Las Vegas casino owner 2 Michigan wins away from $1M payday

To hedge, or not to hedge, that is the question.

The answer is still being pondered by Las Vegas casino owner Derek Stevens, who is two Michigan wins away from beating Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta out of $1 million.

Stevens, who owns the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate, placed a $25,000 futures wager on the Wolverines at 40-1 odds on March 3 at the Golden Nugget sports book that will pay $1 million if Michigan wins the NCAA championship.

The Wolverines beat Florida State 58-54 on Saturday to advance to the Final Four, where they’re 5-point favorites over Loyola-Chicago in the national semifinals.

Twitter poll split

Stevens posted a poll Sunday on Twitter asking if he should hedge his bet or let it roll. As of Monday afternoon, more than 3,400 votes were evenly split and Stevens said he still wasn’t sure if he’d hedge or not.

“It is interesting that the public is 50-50 on which way to go. I’m intrigued by some of the ideas,” Stevens said. “I’m kind of weighing it out this week. It’s still a long time to tipoff.”

Stevens hedged in a similar situation in 2015, when he bet $20,000 on Michigan State at 50-1 odds to win $1 million. The Spartans were 5-point underdogs to Duke in the Final Four and Stevens wisely placed a $49,000 money-line wager to win $20,000 on the Blue Devils, who won by 20.

“I did hedge on Michigan State but that was a little bit different, because Michigan State was a pretty good underdog going into the Final Four,” he said. “I have the option of doing nothing or taking Loyola on the money line (2-1) or taking Loyola plus the points. The bracket couldn’t have played out better.”

Stevens is having fun with his wager as he invited Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller and manager Aaron Kessler to watch the Michigan-Florida State game with him at the D Las Vegas. Kessler showed up dressed in Seminoles colors and wearing a Florida State hat and Miller posted on Twitter afterward: “Well, Aaron and I tried like hell to bring home FSU.”

Field favored over Warriors

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Golden State guard Steph Curry suffered an MCL sprain Friday and Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday that “there’s no way he’s playing in the first round” of the NBA playoffs.

Money has since poured into the Westgate sports book on the field vs. the Warriors prop to win the NBA title. The field has been moved to a minus 130 favorite and Golden State to a plus 110 underdog.

“It’s the first time this year that we have the Warriors at plus money to win the title,” Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said. “I don’t think there will be any issue getting out of the first round. The whole thing comes down to when he gets back and how long it takes him to get acclimated.”

Rockets on rise

The Houston Rockets opened at 30-1 odds to win the 2018 NBA title but are now the plus 125 second choice. The Rockets (60-14) will most likely have home-court advantage over the Warriors (54-19) in a potential Western Conference finals series.

“I don’t discount Houston at all from that series. I think that whole series will be a tough battle,” Sherman said. “I’m somewhat overlooking the other teams. But any of the other six teams are going to have to go through both (the Warriors and Rockets) to get to the finals. It just seems like an arduous task.

“(Houston’s) defense has improved and it has so many weapons. The Warriors have four guys but I don’t like their bench. The Rockets have depth and come at you in waves.”

More betting: Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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