As 2012 ticks down to its final days, we look back at the best and worst bets from the major sports leagues this past year. Chances are, if you've won or lost money in the last 365 days, you ran into one of these teams:
Best - Seattle Seahawks (11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS)
The Seahawks have built an empire for loyal bettors, on the strength of their home-field advantage at CenturyLink Field. Seattle is a perfect 8-0 SU (7-1 ATS) at home, but will hit the road in the first round of playoffs next weekend. The Seahawks rank No. 1 in home defense, giving up just 11.8 points as hosts.
Worst – Philadelphia Eagles (4-12 SU, 3-12-1 ATS)
The Eagles’ ship started sinking when they opened the year 3-1 SU but went 0-3-1 ATS. Philadelphia got worse from there. An eight-game losing skid brought with it a 2-6 ATS mark, a concussion to QB Michael Vick as well as a slew of injuries to the offense.
Best –Oakland Athletics (94-68 SU, 38.54 units)
They caught fire after the All-Star break, reeling off a 51-25 record in the second half of the schedule. Most of those wins came as moneyline underdogs, as the A’s marched through AL West powers like Los Angeles and Texas en route to an unlikely division crown.
Worst – Boston Red Sox (69-93 SU, -36.85)
There was no joy in Beantown this summer as the high-priced BoSox reached deep into bettors pockets and took everything but the lint. Boston, a moneyline fave most nights, did most of its damage at Fenway. The Red Sox posted the second-worst home record in baseball at 69-93.
Best – Northwestern Wildcats (9-3 SU, 11-1 ATS)
The Wildcats tied with Fresno State for the most ATS victories this season but get the nod after the Bulldogs laid an egg in the Hawaii Bowl. Northwestern, not the sexiest team in the Big Ten, quietly pieced together a nice season and can add one more payday versus Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Worst – Virginia Cavaliers (4-8 SU, 2-9-1 ATS)
Virginia is for lovers – not bettors. That’s for damn sure. The Cavs just edged their rivals, the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-9 ATS), for the honor of being called the worst bet in college football. Virginia went an appalling 0-6-1 ATS at home and suffered through a six-game SU and ATS drought between Sept. 15 and Oct. 20.
Best - San Antonio Spurs (50-16 SU, 42-20-4 ATS)
Everyone expected the compressed 66-game season to take its toll on older teams like the Spurs. However, Greg Popovich measured and weighed the schedule to perfection and in turn gave bettors one of the best ATS stretches in a long while. San Antonio, which is off to a strong 18-11-1 ATS start this year, went 21-3-3 ATS between March 25 and Game 3 of the conference semifinals on May 19.
Worst – Charlotte Bobcats (7-59 SU, 23-43 ATS)
If you were betting on the Bobcats, you deserve to lose money. Charlotte set the mark for futility with just seven wins last season and while they have topped that total already this year, things haven’t changed much for Bobcats bettors – if there are any. Charlotte is mired in a 16-game losing skid as of Friday, going 4-12 ATS in that span.
Best – New Jersey Devils (48-28-2-4 SU, 20.25 units)
The Devils may have come up short in the Stanley Cup Final but they made hockey bettors happy. New Jersey earned more than 20 units for its faithful, most of those big moneyline wins coming on the road. The Devils posted a 24-15-0-2 SU mark away from the Garden State.
Worst – Montreal Canadiens (31-35-4-12 SU, -19.58 units)
The Habs were the “Hab nots” this past hockey season. Montreal, one of the most popular teams north of the border, struggled to find traction in 2012. The Canadiens were terrible on the road and barely held their own inside the Bell Centre – arguably the best home-ice advantage in the league – with a 16-15-2-8 record as hosts.
Best – New Mexico Lobos (28-7 SU, 23-9 ATS)
After opening last season with three straight blown covers in lined games, the Lobos went on a nine-game ATS tear and followed that with a seven-game ATS winning run in January and February. New Mexico continued to make money in the postseason, winning four in a row SU and ATS before losing to Louisville in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The Lobos are just 6-6-1 ATS to start this season, but have gone 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven.
Worst – USC Trojans (6-26 SU, 9-22 ATS)
Southern Cal was bitten hard by the injury bug last season and watched three starters go down during the course of the season. The Trojans won one conference game and finished 4-13 SU at home, closing out the year with just one ATS win in their final 10 games. Things haven’t changed much for Kevin O’Neill’s kids, jumping out to a 3-7-1 ATS start to this season.
Best – San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13 SU, 22-12 ATS)
Much like their NBA counterparts, the Silver Stars set the betting standard in the WNBA this summer. And if it wasn’t for the Olympic break, that ATS record could have been even better. San Antonio took a 15-3 ATS count into the month-long hiatus but went just 7-9 ATS after returning to action in the middle of August.
Worst – Phoenix Mercury (7-27 SU, 10-24 ATS)
The Mercury took a serious step back in the WNBA this year. Injuries to key players, like Candace Dupree, and the ongoing saga with star Diana Taurasi, who only played eight games because she was saving herself for the Olympics, left the team short on firepower most nights. Oddsmakers continued to treat Phoenix as a contender, leading to so many blown covers.
Best – Calgary Stampeders (12-6 SU, 10-8 ATS)
We use the term “best” very loosely with the Stamps. In the 100th year of the Grey Cup, only two CFL teams turned a profit: Calgary and Edmonton. The Stampeders get the nod because they went 1-1-1 ATS in the postseason and the Eskimos bowed out with an ATS loss to Toronto in the division semis. Calgary was a tough out on the road, going 6-3 ATS as the visitor.
Worst – Montreal Alouettes (11-7 SU, 8-10 ATS)
The Als tied with Saskatchewan as the worst bet in the CFL this season but end up here because they were favorites most nights. Montreal was the chalk in 12 of those 18 games, going 5-7 ATS when giving the points. The Alouettes closed the year with a 2-5 ATS mark in their final seven games, including a loss to Toronto in the division finals.