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Mattress Mack Makes Huge $1 Million NCAA Tournament Bet, But Was It A Smart One?

Mattress Mack Makes Huge $1 Million NCAA Tournament Bet, But Was It A Smart One? article feature image
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Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: James Akinjo

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale doesn’t let many postseason opportunities pass without first betting major money on it first. The 2022 NCAA Tournament is no different.

On Wednesday night, Mack played a $1 million bet at Caesars on the East Region to produce the NCAA Tournament winner. At +260 odds, a bet would pay out a profit of $2.6 million if anyone in the East wins. The region has both Baylor and Texas. Mack’s business is based in the state of Texas.

It’s a big bet, but is it a smart one?

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From an outright market view, Mack is counting on Baylor (+1200), Kentucky (+850), Purdue (+1800) and UCLA (+2000) as the most likely teams to give him a chance at winning. The Longhorns are +8000 and North Carolina comes in at +10000 odds.

Using Action Network Director of Predictive Analytics Sean Koerner’s projections, the East is third in terms of probability to produce the winning team, just ahead of the Midwest Region.

Koerner’s projections give the East a 19.8 percent chance of winning, which makes his fair odds closer to +400.

Using our betting calculator, based on the odds and the probability, Mack’s expected value is negative-$287,200.

The favored region is the West, with Gonzaga being the overall betting favorite in the tournament. The West also has Duke, which saw more bets than any other team at sportsbooks. Koerner gives the West a 37.7 percent chance of delivering the champion.

The South Region with Arizona, Villanova, Tennessee and Illinois is projected to win 23.9 percent of the time, according to Koerner.

The Midwest has the lowest projection at 18.6 percent. Kansas is the No. 1 seed ahead of No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Wisconsin.

Mack is on a losing streak with his big bets. He lost nearly $10 million betting the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl. He had $2.7 million on Alabama to beat Georgia in the college football national championship game, which the Crimson Tide lost.

He had $2 million on the Patriots and $1.7 million on the Titans in the futures market. Then there was $3.5 million on the Houston Astros to beat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

All losers.

Of course, all of these bets serve as a hedge against his promotions for his furniture business, which offer refunds on purchases depending on which teams win.

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