By now you’ve probably heard that Clemson won the national championship on Monday night. It was a title that was 35 years in the making and sent shock waves throughout South Carolina and the entire college football world.
It also created absolute chaos in Vegas.
On Tuesday, ESPN caught up with a handful of prominent bookmakers in the desert. And as they explained, the Clemson win – coupled with a high-scoring game in which the “over” hit – was a catastrophic turn of events for the folks in Nevada.
Just how bad was it?
“It was as bad as a result as humanly possible,” William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich, a veteran Las Vegas bookmaker, told ESPN on Tuesday morning.
Bill Sattler, director of specialty games for Caesars Entertainment, said Clemson winning in a high-scoring game produced “the worst loss in any college football game I can remember.”
Those are some incredibly strong comments, and when you dig a little deeper, it makes more sense.
As the bookmakers explained, virtually all money that came in early was on Clemson, after the Tigers opened as a 6.5-point to 7-point underdog in most books once the matchup became official. Because of Clemson’s dominant victory over Ohio State in the semifinal and Alabama’s sloppy win over Washington, most bettors backed the Tigers.
Some of the numbers provided were shocking, with MGM admitting that it lost “in the high six figures,” including a $55,000 bet on Clemson to win outright according to ESPN, and three, six-figure bets on Clemson to cover the point spread, which closed at about six points.
As it turns out, Alabama isn’t the only place where people woke up depressed about the result of Monday night’s game.
The folks in Vegas did as well.