Ten Best Betting Moments of 2007
by Trevor Whenham - 01/04/2008
Another year is in the books. As a sports bettor you have to always have an eye on the future, but if you aren't tuned into the past then you are going to make costly mistakes. This is the time of year to look back on the highs and lows of the past year to identify what worked well and what you need to avoid. Sports betting is something that most people do for fun, so it's also very important to look back at the times where everything went exactly as you wanted it to. Those are the reasons you bet on sports, and they are the things that keep you coming back when you lose. In that spirit, here, as they fell on the calendar, are 10 of my very favorite betting moments from a great year of sports:
Fiesta Bowl - Everybody loves an underdog, and the best underdog story of the year happened to fall on the first day of the year. Oklahoma was favored by a touchdown, public support was overwhelmingly on them, and they took the lead with just over a minute left, but then the truly improbable happened. Boise State tied it late, and then became truly legendary in overtime. The game was part of a spectacular day for underdog lovers - dogs covered five of six games.
Ohio State in the National Championship Game - I hate Ohio State with every fiber of my being, so nothing makes me happier than seeing them get crushed lifeless on a national stage. This game was particularly pleasing because Ohio State was favored by a touchdown and it was all but assumed by everyone that they would roll to an easy win, so the 27-point thrashing was an especially pleasing surprise.
The Salukis in March - Going into the tournament, Southern Illinois was a team I had my eye on. They had a higher seed (No. 4) than many thought they deserved, and they had struggled against the spread in the conference tournament, so their lines presented some value. They didn't disappoint - they lost in the Sweet Sixteen, but not before they covered three straight spreads, went under each time, and rewarded their backers.
The Yankees in April - Seeing the Evil Empire struggle is one of my favorite things. Though they unfortunately turned their season around in the end, their dismal start was great fun to watch. It also provided huge betting opportunities. They lost 14 of 23 in April, and were favored in nine of those losses. The highlights were their first two losses - they lost to Tampa Bay and Baltimore while sporting ridiculous lines of -316 and -218. That provided some serious rewards for Yankee doubters.
Matt Serra at UFC 69 - The UFC is often worth a betting look, and no underdog provided more value all year than Serra when he faced Georges St. Pierre. St. Pierre was heavily hyped, and few gave Serra any chance, as the odds of between 9/1 and 11/1 indicated. He was a deserved underdog, but by nowhere near as much as this. He presented huge value, and he won with shocking ease to reward his supporters.
The Mariners in June - Seattle was a team that I believed in very much at the start of the year, and they rewarded my faith by winning 10 of 11 in June. The joy of liking a team that no one else does is that the prices are often very attractive - despite being the hottest team in baseball at the time, Seattle was the underdog in four of their last six wins. They had a couple of long losing streaks, but in the end the Mariners were the second most profitable team in the league behind only Colorado.
The Bucs - Like Seattle, Tampa Bay were some losers that I loved. I felt like a bit of an idiot at the start of the season when I was writing that they would win nine or 10 when everyone else was predicting closer to five or six. Good old Jeff Garcia came through, though, and delivered a very unlikely division title. He also delivered an overall profit at 9-7 ATS. The only thing that would have made it any sweeter was if they had managed to cover in any of their seven losses.
The Celtics - I'll be the first to admit that I really didn't see this coming, but it has been a joy to watch how successful the three-headed monster has been so far in Boston. It's almost impossible to believe that the team finished the year at 26-3, and especially difficult to comprehend that they managed to go 20-8-1 ATS in those games despite the incredibly inflated expectations they faced at the start of the year. When a team exceeds bettors' expectations that often they are really doing something right.
The Flames on the road - The Calgary Flames are my hometown team, so their surprising road run in December was especially sweet. Calgary hasn't been good away from home since I was a much younger man. Somehow, though, they won six straight on the road in December. They paid even money or better in each game. Outside of that streak they are just 4-8 away from home, so these six games were a rare treat.
NFL upstarts - I can't decide whether Green Bay or Cleveland is the bigger surprise. All I know is that both teams looked like the only thing they would accomplish this season was getting their coaches fired. Instead, they combined to go 24-7-1 ATS. No one could have seen that coming, but both teams were a pleasure to watch, and a real pleasure to bet on.