For sportsbooks, the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are big business. And the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas is offering a unique sports betting opportunity. Last year, the book tipped off its Hoops Central Showdown, which allows players a shot at winning thousands for a $200 entry fee.
Similar to the sportsbook’s NFL SuperContest, in which bettors pick five games against the spread throughout the season for a shot at a seven-figure top prize, the Hoops Central Showdown allows players to pick against the spread during the first two days of the tournament for a chance at a big payday.
Here’s how it works: Players enter the tournament and then pick winners against the spread for 28 games during the first two days of March Madness. The player with the most winners wins the pot. Last year, there were 160 entrants and Jay Kornegay, Executive Vice President Race and Sports Operations for Superbook, estimates the winner received about $6,000. Fans must sign up in person, and are required to have a Westgate WOW rewards card. Entries will be accepted until 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Players are limited to three entries each.
Hoops Central Showdown winner get 50% of pot
The First Four in Dayton, Ohio is not part of the contest.
According to the contest rules, 100 percent of prize money, less a $10 administrative fee per entry, will be awarded. The winner will get 50 percent of the pot, second place will get 30 percent and third place 20 percent. A points total for a game designated by the Superbook will be the tiebreaker.
In addition to the contest, the Superbook is offering a host of unique prop bets as well as the opportunity to watch tournament games in its International Theater, where Elvis Presley performed more than 800 times in his prime. The theater has 1,500 seats, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis or may be reserved for $25 each. Kornegay said five “giant” HD TVs will be set up in the theater for maximum viewing opportunities. Food and beverage service will also be available. Doors open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 21.
Among the prop bets that will be available through the Superbook are head-to-head matchups, how many No. 1 seeds will advance to the Final Four and if a No. 1 will win the tournament. The book won’t offer prop bets on individual players until the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 rounds.
Superbook is well-known for its unique NFL “SuperContest” and “SuperContest Gold,” in which bettors pay an entry fee and then pick five NFL games a week against the spread. The SuperContest has grown from a few hundred participants in the 1990s to more than 2,500 in 2017, when the winner took home a check for more than $1.3 million.