But one person had more on the line than just about anyone other than the players on the court.
On Tuesday, a bettor put $500,000 on the Nuggets moneyline at -110 odds. That meant all the Nuggets had to do was win, and that bettor would cash out for a little more than $954,000.
So when Jazz guard Mike Conley pulled up for a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and it went halfway down, one bettor had a nearly $1 million swing on whether it went in.
It rimmed out. That cost BetMGM a fortune.
One bettor had $500K on the Nuggets
Maybe, when you put half a million on an NBA game, you’re a bit detached from the result. To borrow from an old golf quote, pressure isn’t putting for a tournament win and a $5 million prize, real pressure is putting for a $1,000 skins game when you have $20 in your pocket.
Still, there had to be some emotion going on. Most of us will never comprehend what it’s like to have a $500,000 wager on any sporting event. And the whole game was tense.
The Nuggets started out well, then the Jazz rallied in the third quarter to make it a game. The Jazz took a lead in the fourth quarter, which set up a back-and-forth final few minutes. With less than 30 seconds left the score was tied. Nikola Jokic hit a great shot against Rudy Gobert to give Denver the lead.
Even if you had $50 on the game, you were nervous. Imagine if it was $500,000.
Nuggets barely beat Jazz
The Jazz turned it over in the final seconds after Jokic’s shot and what happened next might have given that Nuggets backer a heart attack.
Jamal Murray rushed the ball upcourt, and instead of pulling it out and forcing the Jazz to foul, he dished off for a layup. That shot missed and the Jazz rebounded, a stunning mistake in the final seconds. That gave Utah one more chance to tie or win it and Conley got a fairly good look from beyond the arc.
The shot went up and looked good, until it bounced out of the rim. The Jazz players fell to the floor in exhaustion and disbelief.
Look how close that Mike Conley three was...
My goodness. 👀 pic.twitter.com/yBeWeY0a0h
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 2, 2020
What’s the proper emotion when you have a nearly million-dollar swing on one basketball shot? Relief? Joy? Nothing because you’ve passed out? We may never know, but that had to be a sweat for the ages.
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