U.S. sportsbook faces seven-figure loss if Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wins U.S. League MVP award

A U.S. bookmaker faces more than a $ 1 million loss due to a bet that was made in March and will be decided Thursday night.

On March 19, a bettor in Nevada placed a $ 30,000 bet on Shohei Ohtani to win the American League MVP award at a 30-1 clash with William Hill sportsbook. Ohtani is a finalist, along with Toronto Blue Jays stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien.

If Ohtani wins, the bettor will net $ 900,000, and William Hill has suffered a total seven-figure loss on a prize market that usually doesn’t attract a ton of money.

“It’s going to be the biggest loss on that kind of market ever,” Adam Pullen, deputy director of commerce for William Hill (now Caesars Sportsbook), told ESPN. “It will stand out as a lineup when you see prize bets and a big minus.”

Ohtani opened at 60-1 to win an MVP in February and attracted immediate betting interest. There were more bets on Ohtani than any other player at most sports books, and it didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Angels ’two-way star to emerge as the consenting MVP favorite.

By late June, Ohtani was probably a favorite to win the award at DraftKings. By August, he was listed at -5,000 at BetMGM (meaning you would need to bet $ 5,000 to win $ 100).

Ohtani hit 46 home runs with 100 RBIs and also went 9-2 with 156 strikeouts as a starting pitcher.

One bettor is heavily invested in those numbers enough to win an MVP. According to BetMGM, a bettor this summer placed a $ 204,149 bet on Ohtani to win the MVP at a -5,000 probability. The bet would pay a net $ 4,083.

Nevada sports books were banned from accepting bets on anything decided by vote until 2015. The Heisman Trophy was the first prize market allowed by Nevada Gaming Control, and betting on MLB postseason awards like MVP, Rookie of the Year and Cy Young was approved as follows. year. The betting interest in the premium markets grew, and it was a challenge for bookmakers to manage the risk.

“The general public is betting these things game by game. That’s probably the best way I can describe it,” said Randy Blum, a risk manager for the SuperBook in Las Vegas. “If a guy goes 4-for-4 with three homers, even if he hits .210, he’s suddenly an MVP.”

Blum said the SuperBook faces a “low five-digit” liability due to Ohtani winning the MVP, mainly due to some early interest from sharp bettors who caught him early at 30-1. Blum added that he would not, however, change anything to the way he ordered the AL MVP market.

“We just never expected him to be such a batsman,” Blum said.

Pullen was also comfortable with how they ordered the market, despite the massive responsibility on Ohtani.

“[We] don’t want to lose, but you have to applaud the bettor’s moxie for putting that big bet on it, “Pullen said.” It will definitely be first, and we’ll move on and be open the next day. “


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