While lots of college basketball fans found themselves tearing up their brackets as UMBC pulled off the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history Friday night, one bettor in Las Vegas must have been exuberant in celebration.
UMBC, with a 74-54 win over Virginia, became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in 136 such tournament matchups.
The Retrievers were 20.5-point underdogs to the Cavaliers, but a gambler at the Venetian sports book, which is operated by CG Technology, had the gumption to make an $800 money-line bet on the dog, Jason Simbal, vice president of risk at CG, said in a text message to Omnisport. For a money-line bet to cash, the team has to win the game outright, regardless of point spread.
At odds of +2000 (20/1), the over-the-counter bet resulted in a cool $16,000 payoff.
Some sports books don’t even offer money lines on mismatches as big as UMBC-Virginia appeared to be. One person at the Venetian is sure glad CG Technology does.
William Hill, meanwhile, took 134 bets on the UMBC money line, including six wagers of $100 that paid off $2,500. The sports book operator took 10 bets on the Retrievers to win the NCAA Championship at 3,000-to-1 odds. The South Point paid out about $43,000 on $1,800 in UMBC money-line bets, while favorite bettors lost more than $23,000 for the chance to win $5,000 on a Virginia win, sports book director Chris Andrews said in a text.