Mattress Mack Makes $1M Bet on Houston to Win Men's NCAAB Tournament

Jim McIngvale backs Houston Cougars at +750 to win $7.5 million.

Feb 29, 2024 • 08:26 ET • 4 min read
Mattress Mack
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Mattress Mack is back with another seven-figure wager ahead of the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, this time, placing a $1 million bet on the University of Houston Cougars to win March Madness at +750 odds. 

Mack, whose real name is Jim McIngvale, owns a furniture business in Houston, Texas. He often uses these large bets to promote his furniture store, countering promotional offers that customers can claim at Gallery Furniture store locations. 

This tactic allows McIngvale to expand intrigue in his business in the Houston area, with a Gallery Furniture salesman stating previously, “It’s all about making furniture-buying more interesting for the customers. So it’s a win-win for the community and a win-win for us.” 

Houston Cougars' 2024 season

It’s been a dominant year for the University of Houston men’s basketball team. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 1 with an overall record of 25-3. All three of their losses came on the road, losing back-to-back games against Iowa State and TCU in early January.

Houston plays in a Big 12 conference loaded with talent, as Kansas (7), Iowa State (8), and Baylor all rank 15th or better nationally. The Cougars are currently riding a six-game win streak following their road loss to Kansas in early February. 

With three games left until conference tournaments begin, Houston undoubtedly has the final game on their schedule circled when they host the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks on March 9. 

Mattress Mack's past bets

Though sports betting in Texas is not legalized, McIngvale historically places his six and seven-figure bets - in other states - on major sporting events. For instance, he made $72.6 million in 2022 after placing a bet on the Houston Astros to win the 2022 World Series. Investing $6.9 million on the Astros to repeat in 2023, which would’ve won McIngvale up to $43.4 million, their loss to the Texas Rangers kept the furniture store owner from duplicating his winnings in back-to-back World Series. 

McIngvale has placed quite a few wagers on the NFL, infamously betting against the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes in several playoff games, losing all of them. It began in 2020 when the Texans blew a 24-0 lead in the AFC Divisional Round, followed by the Tennessee Titans surrendering another double-digit lead in the AFC Championship game. It culminated with another double-digit lead blown by the San Francisco 49ers against the Chiefs during their Super Bowl 54 win. Mack didn’t place any wager on Super Bowl 58 after missing an opportunity to bet on the Chiefs at +420 odds before their win over Baltimore in the AFC Championship game. 

March Madness has been another market McIngvale has targeted, placing $4.05 million on the University of Houston men’s basketball team to win March Madness in 2023, which would’ve netted him $35 million in profit. The Cougars were eliminated in the Sweet 16 round against the University of Miami, who would go on to advance to the Final Four before losing to UConn. 

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