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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?

 

Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.

ROOM TO ROAM

The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.

MIAMI (OH) FOR 3

The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.

GILBERT  GETTING BACK

Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.

WAKING NIGHTMARE

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 

STAYING HOT IN Q1

The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.

FEAST AWAITS EVANS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.

LOADING SCREEN

No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.

LOADING SCREEN PT. 2

If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.

AIN’T FADING THE FINS NOW

The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.