Bet on the Weird

If you want to make life-changing money, think outside the box...

Written by Jimmy Mengel
Posted November 23, 2021

Dear Outsiders,

An anonymous sports fan just made a million bucks…

He turned $30,000 into a million by betting on superstar two-way baseball player Shohei Ohtani winning Major League Baseball’s Most Valuable Player award. Sometimes a big bet pays off, and this fellow cashed in big last week.

Ohtani is the most electrifying baseball player since Babe Ruth — the original pitcher/slugger. He not only hit 46 home runs, but also pitched better than almost anyone in baseball. It’s unheard of to be able to both hit and pitch, two of the hardest things to do in the world. To be able to throw 97 miles per hour and hit pitches of the same speed requires otherworldly talent.

I know it well: I just spent an afternoon with my son in the batting cages. Now, I played travel baseball as a kid, and was quite good if I do say so. But I could barely keep up with the little league fastballs.

But Shohei has it all, and a bettor in Nevada put his money on the line in the hope that Ohtani would win MVP at 30-1 odds with Caesars Sportsbook. He ended up making life-changing money.

And you can too, without knowing anything about sports…

That’s because sports betting has finally gone mainstream. It used to be that you needed some shady bookie in Vegas to place your bets, and you could only bet on the outcome of the game. Times were simpler back in the day and you just had to pick a winner or a loser. 

Even Nevada sportsbooks weren’t allowed to take bets from anything decided by a vote — like this year’s MVP award — until 2015. The college Heisman Trophy was the first award allowed by Nevada Gaming Control, then the MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Cy Young awards were approved the year after.

But bets these days have gotten far more inventive.

Now you can place bets on pretty much any event happening in a game. They’re called prop bets. You can place money down on whether Tom Brady throws exactly three touchdowns, Lebron James gets over ten assists, or Mike Trout gets injured in the first half of the season.

It gets way weirder, though... 

My personal favorite?

That Hall of Famer and infamous murderer O.J. Simpson (editorial note: he did it) would attend the most bet-on game in history: 2020’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. There was a +750 and -1500 on that bet. O.J. didn’t show up and thousands of dollars were made by gamblers and bookies alike...

Now, it used to be that the money would either be handled in Vegas or on the black market. In 2019, Nevada handled $5.32 billion in sports bets. But now, online gambling has made it as easy as a click on your phone to place any of these bets. And people who never gambled in their life are acting like the old dude in the crumpled hat, waving the race book and screaming at horses at the track every day.

Its becoming the fastest-growing industry in the country, not just for gamblers but for investors...

Sports betting is expected to be a $150 billion dollar industry in just a few years. That’s because the Supreme Court itself — like Vegas did in 2015 — overturned the illegality of state betting laws in 2018. States have been rushing in to stake their claims. It’s brought one of the oldest industries out of the shadows and into the sunshine. 

Right now, a quarter of Americans live in a state that allows legal sports gambling. That is going to double in no time. Three of the most populated states — California, Texas, and Florida — will legalize the industry in short order.

That’s half the nation — more than 165 million Americans — all at once... 

As these legalizations sweep across the country...

They’re unshackling a $516 billion market. And all at once, billions of dollars in profits are suddenly appearing on the balance sheets of a very select group of companies.

I mean this quite literally — billions of dollars in totally new revenue is showing up on the books. The gambling world will never be the same. We are going to see more prop bets, more traditional bets, and even bets on the growing esports and video gaming markets.

And as this trend continues, it’ll ignite a record-breaking run for a short list of stocks.

I outline the three best ones right here.


Jimmy Mengel

follow basic @mengeled on Twitter

Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the investment director of several personal finance advisories, The Crow's Nest, and The Adventure Capitalist For more on Jimmy, check out his editor's page.

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