ESPN Staff Writer
The reactions in Ann Arbor and Las Vegas to the wild Michigan State-Michigan ending Saturday night were equally awesome.
We’ll start in Vegas, where a bettor at Sunset Station’s sportsbook was left digging through the trash for his Spartans ticket; a $30,000 money-line bet on the Wolverines turned into garbage and a $50 eight-team parlay that included Michigan State on the money line turned into $11,000.
“I was out in the book and a guest yelled, ‘Oh my god, I threw my ticket away,'” said Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito, who didn’t think the bet was that big, but didn’t know the exact amount. “I did see him in line a short time later, cashing with a big smile.”
Esposito said it was standing room only in his book when Michigan State’s Jalen Watts-Jackson returned a fumbled punt snap for the winning touchdown on the final play of the game.
“I can’t remember the book being as loud for a non-championship game in any sport,” Esposito told Chalk on Sunday. “If you think the crowd in Michigan was loud, you should have been in our books. Many guests are still talking about it today.”
Michigan was around a 7-point favorite and nearly 1-3 favorite on the money line at most Las Vegas books. The point spread was not impacted when Watts-Jackson scored the winning TD, but a bevy of money-line bets were in play, and the bulk — but not all — of them were on Sparty at better than 2-1 odds.
At the Mirage sportsbook, Jay Rood, vice president of MGM race and sports, heard the crowd erupt all the way in the back office. ESPN.com’s Andrew Feldman was on the scene and joked that, judging by the crowd’s reaction, he was one of five Michigan fans in the room at the Mirage. The rest were Spartan supporters, some more heavily invested than others. A $20,000 money-line bet on Michigan State paid around $50,000, in addition to multiple four- and five-figure money-line bets on the Spartans, and took a significant chunk out of the book’s bottom line on Saturday.