Updated April 5, 2021 - 9:44 pm
Baylor made sure bettors didn’t have to sweat out their wagers Monday night.
The Bears romped to an 86-70 victory over Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament championship game in Indianapolis, cashing as 4½-point underdogs and +175 on the money line. The pace slowed down late to keep the game under the total of 158½.
Baylor’s win produced a mixed bag of results for Las Vegas sportsbooks. Circa sportsbook director Matt Metcalf said Baylor winning outright was the best result for the house, but MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said it was the worst.
“Not good,” Stoneback said via text message. “Baylor and under was worst scenario. Decent-sized loss.”
BetMGM confirmed taking a $330,000 bet to win $300,000 on Baylor +4.5 and $300,000 to win $495,000 on Baylor at +165 on the money line. The book also took opposing bets of $330,000 to win $300,000 on over and under 159½.
William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said the book was a small loser on the game but won big on futures.
Gonzaga was the 10-1 favorite before the season started, and Baylor was the 14-1 second choice. When the tournament started, Gonzaga was the +175 favorite at the Westgate, and Baylor was the third choice at 8-1.
William Hill offered a prop early in the season on those two teams vs. everyone else: Will Baylor or Gonzaga win the national title? “No” opened as a -125 favorite, but “yes” closed at -170.
Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said Baylor’s win was a solid result for the house made better by the game staying under. Station Casinos also did well on futures and won on the first half, when Baylor cashed easily while taking a 47-37 lead.
“Extremely strong handle,” Esposito said via text message.
Bettors who were confident in Baylor cashed at big prices. The Bears covered all the alternate lines at the Westgate: -12½ (+750), -9½ (+600), -5½ (+400) and -3½ (+270).
Baylor was 9-1 to win by 10 or more points at Circa and 22-1 at BetMGM to win by 16 to 20 points.