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Dan Podheiser

Dan  Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

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Top-10 bets for the greatest American sports Saturday ever

27 Apr 2015

By Dan Podheiser
Saturday, May 2, 2015, is going to be one of those days that sports fans remember for a long, long time. And if you're a serious sports bettor, the day could make or break your bankroll for the foreseeable future.

The fun starts at 11 a.m. EST with rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft. If you're only a casual football fan, or maybe love the NFL but don't pay attention to college football, Saturday's draft coverage won't be too exciting for you. But if you're a football junkie and spend your autumns glued to your TV on both Saturdays and Sundays, day three of the draft is right up your alley.

As the draft winds down, sports fans will flip the channel to tune into the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at approximately 6:24 p.m. EST. Horse racing may be a dying sport in the U.S., but everyone loves the Derby; it gives us all a chance to wear big, floppy hats, drink mint juleps and bet on animals with hilarious names to outrun other animals with hilarious names.

The day then culminates with the largest (cash wise) prize boxing fight in the history of the sport, as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. takes on Manny Pacquiao live from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas at 9 p.m. EST. Like horse racing, boxing is also hanging by a thread in American sports culture, but millions of American households will pony up the $99 to order the pay-per-view fight to their televisions. Because, at the end of the day, there's nothing better than watching the two greatest fighters in the world try to punch each other's lights out.

But wait -- there could be more! The Bulls and Bucks, Rockets and Mavericks, and Clippers and Spurs could all be playing Game 7s in their first-round NBA Playoffs series Saturday afternoon and evening. And the major draw is Clippers-Spurs, which is shaping up to be a historically great first-round matchup.

Oh, and there will probably be a few NHL postseason games, too. But we've talked too much already about irrelevant sports …

Without further ado, here are the top-10 bets you can make for what should be the greatest sports Saturday in American history.

All real betting odds provided by bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook.

10. Pacquiao over Mayweather (+200)

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has been the consensus favorite in this fight since the day it was announced, and with a 47-0 career record, that edge is justified. But there is no way I'm betting on Mayweather given his out-of-the-ring track record, and it's not like Manny Pacquiao is a slouch, either. Let's go Pac-Man!

9. Carpe Diem-American Pharaoh-Frosted trifecta

Picking winners in horse races is all about picking the best names. If you think you're a sharp who can actually make a living handicapping horses, you're wrong. It is all luck. Period. All. Luck.

American Pharaoh is the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, and under normal circumstances I'd pick him to lead my trifecta. But as I'll explain later (see bet #2), Carpe Diem simply must finish first.

8. Jimenez over Hart (+550)

The first undercard match on the Mayweather-Pacquiao card is Jesse Hart vs. Mike Jimenez. If I have somehow fooled you to this point, let me please point out that I know nothing about boxing. In fact, the closest I've come to actually watching a boxing match is watching "Rocky."

That said, I'm going with Jimenez to upset Hart, who's listed as a 10-to-1 favorite, just so that Vegas can rile up the audience at the MGM and at home. Because, let's face it -- it's all rigged, anyway.

7. Lomachenko over Rodriguez (-5000)

Speaking of "Rocky," I think the fight promoters decided to bring in the ghost of Dolph Lundgren, a.k.a. Ivan Drago from "Rocky IV" to pummel another poor fighter in the second Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard match. Vasyl Lomachenko is a 50-to-1 favorite over Gamalier Rodriguez, and I just hope the Ukrainian takes it easy on poor G-Rod en route to victory.

6. Ocho Ocho Ocho comes in 8th

How could a horse named "Eight Eight Eight" finish in any other position? Easy money. (Full disclosure: I can't find any online sportsbook to offer this specific bet, but I'll try to trick one of my sucker friends into giving me big odds on this prop. Like I said, easy money.)

5. Pacquiao by KO, TKO or DQ (+550)

If you think Pacquiao will beat Mayweather, it's likely going to have to come via knockout or some kind of ridiculous disqualification of Mayweather.

The consensus is that Mayweather, known for his defensive strategy, will simply slip or ward off Pacquaio's attack for 12 rounds while landing a few key blows of his own, eventually winning by decision. So we just need to hope that Pacquiao is so relentless and so feisty that he's able to sneak a punch right by Mayweather's guard and land it in between the eyes. And if that doesn't happen, maybe Mayweather will decide to punch the referee in the face just for looking at him the wrong way.

One time, dealer.

4. Spurs-Clippers goes to Game 7 (-120)

This is technically not a bet you can make Saturday; it needs to be placed before the Spurs and Clippers face off in Game 5 on Tuesday night. But because it applies to Saturday -- and it would be amazing if this series made it to seven games -- I'm including it on the list. We all win with Spurs-Clippers Game 7.

3. NFL Draft Mr. Irrelevant: Defense (-110)

The NFL Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" is otherwise known as the last player to be selected in the entire draft. I think defense/punter is the safe play here for one basic reason. When you're drafting in late rounds, you're basically just trying to find athletes who you can mold into viable NFL players. I think that's easier to do on the defensive side of the ball.

2. Carpe Diem to win Kentucky Derby (+700)

Okay, just picture this. Imagine Kentucky Derby announcer Dave Johnson with this winning call.

"And here comes Carpie Diem from the middle of the pack. Carpe Diem pulls ahead of Ocho Ocho Ocho, who seems destined for eighth place. Carpe Diem glides past Frosted and has American Pharaoh in his sites. It's neck and neck as Carpe Diem now pulls ahead! American Pharaoh is falling behind and Carpe Diem SEIZES THE DAY as he wins the Kentucky Derby!"

Again, easy money.

1. Pacquiao to win in Round 2 (+6600)

Like I said, if Pacquiao is going to win, it's going to have to be in long-shot fashion. I'm banking on him figuring out Mayweather in the first round and then knocking his teeth out in the second, Buster Douglass style.

This bet could work out in a multitude of ways. First, I'll win 66 times my wager and it will cover my cost of the pay-per-view fight. Second, I'll be able to flip the channel to Spurs-Clippers. It's a win-win situation for all.
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