Although it’s way easier to handicap the events after the games have been played, here are 10 tickets I wish I had in my pocket in 2008 – even if they weren’t all winner.
1. Boston Celtics, season future prop (200-1): Although this bet would have actually had to have been placed in 2007 before last year’s NBA season began, a flyer on the former Eastern Conference doormats before they pulled the strings for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen would have been like buying a bunch of dot-com stocks in the early Nineties.
2. New York Giants, Super Bowl money line (+350): The way the G-Men were playing defense late last season and the way they were covering consistently on the road would have made this bet well worth a shot – even against the mighty and then-undefeated Patriots – especially after the team had just beaten the Bucs, Cowboys and Packers – all on the road.
3. New York Giants, Super Bowl (+14): Here’s a bet that would have been covering from the opening kickoff and one that we all – well maybe not the sports books – wish we had put a lot more money on. Fear of finding a parking space at The Palms and betting it too close to game time kept me away from this easy money that day and I do regret not pulling the trigger on the underdog here even though I am usually a heavy chalk player.
Lions, Lucky’s special prop “Will the Lions finish 0-16?” (Yes, +180):
When the newest sports book chain in town first offered this
prop (which was also available at the Las Vegas Hilton I think), I should
have pointed my car east and headed downtown. With the way
5. Big Brown, Triple Crown prop at Wynn Las Vegas: (125-1): John Avello offered up this prop up and although it wouldn’t have ended up being a winner, boy what a ride would this Big Brown Triple Crown prop have provided at 125-1 after the 3-year-old won the first two legs (Kentucky Derby, Preakness) of the Triple Crown. Think about it, a $100 throw at 250-1 would have rewarded its bettors an oh-so sweet $12,500 if the horse would have taken care of business in the Belmont Stakes.
Bay Rays, season future prop (300-1, Coast Casinos opener): Another futures
bet that wouldn’t
have actually hit but boy what a ride and oh, the hedging possibilities.
Worst to first means fun times for futures gamblers, but not so much fun for the
guys on the other side of the counter who had visions of Carl Crawford running
through their heads all season. For full disclosure, I did get a little piece of
Ray pie at just 38-1 over at The Palms but
8. Philadelphia Phillies, World Series money line (+130): With Utley and Rollins and Victorino and Burrell and Howard, Philadelphia simply had too much firepower and with TB’s theoretical ace Scott Kazmir being anything but unstoppable, taking a shot on the Phillies to simply beat TB at plus money would have been a very wise decision here. And if you believe, like I believe, that the Phillies can repeat you may want to head to the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook and get them to win it all at very nice odds of 12-1.
9. Manny Pacquiao over Oscar de la Hoya (+180): Deemed the toughest pound-for-pound fighter in all of boxing, Pacquiao dominated now has-been de la Hoya, who has had little power behind his punches the last five years. The fact that Manny was opened at 1-to-2 underdog to the bigger de la Hoya shocked me so much that I figured the oddsmakers must know something about this that I didn’t. But they don’t. And I didn’t pull the trigger, either…
in Ryder Cup (+120): I actually bet the house on Europe on this one and had
no joy from the blowout result where the Tiger Woods-less USA team showed those
Europutters what was up after several years of American mediocrity. Kudos to