Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Vikings wide receiver Stefan Diggs
- Let's start the first day of 2019 off with positive betting vibes by reliving these 10 miracle covers from 2018.
- I hope of a few of you were on these with me, including the Minnesota Miracle and Davidson's glorious NCAA Tourney backdoor.
After sharing my top 10 bad beats of 2018 on the final day of the year, I felt I should go back and recall my top 10 luckiest wins — and share on the first day of 2019 to send out some good vibes for the new year.
We all tend to remember the bad losses much more vividly and attribute the lucky wins to our skills (behavioral finance 101), so I had to think a little harder to come up with a solid list. We all get luckier than we think at times.
So, let’s go for a much more pleasant ride back in time to relive some of the most glorious betting moments of 2018. This should be fun.
10. NCAAF: Nevada ML (vs. Arkansas State)
One of the luckiest bowl covers of my gambling career. I feel like Arkansas State lived inside the 10-yard line the entire game, while Nevada couldn’t gain a yard.
Nevada somehow found a way to overtime and won 16-13 — despite getting outgained 485-299 yards.
9. NHL: Capitals ML and Under 5.5 (vs. Knights)
The Holtby save. I don’t even need to say anything else and you know which game I am talking about. This makes the list because it not only saved my Capitals ML bet, but also my under 5.5 — which had to survive furious action with Vegas’ goalie pulled.
8. NFL: Raiders -2.5 (vs. Browns)
I still can’t believe the refs overturned that spot.
That gave the Raiders a chance to tie the game up, which they did with 30 seconds left after scoring a touchdown and two point conversion. They then covered with a field goal with less than two minutes left in overtime.
I’m so sorry, Browns backers.
7. NCAAF: Arkansas +13 (vs. LSU)
I mean, it was the right play by Nick Brossette, but nobody ever does this in college. And he did it twice! And then got stuffed trying to score after all of that.
That all happened after Arkansas scored 14 unanswered to get in the backdoor. They were thoroughly outplayed and trailed 24-3 in the final quarter before holding on for a 24-17 win.
What an absolute rush … and a lucky cover.
6. MLB: Rockies (vs. Dodgers)
You knew I had to include at least one game from the magical Rockies summer run we had. This one was special.
Walker Buehler threw a gem (7.0 innings of shutout ball) and the Rockies looked dead in the water. But with two men on and two outs, pinch hitter Ryan McMahon (who played hero for me the previous night) hit a three-run walk-off homer in front of a sold out Coors crowd.
You gotta love sports betting.
The best part? That homer broke an 0-19 Rockies streak with RISP over those two games — two wins for them and me. Luckbox.
5. MLB: Pirates -115 (vs. Brewers)
The elite Brewers bullpen cost me a loss that made my top 10 worst bad beats of the year list, but I got them back with this one.
I lost count how many times the Pirates were dead in this game. Not only did they make a miracle comeback with 2 outs in the ninth down 5-3, but the Brewers also re-took the lead in the top of the 10th before Josh Bell did this — again with 2 outs.
That clinched a rare five-game sweep of the Brewers, as well. Magical.
4. NFL: Saints-Ravens Under 49
The Ravens scored a touchdown with less than a minute remaining to cut the Saints’ lead to 24-23. They were one Justin Tucker extra point from tying the game, which would’ve ruin my under barring a miracle tie. Mr. automatic stepped up and somehow missed it!
I couldn’t believe it. And the Saints would hold on for a 24-23 win.
Including the postseason, Justin Tucker is now 264-of-265 (99.6%) on extra points. That remains his only miss.
3. Tennis: Caroline Wozniacki R2 Win vs. Jana Fett
It usually takes some luck to hit a future (Villanova 30-1 was the exception, not the rule) and cashing a Woz future at the 2018 Aussie Open required plenty.
The Dane was dead in the water as an enormous favorite (-1100) against Jana Fett in the second round, trailing 5-1 in the third set and facing multiple match points. Caroline somehow managed to fight off those match points and come all the way back in stunning fashion.
She then went on to defeat Simona Halep in an epic final to secure her first ever Grand Slam title.
What a ride.
2. Davidson +6 (vs. Kentucky)
I described this as my favorite betting moment of the year in our staff piece. What a magical prayer cover. Seton Hall also cashed for me in similar fashion against Kansas. It was a good March.
1. NFL: Vikings -4.5 (vs. Saints)
The only sweeter NFL cover I can ever remember was the Ravens Hail Mary in Denver that kept my future alive (that would eventually hit). I still feel for those who had -5.5 after that extra point fiasco. Fortunately, the NFL changed that rule in the offseason so bettors will never have to deal with that long torturous wait ever again.