Sports betting: The genius who has Texas Tech to win the NCAA Tournament and his $300,000 dilemma
A bettor put $1,500 on the Red Raiders in November at 200-1. Now he's facing an interesting proposition. Plus lines for Saturday, and a Kentucky Derby update.
So what would you do?
An unidentified sports bettor went into the Westgate SuperBook in Vegas last November and put $1,500 on Texas Tech to win college men’s basketball’s national championship. The Red Raiders, who had never even been to a Final Four much less won a title, were heavy underdogs at 200-1.
“It’s one of the best sports bets I’ve ever seen,” said Luke Pergande, cofounder of the ticket exchange market PropSwap.com.
The Red Raiders didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, however. They made it to the Elite 8 last year before losing to Villanova. This year, they won a share of the Big 12 crown for the first time.
The Texas Tech bettor is now selling his ticket for $65,000 through Pergande’s site, which allows bettors to hedge without the anxiety of placing another bet. If he gets his $65k price, the Texas Tech guy makes $63,500 on his original $1,500 play.
The buyer would need Texas Tech to beat Michigan State in Saturday’s Final Four matchup to increase his investment for Monday night’s championship. Auburn plays Virginia in the other semifinal.
“The value will go up if Auburn wins,” Pergande explained. “It will go up, but not as high, if Virginia wins.”
Texas Tech would be about a 3-2 real-time underdog to Virginia. If they both reach the championship game, the $65,000 bettor would have Texas Tech at about 7-2.
The original bettor had a solid offer of $45,000 as of late Thursday afternoon. If he doesn’t get his $65k, he might opt to sit on his bet and hope to turn $8,000 into 300 grand.
“This is wild. Really wild,” said Pergande, adding that he hoped to have this resolved by Friday. “Saturday morning at the latest. We need some time when we’re moving around large tickets like this.”
The question still stands. What would you do?
Odds to win the title
Monday’s Projected Lines
Westgate has the following lines for Monday’s potential matchups. These guys don’t miss a trick.
They have Virginia -1 against Michigan State and Virginia -3 against Texas Tech.
Auburn is +4.5 to Michigan State and +2 to Texas Tech.
Action is available only in Nevada. Wagers on matchups that don’t occur will be refunded.
Pergande says folks are selling plenty of Phillies and Sixers futures tickets.
He said some places in Las Vegas had the Phillies at 30-1 win to the World Series prior to their offseason shopping spree. After landing Bryce Harper and starting 4-0 for the first time in 104 years, they are down to 10-1 in Vegas (9-1 in Philadelphia and South Jersey).
The Sixers were 25-1 to win the NBA title at one point and now are 12-1.
What’s happening at Santa Anita?
The Santa Anita Derby will take place Saturday despite the death of another horse this week.
Arms Runner, a 5-year-old gelding, injured his leg and was euthanized following a fall during Sunday’s San Simeon Stakes. Arms Runner is the 23rd horse to die at Santa Anita since Dec. 26.
There is fear in California that continued tragedies could lead to a horse-racing ban. Though the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is not yet pushing that far, the organization is calling for the elimination of all drugs, jockeys’ use of whips, and better maintenance of track surfaces.
Saturday marks the biggest racing day on the calendar for the venerable track, highlighted by the Santa Anita Derby. Game Winner, trained by Bob Baffert, will be in the field. At 5-1, he is among the early Kentucky Derby favorites according to Westgate. Game Winner worked out at Santa Anita during the week.
The track was closed for most of March, while the rash of deaths were investigated. Arms Runner’s tragedy occurred just three days after it reopened.
“I think it’s just an anomaly,” Baffert told the Los Angeles Times this week. “We just have this black cloud over us for some reason. I thought things were going good, and then what happened [on Sunday]. ... I don’t think anyone can really put the finger on it. Here we’ve been running for the last 40 to 50 years, the same whips, medication. Now. all of a sudden, boom, we’re having problems. They are trying to find something.”
Kentucky Derby Favorites
via Westgate SuperBook/Las Vegas