An unlikely NCAA tournament run by Saint Peter’s has some sportsbooks facing historic responsibilities and puts New Jersey bookmakers in the unusual position of potentially having to pay for a losing team.
The 15th-seeded Peacock can be found up to 10,000-1 to win the Men’s National Basketball Tournament before the tournament begins. They racked up surprises over Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue, became the only team to win two NCAA games as a double-digit loser, and were the first 15 seeded to reach the Elite Eight.
Entering Sunday’s game against North Carolina, St. Peter is 40-1 to win the National Championship at BetMGM.
According to Jason Scott, Vice President of Trading at BetMGM, Peacocks winning the championship would cause the largest futures market loss – of any sport – in the company’s history. Scott declined to specify the exact size of the commitment, but the biggest ticket to the Peacocks National title at BetMGM is $4,000 at 200-1, which would pay out $800,000 net. There are hundreds of small bets on St Peter’s in long odds as well.
The Peacock is the 8.5-point loser against Tar in the Eastern Regional Final.
Sportsbooks in New Jersey are prohibited from offering betting to colleges located in the state. Saint Peter’s is located in Jersey City. However, the state sportsbooks offered chances to win the Eastern District but did not include the Peacock as an option. So, even if St. Peter upset North Carolina, athletic trainers in New Jersey would push any tickets on Tar Heels as the “best finished” in the Eastern District. State sportsbooks are not allowed to offer a futures market without paying a winner.
As of Sunday morning in FanDuel’s sportsbook, 89% of bets and 73% of dollars wagered were on the outright winner of Saint Peter’s-North Carolina on the peacock.