Bettor Applies for Waiver to Bet More Than $5M on Astros in New Jersey

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 16, 2019

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 11: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Jose Altuve #27 fter a third inning home run against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on September 11, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

A petition has been filed requesting that the state of New Jersey's $5 million sports-betting wager cap be waived for an upcoming bet, according to a document PlayNJ discovered at the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement website.

The Houston Astros were named in the petition, leading PlayNJ to assume that the bettor is banking on the team winning the World Series or, at the very least, the American League pennant.

Per PlayNJ, FanDuel online sportsbook is filing the waiver.

While the bettor's identity is unknown, PlayNJ is guessing that it may be Houston furniture retailer Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale.

Per Fernando Alonso III of the Houston ChronicleMcIngvale lost $10 million in mattress refunds as part of a business promotion when he would pay back customers who have spent $3,000 on mattresses at his stores if Houston won the 2017 World Series. The Astros did so, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

He is running the same promotion again, and PlayNJ is guessing that the bet acts as a hedge in case Houston wins again.

The 98-53 Astros are tied with the New York Yankees for baseball's best record. FanGraphs gives them a 31.9 percent chance to win the World Series, which is tops in the league.

However, this year's playoff field looks loaded. The Yankees may stand in the Astros' way of a pennant, and two National League powerhouses in the 97-54 Los Angeles Dodgers and 93-58 Atlanta Braves should provide stiff competition if Houston reaches the Fall Classic.