A Michigan sports bettor is pulling for a pack of dogs, specifically Huskies, to beat the underdog.
At stake: a cool $500,000 (actually, $525K counting the stake) if Connecticut can defeat San Diego State on Monday night in Houston to win its fifth NCAA Tournament title since 1999. The bettor placed a $25,000 futures wager on the Huskies via Caesars Sportsbook on Jan. 24 at 20/1 odds.
A spokesperson for Caesars Sportsbook said the payout is the largest futures liability for the tournament outside Nevada.
Grabbing UConn futures at their low point?
UConn. San Diego State.
The Championship matchup is set 🙌 pic.twitter.com/t6B2CGbOYp
— Caesars Sportsbook & Casino (@CaesarsSports) April 2, 2023
The timing of the wager suggests the bettor may have been following UConn closely and looking to strike at an ideal moment to buy low on the Huskies. Dan Hurley’s team started the season 14-0 before enduring a swoon early in conference play. The Huskies dropped five of six but regrouped to throttle Butler 86-56 on Jan. 22. They followed that win with an 82-79 home loss to then-No. 13 Xavier on Jan. 25.
UConn has since won 14 of its last 16 games, including five in its run to the NCAA Tournament title game by an average of 20.6 points including a 72-59 win over Miami in the national semifinals Saturday night. The Huskies are 7.5-point favorites over the Aztecs at Caesars and a -380 play on the moneyline.
Caesars has performed relatively well historically in the month of March in the Wolverine State. While the Michigan Gaming Control Board does not provide handle and revenue by sport, Caesars generated more than $1 million in gross revenue from close to $11 million handle in 2021 — a 9.4% hold — and nearly doubled its revenue last year. Bettors, however, picked up their performance last year and limited Caesars to a 5.3% hold on $38.8 million in accepted wagers.
Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images