By Tony Dunst
What’s the biggest longshot you ever hit?
Before last Sunday, I couldn’t answer that question. I don’t make many long-shot bets, and even the small parlays I place are within the same game (like betting a side and the under) and pay perhaps 3 to 1.
The Super Bowl felt like the perfect excuse to find a long-shot bet. Everyone loves debating the weird prop-bets for The Big Game, and no American sporting event generates the same action. Online casinos use the props for customer acquisition, and usually, place small limits on the bet. These casinos don’t have the resources to research every strange bet and find the right price, so they eye-ball it and sometimes make mistakes.
I spent the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Atlanta, doing interviews and talking gambling with the media in Radio Row. I didn’t have the time to research various props, lines, and books the way I wanted but I knew everyone would ask what I was betting, so I flipped through Super Bowl MVP odds for a fun bet to make.
FanDuel was offering the best odds of the books I had access to, and Patriots lead receiver Julian Edelman looked mispriced at 35 to 1. For comparison, Brady and Goff were around 2 to 1, and lead backs Sony Michel and Todd Gurley were 15-ish. Besides price, there were a few other factors in Edelman’s favor:
- He played for the favored team.
- He’s the Patriots clear number-one option in the passing game.
- He returns punts.
- Brady and Gronk have regressed.
Does any of that mean I knew Edelman was going to have a great game? Hell no. It just means his price looked a little off for his opportunity. So I put $200 on him and didn’t sweat it until game-day when suddenly I had a reason to shout during the most boring Super Bowl in a decade.
He was everywhere on offense and spent half the game making fair catches following a Rams punt.
Near the end, I was worried Sony Michel’s touchdown put him ahead, or that Stephon Gillmore would win for the Patriots defense, but Edelman’s receiving stats won out and they gave him MVP. The only downside is that while researching this blog, I realized he opened at 50 to 1.