The reactions in Ann Arbor and Las Vegas to the wild Michigan State-Michigan ending Saturday night were equally awesome.
We'll start in Vegas, where a bettor at Sunset Station's sportsbook was left digging through the trash for his Spartans ticket; a $30,000 money-line bet on the Wolverines turned into garbage and a $50 eight-team parlay that included Michigan State on the money line turned into $11,000.
"I was out in the book and a guest yelled, 'Oh my god, I threw my ticket away,'" said Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito, who didn't think the bet was that big, but didn't know the exact amount. "I did see him in line a short time later, cashing with a big smile."
Esposito said it was standing room only in his book when Michigan State's Jalen Watts-Jackson returned a fumbled punt snap for the winning touchdown on the final play of the game.
"I can't remember the book being as loud for a non-championship game in any sport," Esposito told Chalk on Sunday. "If you think the crowd in Michigan was loud, you should have been in our books. Many guests are still talking about it today."
Michigan was around a 7-point favorite and nearly 1-3 favorite on the money line at most Las Vegas books. The point spread was not impacted when Watts-Jackson scored the winning TD, but a bevy of money-line bets were in play, and the bulk -- but not all -- of them were on Sparty at better than 2-1 odds.
At the Mirage sportsbook, Jay Rood, vice president of MGM race and sports, heard the crowd erupt all the way in the back office. ESPN.com's Andrew Feldman was on the scene and joked that, judging by the crowd's reaction, he was one of five Michigan fans in the room at the Mirage. The rest were Spartan supporters, some more heavily invested than others. A $20,000 money-line bet on Michigan State paid around $50,000, in addition to multiple four- and five-figure money-line bets on the Spartans, and took a significant chunk out of the book's bottom line on Saturday.
"We were going to lose, because the sharp play was on plus-7.5, and [Michigan State] was going to cover," said Rood, who was in the back office of the Mirage sportsbook when the play happened. "But once we gave up the money line, it pressed it a good six figures above that. We went from [losing] a little bit to taking a pretty bad loss."
At William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, 93 percent of money-line bets were on Michigan State, causing a "bad, but not devastating" hit, according to director of trading Nick Bogdanovich.
The majority of bets at CG Technology's sportsbook were on Michigan State plus the points, but a mid-five-figure bet on the Wolverines to win straight up evened the book out a little bit.
"Essentially, he bet like $30,000 to win $10,000 [on Michigan]," Jason Simbal, CG Technology vice president of race and sports, said. "We needed Michigan to cover or Michigan State to win [straight up]. That ended up actually helping us.'
Simbal said the Alabama-Texas A&M game was a bigger decision for the book and was on the biggest TV in the back office at the M Resort sportsbook, but the reaction from the crowd in the book made everyone turn their attention to the Michigan-Michigan State ending. Among those celebrating was a bettor who added Michigan State on the money line to a $50, eight-team parlay that paid $11,000.
Ed Salmons, head oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook, said he wasn't watching the ending either, but he certainly heard it.
"I'm in the back, way in the back, and it was unbelievable," Salmons said.
Hugh Citron, oddsmaker at the Stratosphere, said he heard a loud yell in his book. Bismarck Leon, sportsbook manager at the Rio, said the public was heavy on the Michigan State money line at his shop.
"When Michigan State scored on the final play, the crowd went insane," Leon said.
There was more disbelief than pandemonium in the press box at a stunned Michigan Stadium.
"I'm not sure anyone sitting up there was exactly sure what had just happened in the moment," said Nick Baumgardner, Michigan beat writer for MLive Media Group, who was the press box on deadline. "I remember hearing someone shout, 'I think this guy's going to score.' Then someone else shouted, 'There's no time left on the clock.' Then about 30 people shouted, 'What the hell even happened?'"
Jim Harbaugh knows the feeling.
While Michigan State's miracle win hurt multiple Vegas books, the Wolverines losing helped futures odds. After opening at 100-1 before Jim Harbaugh was hired, Michigan was one of the most popular bets to win the national championship. The Wolverines, along with Texas A&M and LSU, were the only three teams that would cost CG Technology money on their odds to win the national championship, Simbal said.
The Wolverines were 10-1 to win the national championship at the SuperBook entering the weekend, but dropped back to 60-1 after the last-second loss. Michigan State improved to 10-1 this week.