Three weeks into the NFL season, Brian Wood has seen enough. The 34-year-old New Jersey entrepreneur knew what he wanted to do. He just needed to figure out how.
“I’ve been thinking about the best way to bet the Jets are bad,” Wood said, laughing.
He considered betting on the Jets at 0-16, a popular bet on sports recreation, but instead found a better option he believed in. FanDuel offered odds in which week the Jets would get their first game, something Wood didn’t expect to happen until late in the season, if at all.
At 11:32 ET on Sept. 26, Wood bet $ 100 on the Jets who won their first game of weeks 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. The odds for his seven $ 100 bets they ranged from a 23-1 win in week 12 against the Dolphins, to a 180-1 win over the Patriots in week 17.
Entering the home game of the 13th week against the Raiders, the Jets did their part and the rest were without a win. Wood had already filled his bankroll by betting twice against the Jets against the Dolphins, and now had the Jets with a 60-1 odds to beat the Raiders for their first win.
To protect himself from his bet, he placed two bets totaling $ 7,185 on the heavily favored Raiders to win the game at -330. If Las Vegas wins, he would win $ 1,459 of his bets on the money lines, and the rest of his first bets on the Jets would still be alive. If the Jets had formed upset, he would have won $ 6,000 from his first bet, but he would have lost the money he risked on the Raiders.
In the duel, the Jets rallied and took a 28-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. With five seconds left, Raiders striker Derek Carr threw the final shot, a 46-meter pass to Henry Ruggs III, for the winning touch.
“The raiders infarcted me,” Wood said. “I picked up my girlfriend and ran around the room.”
After losing to Seattle in week 14, the Jets headed to Los Angeles and took over the Rams as outsiders with 17 points. Wood had the Jets at 120-1 to score their first win here – and they did, becoming just the 11th NFL outsider with 17 or more points to win a game straight since 1970.
Wood just won $ 12,000 from one of his $ 100 bets, plus approximately $ 5,247.13 he won by betting on Jets opponents. Its net profit: $ 16,647.13. Yet he barely celebrated. Wood said he felt numb at the time and his eyes were glued to the NFL RedZone channel. Something even bigger was happening. His entry into the National Championship in DraftKings Pro Football Pick ’em, with a first prize of $ 1 million, moved him to first place.
“There were four games where we had to go a certain way, and we lost them all,” Wood said. “Then all the teams we were supposed to cover came back and covered. We went from the third, fourth or fifth entry last week to the first.”
Wood, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is the founder and CEO of Panodime, an application designed to “facilitate decision-making.” Wood says the Panodime will be launched in the coming months. In the meantime, he has to make some big decisions.
The DraftKings ‘pick’ em competition has 689 entries in three states (New Jersey, West Virginia and New Hampshire). Entering the 16th week, the last week of the competition, Wood’s entry of “bwood12” can probably lock in the first million dollar prize if he makes a 4-1 out of the mandatory five picks. As of Wednesday, he was still working on the election and examining options for what he said would be “life-changing money”.
“If it comes down to one game in the end, it’s going to be crazy because I don’t have enough liquid capital to protect at some point,” Wood said. “It’s going to be a really awkward position if it comes down to having $ 750,000 in a game on Monday night. There’s nothing I can do at one point. I just have to hope it goes my way.
“There will be a lot of sweating this weekend. I’ve never sweated so much at a game,” he added. “For me, this was a really good sports book.”