Mattress Mack, Brent Musburger Pick Houston To Win March Madness

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Mattress Mack, Brent Musburger Pick Houston To Win March Madness

Mattress Mack is back in action, wagering $1 million on his hometown Houston Cougars to win the men’s NCAA March Madness title this year.

The Cougars (26-3) are ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA Today polls.

Mattress Mack Crosses Louisiana Line To Bet

After sitting out this year’s Super Bowl, the Houston furniture store owner, whose name is Jim McIngvale, drove across the state line into Louisiana to place a bet on the Cougars (+750), using his Caesars Sportsbook app, according to Fox Sports. He stands to collect a payout of $8.5 million.

Sports betting is illegal in Texas. Lawmakers won't be able to consider any bills to legalize it until the 2025 legislative session in Austin. Even then, McIngvale recently told Gambling.com he doubts the “fractured” Legislature will approve a measure to legalize sports betting in the nation’s second most-populated state. The most-populated state, California, also doesn't have legal sports betting.

McIngvale told Gambling.com he doesn’t mind driving to Louisiana to place his bets. Sports betting is legal in Louisiana at casino sportsbooks and in most parishes on cellphone apps. Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, is only about 100 miles from the Louisiana state line. That’s where McIngvale, known for multimillion-dollar wagers, placed his latest bet, banking on the Cougars.

"It was at the first rest stop across the Texas-Louisiana border, three-quarters of a mile into Louisiana. A very glamorous location to bet legally online," McIngvale told Fox Sports.

VSiN’s Brent Musburger Sides With Mattress Mack

McIngvale is not the only high-profile person who thinks Houston will capture the NCAA crown this year.

Veteran broadcaster and VSiN host Brent Musburger said he has “joined Mattress Mack” in picking the Cougars.

“I like Houston to win it all,” he told Bill Adee, author of "The VSiN Daily" morning email newsletter.

Musburger was in Hawaii when Adee caught up with him.

“We all look forward to seeing Brent back in Las Vegas with his wheelbarrow to collect at Circa,” Adee wrote in Monday’s newsletter, referring to Circa Resort at Fremont and Main streets in downtown Las Vegas.

Adee noted that Musburger is the person “who applied the phrase “March Madness” to the NCAA tournament."

Big 12, March Madness Tournament Dates

The 2024 Big 12 basketball tournament, featuring some of the top teams in the nation, including Houston, runs from March 12-16 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.

NCAA Men’s March Madness basketball tournament

March 17: Selection Sunday

March 19-20: First four

March 21-22: First round

March 28-29: Sweet 16

March 30-31: Elite Eight 

April 6: Final Four in Glendale, Arizona

April 8: NCAA championship game in Glendale, Arizona.