While these power rankings usually tell us which teams and players have been the most profitable over the past week, we’re going to broaden the scope and look back at 2019 as a whole. This piece will focus strictly on the players/individuals that made bettors the most money thus far during this calendar year.
1) Tiger Woods
2) Brooks Koepka
3) Sony Michel
4) Julian Edelman
5) Pete Alonso
6) Gary Woodland
7) Shane Lowry
8) Christian Yelich
9) Matthew Wolfe
10) Henry Cejudo
Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Tiger Woods (+1400) returns to glory with win at MastersThe Patriots were the most profitable team of 2019, not just because they’re consistently a great team, but because they won the Super Bowl — an event that brings out even the most casual bettors. The Masters is probably the golf equivalent of the Super Bowl, and betting Tiger Woods is probably even more popular than betting the Patriots. Because Tiger gets so much action, the price on him generally isn’t even fair. Many thought Tiger deserved odds twice as steep than the ones offered, but the public can’t resist hammering Tiger. This time around it paid off big. Woods was even +1000 entering the final round of The Masters, so bettors cashed in big even if they waited to show their faith in him. Tiger shot a -2 in the final round, which put him at a -13 overall. He finished just one stroke ahead of Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
Brooks Koepka (+1000) dominates PGA ChampionshipKoepka dominated this one, and even did his best to cough it up on the final day. Koepka shot a +4 in the final round of the PGA, but was head and shoulders above the field entering the day at a -12. His -8 final score was still two strokes ahead of Johnson, who wound up four strokes better than the T3 finishers. Koepka’s laidback approach is making him a popular play, but it’s well deserved with the recent showings he’s had in majors.
Sony Michel (+450 SB First TD) scores first, only TD in Super Bowl winJulian Edelman’s presence on this list shouldn’t come as a surprise — he won Super Bowl MVP at long odds. But it is somewhat surprising that Michel made bettors more cash. The Patriots were really pounding the rock on their run to the Super Bowl, with Michel rushing for a combined 242 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries in playoff victories over the Chargers and Chiefs. While he wasn’t quite as effective against the Rams (18 carries for 94 yards), he did accomplish one crucial aspect of the game — he scored the only touchdown. Michel was -143 to score anytime, which made sense with how New England was operating. But the +450 play for him to score the first was what really paid out big. Of course, if you were on this play, you really had to sweat it out, as the score didn’t come until there were seven minutes left in the game.
Pete Alonso (+350) comes out on top in Home Run DerbyThis one makes a lot of sense, mostly because there’s just absolutely nothing else to bet on when the HR Derby rolls around every year. That said, it can also be an electric event to wager on, and bettors did so on DK Sportsbook. Now, it certainly didn’t hurt that a team local to New Jersey wound up having the derby winner, as Mets fans likely couldn’t resist getting some money in on their star rookie. Maybe even more impressive is what one bettor netted by betting on the derby winner well in advance — someone bet $1,100 on Alonso on DKSB in May (before we even knew who was in the competition) at +1600. The bold bet brought back a return of $18,700.
Christian Yelich (+1955) comes through with three RBI after odds boostSomeone must’ve had some serious faith in Yelich here, but I’ve got to admit, these are awesome odds on an MVP having three or more RBI in a game. Even with a small wager, you’re bringing back almost 20x your money after DKSB decided to boost Yelich’s odds. He wound up going 2-for-4 against the Reds, batting in exactly three runs, just what he needed to payout the bettors. Yelich made those that took the steep odds sweat out their money as best he could, not getting on the board until he batted in a run in the seventh inning. It all came down to a final at-bat — Yelich at the dish in the ninth inning, with a man on base. He did what he does best, and smashed a two-run homer for the monster payout.
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