Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale won more than $600,000 on money line bets placed on his hometown Astros when they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Thursday in Game 5 of their American League Division Series.
In his two largest bets, McIngvale won $384,000 on a $1 million wager placed in Las Vegas on William Hill’s mobile app and $200,000 on a $506,000 bet placed at Circa Sports sportsbook.
McIngvale, 68, has placed more than $6 million in futures wagers to win more than $12 million on Houston to win the World Series, including a $1 million bet to win $667,000 on the American League (-150) to win the World Series placed Tuesday at the DraftKings sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“We just liked the number on that. It was just a different way to bet the Astros,” said Anthony Curtis, who along with fellow sharp Las Vegas bettor Frank Betti has advised McIngvale on his bets.
McIngvale has made the hedge bets to offset a potential loss of about $15 million on a promotion that will refund any mattress set purchase of at least $3,000 if the Astros win the World Series.
Houston is a minus 175 favorite over the New York Yankees (plus 155) in a compelling American League Championship Series matchup that might make the World Series seem anticlimactic.
“The Yankees are a very good team. There’s a good chance the Yankees can knock them off,” said Curtis (Lasvegasadvisor.com). “If the Yankees do well early, it will affect the line and we’ll make some decisions (on more hedge bets).”
The Westgate sportsbook took light early action on the Yankees and expects good two-way action on the series.
“But we will definitely need the Astros because of the future book,” Westgate sportsbook manager Randy Blum said. “We win mid six figures on the Astros and basically break even right now on the Yankees.”
The Golden Nugget, owned by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, expects to take plenty of action on the Astros.
“We’re a Houston house,” Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller said. “A lot of our clientele is from the Houston area, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be backing their Astros like they normally do.
“Then again, the Yankees are a very public team, and I think the general public will be all over the Yankees at the plus price. I expect the series to go seven.”
The Astros beat New York in a seven-game ALCS en route to their first title in 2017 and won four of seven regular-season meetings this year.
Houston is a sizable favorite mainly because of its stellar starting pitching with Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
“If the big three starters for Houston perform, it will be tough on the Yankees,” Blum said. “If the Yankees’ starting pitching can make the games bullpen games, that gives the Yankees a chance. The Yankees have an advantage there.”
Handicapper Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sportsbook director, likes the Astros to advance behind their starting pitching.
“It’s unfair they can roll into a series with Greinke, Verlander and Cole,” said Roberts (Sportsline.com). “They’ve won 15 straight behind Cole.”