"Mattress Mack," also known as Houston furniture store owner Jim McIngvale, has placed a $1.2 million bet on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (+125) to defeat the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship (Jan. 10, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Should he win the bet, placed through Caesars Sportsbook, McIngvale would win $1.5 million.
Mattress Mack said Georgia (-3) being listed as an early favorite got his attention and created a promotion at his stores tied to Alabama.
"We've done a lot of these promotions in the past and with a game with this much attention, wanted to be a part of it," McIngvale told ESPN. "[I] was surprised to see Alabama as a 3-point underdog. They have good name recognition and brand awareness for fans, so this comes with a good, high perceived value. Anyone who buys a mattress before the game gets their money back if Alabama wins."
McIngvale routinely uses the betting market to mitigate risk on sales promotions at his furniture store. For Super Bowl LV, he placed a $3.46 million bet on the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at +3.5, to cover the spread against the Kansas City Chiefs. He offered customers who spent $3,000 or more on a new mattress their money back if Tampa Bay covered.
Now a similar deal is in place for mattress buyers and McIngvale said he expects to do 3-4 million in mattress sales leading up to Monday night's game.
Mattress Mack is no stranger to these kinds of large bets. He had $11 million in play for the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. The Astros lost that World Series. McIngvale also lost $1 million after betting on Houston to win the NCAA men's basketball championship.
Despite a 42-24 loss to the Tide in the SEC championship game, the Bulldogs opened as a small favorite in the national title game. Georgia defeated Michigan and Alabama beat Cincinnati in their respective College Football Playoff semifinals.
The spread for Monday's game is currently Georgia (-2.5) with the over/under set at 52. For McIngvale's bet to pay off, Alabama has to win outright.
David Purdum contributed to this story.