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Las Vegas casino owner’s March Madness betting binge ends

Updated March 24, 2017 - 3:54 pm

Michigan’s 69-68 loss to Oregon on Thursday not only halted the Wolverines’ wild postseason ride but also brought an end to Derek Stevens’ NCAA Tournament betting binge.

Stevens, a Las Vegas casino owner, would have pocketed $1 million if Michigan had won the NCAA title on a $12,500 futures bet he made March 14 on the Wolverines at 80-1 odds at the Golden Nugget.

Michigan, which beat Oklahoma State in the first round and upset No. 2 seed Louisville in the second, led the Ducks 68-65 with 2:04 left but didn’t score the rest of the way. Jordan Bell scored a layup to cut the deficit to 68-67 with 1:48 left, and Tyler Dorsey made a go-ahead layup with 1:09 left to give Oregon the lead for good. The Wolverines had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Derrick Walton Jr.’s long jumper bounced off the rim.

Stevens, who owns The D and the Golden Gate, also lost $109,000 betting on the first round of the tournament for total losses of $121,500. He wagered $11,000 to make $10,000 on each of the first 32 tournament lines posted at South Point on Selection Sunday and finished 10-19-3 against the spread.

A Michigan alumnus, Stevens fell two wins shy of cashing $1 million on Michigan State in 2015 after he bet $20,000 at 50-1 odds that it would win the title. He hedged his wager in the Final Four, betting $49,000 on Duke in its 20-point win over the Spartans to net $20,000.

Stevens didn’t hedge his bet on the Wolverines.

William Hill operates the sports books at The D and the Golden Gate. Nevada casino owners are prohibited from gambling in their own casinos.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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