It’s a good thing Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale hedged his latest promotion.
He told us Thursday that he’ll refund about $10 million to customers who cashed in on a promotion offering refunds of any mattress purchase of at least $3,000 when the Astros won the World Series.
McIngvale lost more than $15 million in past uninsured promotions, but wisely hedged this one through insurance companies and Las Vegas sports books. He said he paid an insurance premium of between 10 and 20 percent of the refund amount and that he also placed more than $1 million in hedge bets on Houston to win the World Series.
“Toward the seventh game, it didn’t matter which way it went. We had enough insurance policies,” he said. “We hedged the right team. We’re Astros fans all the way.
“It was very cathartic for the whole town after this biblical hurricane and flood. It was the best thing that could’ve happened to Houston.”
Including the publicity the promotion generated for his Gallery Furniture stores, McIngvale said he came out ahead.
“It creates a lot of buzz,” he said. “People wonder how I’m going to pay for it and all that good stuff. Going furniture shopping is about as fun as going to the dentist, so we’re trying to make it fun and exciting for people to buy furniture.”
The Texans’ title hopes took a huge hit Thursday when rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending injury. But the Rockets are the 12-1 third choice to win the NBA title this season. Might they be part of Mattress Mack’s next promotion?
“I’m sure I’ll come up with something,” he said.
Texans’ odds tumble
The Texans dropped from 13- to 7-point favorites over the Colts after the news that Watson tore his ACL in practice.
“A 6-point move for a rookie is pretty crazy,” CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal said. “He’s right up there with the top echelon of guys this early in his career. That’s why it’s such a shame.”
Since taking over as Houston’s starter in Week 2, Watson led the NFL in scoring (34.7 points per game) and touchdown passes (18).
The total for Sunday’s game also was affected by Watson’s injury, dropping from 50 to 46.
The Texans’ odds to win the Super Bowl soared from 42-1 to 100-1.
Wait Till Next Year
Despite the Dodgers’ seven-game loss to the Astros, they’re the 5-1 favorite to win the 2018 World Series.
“They were the best team (in the regular season), all the guys are returning and their young players will improve,” Simbal said.
The Astros and Indians are each 6-1, the Nationals are 7-1, the Yankees 8-1, and the Cubs and Red Sox are each 10-1.
Will Penn State bounce back?
There are seven matchups of teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings. No. 7 Penn State, coming off its 39-38 loss to No. 6 Ohio State, opened as a 12-point favorite at Wynn Las Vegas over No. 24 Michigan State. Early sharp action on the Spartans moved the line to minus-7½ before sharp action on the Nittany Lions pushed the number back to minus-9.
“It’s always been a thing through the years when a team looking at winning the national championship loses its first game, there could be a huge letdown,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “But I don’t care how flat Penn State will be and all that, they’re better than Michigan State.”
Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello said if Penn State had defeated Ohio State, “this line is probably 14.”
Clemson-North Carolina State
No. 4 Clemson is a 7½-point favorite over No. 2o North Carolina State, which is coming off a 35-10 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame.
“Can N.C. State bounce back?” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “My gut is telling me Clemson, but I don’t like laying points against good teams.”
Salmons said the line seems a little light to him.
“I feel like N.C. State, for whatever reason, gets too much credit,” he said. “Clemson’s really good. It laid 7 at Virginia Tech, and Virginia Tech is a much better team than N.C. State.”
Salmons likes the No. 13 Hokies to cover as 2½-point favorites over No. 9 Miami, and Bogdanovich also leans to Virginia Tech.
“Miami’s pulling a lot out of their butt,” Bogdanovich said. “They may not pull this one out.”
The Hurricanes have won each of their past four games by eight points or fewer and have yet to beat a ranked team.
“Miami keeps averting these losses, but I think it’s going to catch up to them this week,” Salmons said. “If they can win this week, I’ll be surprised.”
Here are eight plays for Week 10 (Home team in CAPS):
Clemson (-7.5) over N.C. STATE
Virginia Tech (-2.5) over MIAMI
Central Florida (-14.5) over SMU
Texas (+7) over TEXAS CHRISTIAN
NOTRE DAME (-14) over Wake Forest
Penn State (-9) over MICHIGAN STATE
WASHINGTON STATE (-2) over Stanford
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (-7) over Arizona
Last week: 3-5 against the spread