Florida Gulf Coast, the fun-loving team blowing up NCAA Tournament brackets everywhere, is also taking its toll on Vegas.
The LVH SuperBook took a $10 bet on the high-flying Eagles to win the South Region at 1,000-to-1 odds pre-tournament. William Hill also took a $10 bet on them to get to the Final Four in Atlanta, but at much smaller odds.
No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast will face No. 3 seed Florida on Thursday in the Sweet 16. The Gators opened as 11.5-point favourites.
FGC has knocked off No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State to become the first 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 in tournament history.
The Eagles’ dominating win over San Diego State on Sunday took a bite out of at least one Las Vegas sports book. They were 7.5-point underdogs and opened at +300 on the money line.
“Got hurt on Florida Gulf Coast, both money line and spread,” Wynn sports book director John Avello told The Linemakers on Sporting News late Sunday night.
(It’s actually been an impressive two-year against-the-spread run for the Eagles. Just nine of their games have had point spreads the past two seasons – and Florida Gulf Coast has covered them all.)
Avello said his book lost six figures on the Florida Gulf Coast money line and spread bets combined against San Diego State. Should the Atlantic Sun Conference upstart keep winning, it could get worse for the Vegas books.
“We took 15 wagers totaling $150 on Florida Gulf Coast to win the tournament at 500-to-1 odds,” William Hill’s Jimmy Vaccaro told The Linemakers. “We had them 150-to-1 to win the region, but only had one taker at $10.”
Let’s not feel too bad for the books. Business was brisk this past weekend, according to Vaccaro.
“Handle was through the roof, better than last year,” said the Vegas veteran. “The first day was outstanding, and Friday was even better. Things tailed off a bit Saturday and Sunday because of less games, but overall, it’s been better than ever. I wish we could do it all over again this week.”
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