Mattress Mack Backs Hometown Houston Cougars with $1M March Madness Bet

Posted on: March 27, 2021, 12:36h. 

Last updated on: March 27, 2021, 10:54h.

After making million-dollar bets in baseball and football, “Mattress Mack” is now venturing into March Madness.

Mattress Mack
Jim McIngvale, aka “Mattress Mack,” appears in a commercial for his Gallery Furniture business. The Houston businessman placed a $1 million futures bet on the Houston Cougars to win this year’s NCAA Tournament. (Image: @MattressMack/Twitter)

Jim McIngvale, the Houston-based owner of Gallery Furniture, put a $1 million wager with DraftKings on the Houston Cougars to win the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars have odds of +900, meaning he’d get $10 million and net $9 million should the Cougars be the ones cutting down the nets on April 5.

A DraftKings representative told the seven-figure bet represents the largest college basketball wager the Boston-based sports betting and technology company has ever taken.

McIngvale flew from his native Texas, a state where sports betting is not legal, to Colorado to place the bet. DraftKings has a partnership with the Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk. It operates a retail sportsbook at the casino, as well as a mobile wagering app available for use statewide.

About Mattress Mack

McIngvale gained national fame in 2017 when he placed large-sum wagers in Las Vegas on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. The bets served as a hedge for his retail business. During the baseball season, he offered customers who spent $3,000 or more full refunds if the Astros won the championship.

He made other similar wagers in 2018 and 2019 as the Astros were buzzing their way through the playoffs. With the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by then, “Mattress Mack” was able to find action in Mississippi and New Jersey as well for his mitigating strategy.

Just last month, McIngvale made headlines again when we plunked down nearly $3.5 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, getting 3.5 points in Super Bowl LV. Those Bucs ended up winning outright, allowing him to net more than $2.7 million.

Now, he’s riding with the Cougars.

Anything can happen in March Madness, as we all know, but I’m ten toes down on Houston to bring the national title to Texas, and willing to stake a million dollars with DraftKings on that outcome,” McIngvale said, per the Houston Chronicle.

McIngvale also has been a successful owner of race horses. His horses have earned $8.9 million in 1,249 races. The 189 wins include several graded stakes victories, including the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Runhappy.

Houston Favored in Sweet 16 Matchup

Houston plays Saturday night in the Sweet 16 against Syracuse. The Cougars are 6.5-point favorites against the Orange. They’re also the top seed remaining in the Midwest region. Should the second-seeded Cougars win Saturday, they’ll play the winner of Loyola-Chicago-Oregon State on Monday for a spot in the Final Four.

Houston last reached the Final Four in 1984. That capped a three-year run when Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the boards for the Cougars’ Phi Slama Jama crew.

At +900, Houston’s the current fourth choice on DraftKings’ NCAA futures board.

Overall top seed Gonzaga, which has been the favorite to win the title all year, remains at the top spot with odds of +150 at DraftKings. Baylor, another No. 1 seed in the tournament, is at +350. Michigan, which also earned a No. 1 seed, is available at +750.