's going to win," considering that's all he does. It's no wonder the guy is as cocky as they come. While the safest bet in sports might be predicting the outcome of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. There has been chatter about a fight being scheduled for years, so let's all hope that the latest buzz , via James Patrick Quizon of IBTimes. Want to know how to make some serious money doing Super Bowl prop bets?
Talk to Jona Rechnitz, who has happened to do it twice in the past three years. For those who have ever tried their hand at gambling, you know how difficult—and frustrating—it is to choose the correct winners.
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