64°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Who could have called Kansas State-Loyola of Chicago matchup?

Raise your hand if your bracket had No. 1 seed Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Arizona and No. 5 Kentucky losing before Saturday’s South Regional final in Atlanta.

Thought so. Neither did I.

Not even Nostradamus could have predicted and bet on a No. 9 vs. No. 11 for a trip to the Final Four. Kansas State vs. Sister Jean’s Loyola of Chicago. And the winner is …? Your guess is as good as mine.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, I’m headed to D Las Vegas and the Golden Nugget, where two of the more fascinating entrepreneurs in Las Vegas are going head to head for a possible million dollar payoff.

Before the tournament, Derek Stevens, owner of D Las Vegas and a Michigan alumnus, bet $25,000 at 40-1 at the Golden Nugget that the Wolverines would win the tournament. The payoff is $1 million.

At the other end of the bet is Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Golden Nugget and the richest Texan I know who didn’t make his money striking oil. He amassed a fortune with the Landry’s restaurant conglomerate, which includes Morton’s and McCormick & Schmick’s. He also owns casinos in Atlantic City and Louisiana.

Fertitta was an original owner of the Houston Texans of the NFL, but he was forced to sell his share because of the league’s outdated rule preventing casino operators from ownership. So he joined up with a more progressive league and bought the Houston Rockets of the NBA.

On Thursday, Michigan played as well as any other team we have seen in the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M was headed home 10 minutes into the game.

The Wolverines will meet ninth-seeded Florida State on Saturday in the West Regional final. Michigan is a 4½-point favorite (-105) with the total 143½ (-110) at the South Point.

Oh, yes. Stevens’ Wolverines defeated Tillman’s alma mater, Houston, by one point in the second round. It’s just another reason that this is the most interesting bet in Las Vegas.

First pitch less than a week away

MLB’s regular season begins Thursday — the first time all 30 teams will open on the same day.

With Giancarlo Stanton joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees are the 9-2 favorite at the South Point to win the World Series.

But are last year’s champs being overlooked? The Astros are a second choice with the Cubs at 5-1, even though Houston’s lineup still looks strong around MVP Jose Altuve. They still have a loaded rotation that includes Dallas Keuchel, they get a full season out of Justin Verlander and added Gerrit Cole.

The Dodgers are an 11-2 fourth choice, but they had the most significant injury in spring training when third baseman Justin Turner broke a wrist. Yet, they still build around Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, the best starter and closer in the game, so don’t feel sorry for them.

The other short-priced teams include the Nationals (7-1), Indians (8-1) and Red Sox (8-1).

We can’t wait for the season to start, especially since it will provide a new menu of betting options. By the time the bumpy road to the Final Four finally gets us to San Antonio, we’re going to need it.

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

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His show on the Vegas Stats & Information Network can be heard on SiriusXM 204 and livestreamed at reviewjournal.com/vegas-stats-information-network.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
THE LATEST
Brent Musburger says Chiefs, 49ers headed to Super Bowl

Brent Musburger says the Chiefs will cover the 7-point spread against the Titans, and the 49ers will win but not cover the 7½-point spread vs. the Packers.

NFL’s wild-card weekend offers no safe bets

Nothing is more difficult to handicap than the NFL’s wild-card weekend. Three seasons ago, all four favorites won and cashed against the spread. Underdogs are 8-0 ATS since.

Raiders’ fate could be tied to Texans’ gameplan

Enter Texans coach Bill O’Brien. His team is currently the No. 4 seed, and its only chance of moving up is for the Chargers to upset the Chiefs.

Raiders still have outside chance to make NFL playoffs

Despite their penchant for thinking games are over at halftime and their rash of injuries to key players, the Raiders are not eliminated from the NFL playoffs.

Raiders need to slow ‘Mr. December’ Derrick Henry

In 14 December games, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has carried 225 times for 1,176 yards and 14 touchdowns. He ran for 149 yards last week at Indianapolis.

Chiefs’ inept defense gives Raiders hope in key AFC West game

This game presents the biggest coaching challenge for Jon Gruden since he left the broadcasting booth. His team is young, and its confidence was badly shaken last weekend.

Raiders can’t take Sam Darnold, Jets lightly this week

The Jets have been a mess for most of the year, but you cannot overstate how much quarterback Sam Darnold’s battle with mono earlier this season set the franchise back.