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How it feels to turn $30 into $30,000 with a 1,000/1 long-shot bet

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How do you win a 1,001/1 long-shot bet in a Formula 1 race? Well, it involves Wikipedia, a plastic bag, and a racer who really wanted to protect his course record.  

Let’s rewind.

I get into work on Thursday morning at the Covers head office. I grab my coffee, sit down at my desk and within a few minutes, I’m chatting with Mike Poole. He’s a big F1 guy and he’s sitting at his computer, looking for some solid bets for this weekend’s race: the Singapore Grand Prix.

“I’ve got the bet,” Mike tells me. “Kevin Magnussen to record the fastest lap at 1,001/1.”

I chuckle and kind of laugh it off. I’ve never heard of Kevin Magnusson. It doesn’t help Mike’s case that when I look over at his computer, he’s reading an article on Wikipedia. The internet’s free encyclopedia generally isn’t a place I’d trust for handicapping information.

But Mike keeps talking and has a strong case for it. He tells me Magnussen recorded the fastest lap in 2018 and owns the course record for fastest lap. He set it last year.

Now my ears perk up: 1,001/1 odds for the guy who owns the record at this course. Now we’re onto something.

I ask how Magnussen is doing this year.

“Not well, he keeps getting penalized,” Mike tells me.

Well, that doesn’t matter for fastest lap.

I log onto one of the sportsbooks I use, MoPlay, and see him listed at 1,001/1. Alright, that’s worth $10. I bet it.

Then another co-worker says he sees Magnusson for fastest lap at even better odds at another site. I didn’t have an account at that sportsbook but I decided to check Bet365 to see its odds. Magnusson was also listed at 1,001/1. As it turns out, Bet365 had given me a $20 bet credit for being a loyal customer a day earlier.

“Ah, let’s go for a huge payout,” I said to Mike. So I throw the $20 bet credit on it, too.

Mike informs me the race will be on TV on Sunday morning. I tell him I won’t be watching but I expect him to text me and tell me I’m $30,000 richer. That would make for a great Sunday morning.

Saturday night rolls along and I get a text from Mike. He tells me Magnusson finished dead last in qualifying.

Mike Poole's text about Formula 1 betting

Sunday morning comes and I forget the race is even happening. In fact, I was outside washing my car while acting as the adult on duty as my three-year-old son and some of the other neighborhood kids ran around our cul-de-sac. Then my phone starts buzzing.

Mike Poole's text message about Formula 1 betting

At this point, I’m losing my shit. Then I’m thinking I’m going to lose this bet on the final lap. The bad beat of the century. Then I remember Mike telling me he always gets penalized, so I figure he’ll get DQ’d or something.

My wife comes outside to find me staring at my phone instead of watching the kids or washing the car. She starts to say something but I interrupt her.

“I think I just won $30,000,” I blurted out.

“What!?! OK, I’ll watch the kids,” she says.

Then Mike sends me this link:

It’s the smallest of consolations but on fresh tires and in clean air, @KevinMagnussen clocks the fastest lap of the race! 1:42.301 was the time. #HaasF1 #SingaporeGP pic.twitter.com/RAKTajc4qp

— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) September 22, 2019

Wow. It actually happened.

I spent the next 10 minutes or so refreshing the balances at MoPlay and Bet365. And then this:

Payout slips for fastest lap at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix

There it is. The long shot of a lifetime actually hit.

I spent the rest of the day doing normal things — playing with the kids, going to a picnic lunch for my mom’s birthday, etc. I’m trying not to think about it much, but, of course, it’s the only thing I can think of. We finally get the kids to bed and my wife and I celebrate with a bottle of wine.

Monday morning rolls along and I get back to the office. By now, word has gotten around about the win and everyone in the office is talking about. At one point, someone asks me what lap it was that Magnusson recorded the fastest time. I realize I don’t have a clue how it actually happened. But Mike was watching and the story of how Magnusson held onto his fastest lap title is incredible.

About halfway through the race, Magnussen was coasting, bouncing back and forth between 12th and 15th place or so, and all of a sudden he charges up the standings with a few really quick laps. They weren’t quick enough for fastest lap as Charles LeClerc had put down an amazing lap time earlier, but Magnusson is now in the Top 10.

Then, at roughly lap 50-55 of 61 Magnussen takes a turn too wide and gets passed by a few drivers, bumping him out of the Top 10 with only a few laps remaining. At this point, Mike figures the bet is done.

Then, all of a sudden Magnussen takes a third pit stop. Now, something is up. Most racers only pit twice at Singapore. Mike notices that they switch him back over to soft tires. He also sacrificed about six positions in the standings.

Mike can’t believe what’s happening. He’s thinking that the only reason he’d pit a third time, go back to soft tires, and let others pass him is that he wants a shot at the fastest lap. Turns out, the pit stop was for a different reason altogether:

Frustration for @KevinMagnussen, who was in the points for much of today’s race.

Full quotes here 👉 https://t.co/8XWOByo9gY pic.twitter.com/p82RGwzFxK

— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) September 22, 2019

Yup. A plastic bag.

Magnusson gets back on the track and on laps 55-59, he’s falling further and further behind, as he is seemingly allowing drivers to pass him to open up the track. Then lap 60 hits. Only two laps to go. There’s the time-limit issue. With five laps remaining there were only 10 minutes left on the timer, so time is ticking. Magnusson might not even be allowed to finish these two laps.

Mike’s watching the television broadcast, which obviously isn’t focusing on the guy who’s now in dead last. The checkered flag drops and the TV broadcast starts showing the leaderboard. And what do you know… the pink stopwatch (denoting fastest lap) appears next to Kevin Magnusson’s name.

Kevin Magnusson pink stopwatch

Mike jumps out of his chair and starts flipping out. He’s yelling so loud that he woke up his wife, who was trying to get some sleep after working the night shift at the hospital. She thought something was wrong.

Mike tells her he just won a lot of money. She rolls her eyes, as it’s not uncommon for Mike to overreact. He tells her how much. Now she’s awake and listening intently.

As for my wife?

“We’re going to save most of that money, right?” she asks me as we’re sipping on our $12 bottle of red wine on Sunday evening.

“Yes, most of it,” I reply. “But how about we use some of it for a family trip to Mexico during the winter?”

Or, maybe Singapore?

 

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook