Making huge amounts of dollars in TV revenues, sponsorship deals and promoting household names like LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Basketball is mutli-billion dollar mega sport. Like any mega sport, there are no shortage of Journalists, agents, pundits, bloggers and twits circulating the game at any one time. Again like any mega sport there is a plentiful supply of odds makers and handicappers looking for their slice of the massive money to be made in the wagers and outcomes of matches.
But what the five of the most amazing bets ever placed on Basketball? Here’s our list…
Back in March this year, an anonymous bettor from Western Australia correctly predicted the entire 13 match NBA scorecard before repeating the feat a couple of weeks later! Over two separate weekends, our man turned $5AUS into a whopping $216,000 and then, for his next trick, he turned another five bucks into a more than fair dinkum $86,000, totalling $302,000.
In week one, the massive score began with Philadelphia’s 89-81 victory over Washington, but the real money was made was with the New York Knicks’ victory over the Detroit Pistons. An unlikely victory saw the Knicks fight back from a 15 point deficit to win late on in double overtime to end an eight game losing streak. Without the Knicks’ contribution, the payout would have plummeted from $216,000 to $20,500. Talk about not cashing out!
Less than a month later he pulled it off again after the Denver Nuggets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers and consequently halting a losing streak record stretching back 27 years.
Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris
There was a time, back in the year 2000, when a young Greek-Canadian named Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris had just $70,000 USD in life. Then, just 25, he took the unusual step of placing his entire life savings on the Los Angeles Lakers to win that season’s NBA championship. Following a horror show in the previous year, the Lakers’ price to win had drifted but that clearly didn’t concern young Bob.
After a six month wait, the Lakers duly won and Bob collected his first half a million dollars. Nowadays, the most successful NBA sports bettor in history enjoys the winnings earned from a 70% win rate. And, betting millions of dollars at a time, that is quite some income. Armed with such a forensic knowledge of the game and the numbers, Bob, who also plays high stakes Poker, has switched sides and now runs his own sportsbook.
It’s not just pro-Basketball that gets the big money put down on it, some punters opt for the college game to make their punts. Take this anonymous Connecticut fan who, March last year, pledged $90,000 USD on his beloved Huskies to beat the heavily backed Villanova Wildcats in that year’s March Madness. When his luck came in and the Huskies’ underdogs duly won, he decided not to cash out but to ride his luck for a little longer.
Instead, he let the winning ticket, worth $228,431.17, roll on to University of Connecticut’s Sweet 16 matchup against Iowa State, where, once again, the Huskies were unfancied underdogs. Just like before, UConn upset the odds and ran out 81-76 winners, leaving one Husky with a grand total of around $480,000, some $390,000 more than he started with.
Floyd “the money” Mayweather
Leave it a man nicknamed “The Money” to lay an absolute whopper of a B’ball bet. Back in June 2013, Floyd Mayweather placed $5.9m USD on Miami Heat to beat the Indiana Pacers. Heat ran out 99-76 winners, allowing the Boxer to collect a near $6.5m profit. Naturally, no bookmakers wanted to take that size of bet so the wagers were spread across nine separate sportsbooks.
Recognised as a world champion over four separate weight divisions, Mayweather is the highest earning sportsman in the world and wants people to know it. While on a betting hot steak between August 2010 and February 2012, the fighter’s Twitter feed displayed photos of 46 winning betting slips worth returns of a neat $3.9m in winnings
“The Money” cashes in – again!
How typical of this guy to place not one but two of the biggest bets Basketball has ever seen but that’s Floyd Mayweather for you. Back in May this year he scooped a cool $200,000 profit when he backed the Golden State Warriors to win game 3 of the Western Conference finals against The Houston Rockets. The Warriors went on to smash the Rockets by 35 points leaving Mayweather very happy indeed.
Publicising his excess, as is his preference, he Tweeted “Splash for the cash” with an accompanying photo of the winning betting slip. The boxer staked $200 on the wager and when it came in, he doubled his money.