Years of analyzing the NBA odds paid off in a big way for Matt Kowalis on Sunday.
The co-founder of Detroit Sports Bettors and co-host of the FanDuel Sportsbook Show scored the biggest betting win of his life this past weekend.
Kowalis combined three different Same Game Parlays on FanDuel, a total of 16 different NBA player props, and hit on them all with odds of +58226. His $50 wager paid out a total of $29,163.10.
A typical NFL Sunday ended up being an NBA day that Kowalis will never forget.
What was Kowalis’ $29K parlay?
Kowalis put together three different SGP’s on Sunday’s NBA action, but combined them into one giant parlay wager.
Coming off a smaller parlay hit on Saturday, Kowalis took a small percentage of his winnings from that to apply to his “lotto ticket” wager.
“I had hit on a Same Game Parlay (Saturday) and it was to win $1,600. What I do when I hit on something like that is take $50 of the winnings and put together a ‘lotto ticket.’ I will make a big ticket that could lead to some life-changing money,” Kowalis said. “Obviously, the odds are it won’t hit, but I’m also putting real thought and data behind my picks.”
Here’s a look at all 16 bets that hit.
Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons SGP: +1236
- Anthony Davis Over 29.5 points
- Anthony Davis Over 9.5 rebounds
- LeBron James Over 21.5 points
- LeBron James Over 4.5 assists
- LeBron James Under 11.5 rebounds
- Bojan Bogdanovic Over 14.5 points
- Jaden Ivey Over 9.5 points
- Jaden Ivey Over 1.5 assists
Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers SGP: +2105
- Joel Embiid Over 35.5 points
- Joel Embiid Over 9.5 rebounds
- Terry Rozier Over 23.5 points
- James Harden Under 28.5 points
- James Harden Over 9.5 assists
Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks SGP: -103
- Julius Randle Over 17.5 points
- Julius Randle Over 2.5 assists
- Julius Randle Under 11.5 rebounds
How Kowalis came up with his parlay
Kowalis has been dedicated to his NBA analysis for nearly a decade now.
Prior to legalized sports betting in Michigan, Kowalis was a Daily Fantasy Sports player that had a lot of success.
Heading into Sunday, Kowalis stuck with what has worked for him before, identifying matchups.
The first was in the Pistons/Lakers matchup where he felt Anthony Davis was going to have a monster night.
“The first thing I did was look at the matchups and saw Anthony Davis playing the Pistons. He has a lot of success against Detroit,” Kowalis said. “When you go in on a player, you need someone to run with him. So, I went big on assists for LeBron and focused on a lower point total than he usually puts up.”
He also felt strongly about Joel Embiid going up against a Charlotte Hornets frontcourt that lacked the athleticism the Philly center possessed.
“Joel Embiid was another matchup I liked against the Hornets, who are pretty slow in the paint. I went big on his points at 35.5, which I believe was around +300 itself. I also went big on his rebounds,” Kowalis said. “Also, if Embiid is going hard, then that means he needs a facilitator and I went big on assists for Harden because of that.”
A little luck and a thrilling finish to win $29K parlay
All three games of his parlay got started at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.
By 8 p.m., Kowalis noticed that the stats were trending in his favor.
One particular bit of luck came in the Knicks vs. Kings game. Julius Randle had already hit on his Over 17.5 points and Over 2.5 assists, but was trending toward a solid night on the boards. Kowalis had him at Under 11.5.
However, Randle would get himself ejected with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter, finishing the night with 27 points, 3 assists and 8 rebounds.
Entering the fourth quarter of the three games, Kowalis just needed one assist from LeBron James, one assist from Jaden Ivey and four points from Terry Rozier.
Rozier and Ivey took care of their business quickly, but the LeBron assist wasn’t appearing.
With the Lakers up 119-117 on the Pistons with under 30 seconds to play, James had the ball looking to close out Detroit.
LeBron would eventually attack the paint and run into a double team, forcing him to kick the ball out to Austin Reaves, who was behind the arc.
Kowalis had his eyes locked into $29K riding on a 3-point attempt from Oklahoma second-year guard Austin Reaves, a 33% 3-point shooter.
Reaves sunk the shot, and Kowalis was $29,000 richer.
“I went sprinting out the front door,” Kowalis said. “I was in my living room talking on the phone with my buddy. He was a couple seconds ahead of me, because I heard him yell ‘OH MY GOD.’ That let me know something good was coming and that’s when Reaves got the ball and hit the three. I just sprinted out the door and ran to the end of the block and was jumping up and down.”
FanDuel Sportsbook MI was quick to get Kowalis his winnings credited to his account, with the taxes already taken out for him.
FanDuel has actually invited Kowalis into their national studios to talk about his parlay.
Parlay betting usually a winner for sportsbooks, not bettors
Kowalis is a veteran Michigan bettor that knows parlay play isn’t the way he recommends betting.
“For me, there is a lot of strategy to it, but this is definitely not a common thing. It is entertaining to see the boxes check off, but it is definitely not the way you should bet every day,” he said. “These aren’t easy and the odds are so long for a reason. Single plays are still the safe way to bet and build a bankroll for yourself. Everyone wants to hit that big parlay, and I am definitely glad I did, but it’s lightning in a bottle.”
If seeking parlay play, Kowalis has found similarities between building a parlay and playing DFS.
“I was a pro DFS player for a while, specifically NBA. When you are picking a Same Game Parlay, it can be very similar to DFS,” Kowalis said. “I’ve been watching a lot of NBA for many years and I think I have a good feel for game flow. If it’s a big spread in the game, it could be a blowout that leads to some unders for player props. If it’s a close game with a high total, that trends to overs. I think the NBA lends itself to tendencies more than any other sport and that’s what I try to focus on. Certain matchups lead to predictable player results.”
Kowalis has landed six parlays of +1000 odds or more during the NBA season, including another of +10000 odds.
You can catch the Fanduel Sportsbook Show on Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WXYZ Detroit, ABC 7.