One of the best things about March Madness is the number of bets that can be placed at this time of year. This is a monumental time of year for sportsbooks, bookmakers and of course, punters. From the casual sports fan running a bracket in the workplace to people poring over every single in-play market, it is very easy to get caught up in March Madness fever.
There will be plenty of people who are currently waiting on Kentucky to clinch their perfect season but you know that this isn’t the case for everyone. Derek Stevens is one of these people and while he probably doesn’t have anything personal against Kentucky and their quest for immortality and perfection, it is easy to see why he wants them to be derailed before they hit that 40-0 mark.
Have a look at our comprehensive March Madness Betting Guide. We encourage you to read this guide if you are new to – or want to know where to wager on the NCAA Basketball tournament.
A one million bet is still alive
This is because if Michigan State win the tournament, Derek Stevens will win $1 million. This dates back to the 5th of December 2014 when Stevens walked into the sportsbook located in the Golden Nugget Casino and hotel, and asked to make a bet. He wanted to place a bet on Michigan State that if they won, he would win a million dollars. Stevens is a regular customer at the casino, but this isn’t the sort of bet that can be made just like that, and a quick phone call was made to the owner of the Golden Nugget, Tilman Fertitta, to see if this style of bet was able to be made.
At this point in time, Spartans were listed at 50-1 to win the tournament. This bet came on the back of the side losing their third game of the season, which was only eight games old at the time. Notre Dame were the latest team to put Michigan State to the sword and it is easy to see why no one would think that they would get this far, let alone be in a position to win the tournament.
The say-so from the boss allowed sportsbook director Tony Miller to accept the $20,000 bet. Miller spoke to local media recently, saying;
In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million. The most I’ve ever seen won here was a $100,000 parlay.
This would be a massive win
Stevens is a well-known face and name in Las Vegas, he is the owner of Golden Gate and The D hotels in the downtown area and he claims that he doesn’t have any insight, he just fancied an aggressive bet to back his team. Stevens, who was at the University of Michigan but who is a fan of the Spartans, said;
I bet $1,000 on an NFL game. I don’t do bets this big.
When you get to this stage, there is always an opportunity to hedge your bets, but Stevens said that is not sure if he will bother doing this. He has a few days before the next March Madness game takes place so he doesn’t have to rush into this strategy. Some betting fans are more than happy to hedge their bets while some believe that if you are in to win it, you might as well be in it to win the full way.
Miller knows that a Spartans win would be bad for business, saying;
This would be a massive loss for us. I see days where we lose $10,000 to $30,000, but nothing close to $1 million.
Stevens is inviting people to come and watch the game on Satuirday between Duke and the Spartans at The D, and he wants fans to turn up in green and white to back Michigan State and the $1m bet. Stevens said;
If I win, I’ll give some bonus money to my employees. I also want to give some money to the Tarkanian Basketball Academy, and the rest I will reinvest in my properties.