Derek Stevens of The D Las Vegas Has $1 Million NCAA Bet on Michigan Wolverines

Derek Stephens $1 Million Bet on Michigan Wolverines

Senior PG Derek Walton Jr. led the Wolverines on their March Madness run.

Derek Stevens, owner of the Downtown Las Vegas (or “The D Las Vegas”) has a million-dollar bet riding on the outcome of the NCAA Tournament.

Stevens bet on a 7-seed to win the whole tournament. After the 7th-seed Wolverines beat a number 2 seek to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, that bet is looking a whole lot better.

Mr. Stevens placed a $12,500 wager on the Michigan Wolverines to win the national title. That required the Wolverines to the beat No. 2 see Louisville Cardinals to get out of the Round of 32. Sure enough, Michigan upset Louisville by a 73-69 margin on Sunday.

Because he’s a casino owner, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas sportsbook could have denied the bet on the 80-to-1 shot Michigan Wolverines. Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta is said to have approved the wager personally.

Michigan vs. Oregon in Sweet 16

No doubt, Michigan is likely to be an underdog every game moving forward. It certain will be when the team plays the No. 3 seed Oregon Ducks in Kansas City on Friday night. If that happens, the Michigan Wolverines will move on to the Round of 8 and the winner fo the Kansas (1)/Purdue (4) match-up.

The Kansas Jayhawks had the best odds of any team in the tournament this year, so the chances are low that the Michigan Wolverines will even make it to the Final Four. Yet the Wolverines have shown they have the ability to knock-off top-rated teams, so Derek Stevens’ eye for sleeper talent has been proven.

33 NCAA Bets Made at Two Sportsbooks

Or perhaps he was picking names out of a hat. On Twitter on Monday morning, Derek Stevens said he made 32 bets at Southpoint Las Vegas and lost a ton of money. But Stevens noted he made the Wolverines wager at Golden Nugget Las Vegas and that bet is still alive and well.

At the moment, Michigan’s odds sit at 18:1 at most sportsbooks. That makes the Wolverines about an average contender at this point, which is a far sight better than it was just one week ago. If the Wolverines make it to the Final Four, the Derek Stevens bet would be one of the gaming stories of the year.

18 to 1 Odds on Michigan Win

Fans of NCAA Men’s Basketball would say Derek Stevens’ bet has little chance of winning. No. 7 seeds have only won the NCAA Title once, but the 7-seeds have had success in the past few years. In 2014, 7-seed UConn won the NCAA Men’s Final. In 2015, 7-seed Michigan State made the Final Four, but lost in a semifinals game.

One of the No. 1 seeds is already out of the tournament. In fact, the defending national champion, Villanova, lost in 2nd Round action on Saturday to the Wisconsin Badgers. The 65-62 loss was a major upset and certainly changed the outlook for teams in the East Regional altogether.

Michigan’s Potential Opponents

With No. 2 Duke losing on Sunday, the East and West Regionals have seen their share of upsets, but it will not matter to the Michigan Wolverines until a potential NCAA Final. If the Wolverines won the Midwest Regional, they would have to defeat the winner of the South Regional in the March Madness semifinals.

That bracket still has all four of its top teams: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 UCLA, and No. 4 Butler. The Tar Heels, Wildcats, and Bruins are three of the great powerhouses in NCAA Tournament history. Butler has been a perennial player in March Madness over the last decade. Any would be an imposing semifinal opponent.

1989 NCAA Championship

The Wolverines have won one national title. The 1989 Wolverines team was led by Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught, and Terry Mills. They defeated Illinois in the seminals and Seton Hall in the finals. The championship allowed Steve Fischer to recruit perhaps the most famous recruiting class in NCAA history: the Fab Five.

Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson led the Wolverines to the National Championship Game as Freshmen and Sophomores, though they never won the NCAA Title. The Wolverines played in the NCAA Title in 1965, 1976, and 2013, while appearing in the Final Four in 1964. The 2013 title game appearance helped Coach John Beilein recruit like Zak Irvin, Moritz Wagner, D.J. Wilson, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The team’s leader in scoring and assists, Derrick Walton Jr., was a Freshman on that 2013 team.

Point guard Derrick Walton Jr. is the key to the Wolverines’ chances. Senior guard play has been a pivotal factor in countless deep runs in March Madness. Like those cases, Derrick Walton’s legacy at Michigan comes down to the 2017 NCAA Tournament run.

About his recent uptick in play, Walton said Coach John Beilein was giving him more leeyway than earlier in his career. Walton said, “I just feel like I’ve got a great balance of when to shoot, when to pass. That’s pretty much it. I don’t even know. I think (Coach Beilein) is calling more action for me to make more decisions.”

Michigan Loses to Oregon: 69-68

Tilman Fertitta no longer has to worry about paying a $1 million bet to a fellow casino owner. At the same time, Derek Stephens’ dreams of winning a million bucks on the Michigan Wolverines success came to an end on Thursday night. A game Wolverines squad lost to the Oregon Ducks in an exciting 69-68 contest.

Senior point guard Derek Walton got the shot he wanted to win the game at the end, but the ball bounced off the rim, leaving the Wolverines just short of another big upset.