The eccentric owner of the D Las Vegas Casino got crushed opening weekend, losing $109,000 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Derek Stevens is betting Michigan wins the championship.
Itâ€™s not so much loyalty to his alma mater, but the 80-1 odds he received for his wager on the No. 7 seeded Wolverines. Before the season they were 100-1 and he got decent odds for when he placed his bet before March Madness. After reaching the Sweet 16 they have been pegged at 18-1. Stevens bet $12,500 and could walk away with $1 million.
It is similar to a bet the former auto parts mogul made two years ago. He put down $20,000 on Michigan State to win it all at 50-1 odds. He came within two games of winning, but didnâ€™t lose his money. He shelled out $49,000 on Duke to beat MSU in the Final Four and won $20,000, covering his initial play.
Bets Bounce Bad
For this yearâ€™s competition Stevens appeared at South Point Casino on the set of the Vegas Stats and Information Network show on Sirius XM radio and divulged his plan. Stevens wagered $11,000 on each of the 32 opening round games. Thatâ€™s $352,000 wagered for a possible maximum payout of $320,000.
But he knows more about operating a casino than sportsbetting. He took the underdog in 19 of the 32 first-round games, including Texas Southern at plus-25 against No. 1 seeded North Carolina. The Tar Heels won by 39.
His record for the first two days of the event was 10-19-3 and he lost $109,000.
Long Road for Big Blue
In order for Michigan to even reach the title game they are going to have to get past some pretty formidable foes. They play No. 3 Oregon on Thursday and are 1.5-point favorites, despite having more losses than the Ducks.
If they survive that game they would face the winner of Kansas/Purdue. Several sportsbooks have Kansas favored to win the championship. If they reached the Final Four, the Wolverines could face one of the following four schools; North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA or Butler, all of which are seeded higher.