by A.J. Coltrane
…One sportsbook said Thursday was its biggest single-day win in memory.
“Epic day, absolutely,” Jay Rood, vice president of MGM race and sports, said of Thursday. “Tough day for the players coupled with the fact the books did well Wednesday, too.”
“Yesterday was amazing,” Dave Pemberton, director of specialty games for Caesars Entertainment, added Friday night.
Including the First Four games Tuesday and Wednesday, underdogs covered the spread in the first 10 games of the tournament. Favorites went 4-12 against the spread Thursday. No. 14 seed Georgia State and UAB pulled off upsets as double-digit underdogs, damaging brackets and destroying money-line parlays everywhere.
“We didn’t sweep the board [Thursday] but we were pretty close,” Jason Simbal of CG Technology’s sportsbook said.
I opened Thursday with zero wins against six losses. It got bad enough that I had to go to the ATM to continue.
Baylor by 9? Nope. Defeated. Iowa State as a 14-point favorite? Out of the tournament. Notre Dame didn’t cover, even though they had the #3 offense in the country going in. On and on it went.
Like most of the squares, I’d picked a bunch of favorites. Looking at my sheet prior to the first game it was obvious that it could potential trouble, but then even the picks I was extremely comfortable with failed.
About five hours into the massacre I got my first win — Arizona covered at the half. Fortunately I went 7-2 starting at that point to finish the day at 7-8. The three Over/Under bets and two halftime bets probably helped. I also won UCLA (+4 vs SMU) and Utah (-6.5 vs Stephen F. Austin). From the sound of it, I got off easy.
This is the one day that I skipped a game altogether. Kentucky was favored by 34 and I didn’t want to go anywhere near that one. (Kentucky wound up winning by 26.)