When UCLA’s Johnny Juzang followed up his own miss with a tying putback bucket with 3.3 seconds remaining in overtime Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, it appeared as if we were heading to a second extra session in Indianapolis.
Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs had other plans, though.
The true freshman point guard banked home a 40-footer at the buzzer to lift undefeated Gonzaga to a 93-90 overtime win as a 14.5-point favorite. Suggs’s game winner capped an Instant Classic and kept the Bulldogs undefeated going into tonight’s finals against Baylor as 4.5-point favorites.
Although CBS analyst Bill Raftery’s line gets cut off in the clip above, he described Suggs’s heroics like this: “There are onions, Jim [Nantz], and there are major onions…with a kiss!”
There were audacious gamblers that had the nerve to back the Bulldogs on the money line as enormous favorites. Suggs got those bettors a win, but they probably endured 2.5 hours of utter misery.
This South Point bettor in Las Vegas risked $270,000 to win $30,000 on Gonzaga at -900. Another gambler at William Hill had Gonzaga at -1,100, risking $770,000 to win $70,000.
Folks, these cats were extremely fortunate. I don’t recommend eating ‘chalk’ like that.
William Hill was glad to pay that bettor $70,000 because the sportsbook was looking at a big loss on a slew of UCLA +700 money-line wagers.
William Hill sportsbook director Nick Boganovich told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, “We would’ve lost seven figures if UCLA had won outright. They were taking 7-1 on the money line like it was going out of style.”
William Hill won $43,831 when a bettor lost a two-team, money-line parlay on Gonzaga at -1100 and UConn’s women’s team at -1400. The Lady Huskies were upset by Arizona in a 69-59 loss. The gambler would’ve won only $7,400 on the bet that lost him or her nearly 44 grand.
One BetMGM gambler lost $275,000 on Gonzaga -14, but another BetMGM bettor won $280,000 on Baylor -5 vs. Houston after risking $308,000 on the Bears in their blowout win over the Cougars.
BetMGM collected on two other big wagers that lost Saturday — $115,000 (to win $100,000) on Gonzaga -8 in the first half and $280,500 (to win $255,000) on Houston +5 vs. Baylor.
BetMGM also came out a winner, albeit barely, when it accepted a $100,000 bet on UCLA to win outright at +800 money-line odds. The bettor was hoping to win $800,000 on the Bruins.
As of early this afternoon, most shops had Gonzaga installed as a 4.5-point favorite for tonight’s 9:20 p.m. Eastern tip vs. Baylor in the 2021 NCAA Tournament finals. The total was 159 or 159.5 points, while the Bears were +170 on the money line at most spots.