Arguably one of the big bets that made Billy Walters famous, was his $2.2 million stake on the Rose Bowl Game between University of South California and the University of Michigan at the very beginning of 2007.
The game was the culmination of the 2006 NCAA Division 1 FBS football season, and what made it interesting was that both teams had lost their respective state rivalry games, whereas most years the participants in the Rose Bowl Game were the winners of those rivalry matches.
Being a secretive guy, not a great deal is known about the details of the bet that Walters made – although in all probability it was a series of bets at different points leading up to the game so he could take advantage of odds movements – but we know the total amount came to that $2.2 million figure.
The pre-season odds for USC were +250 (5/2) whereas the pre-season odds for Michigan were +750 (15/2), so it’s safe to say that USC were the favourites going in, and we have used this number to calculate an estimated payout.
How the Bet was Won
The game started slowly, with only 3 points being scored in the first quarter thanks to a 26 yard field goal by Mario Danelo which put USC ahead with around 4 minutes to go.
In the first minutes of the second quarter Michigan managed to pull 3 points back with a field goal of their own, but the rest of the quarter was quiet.
It was in the 3rd that things began to gather pace, with two touch downs for USC although Danelo missed the kick on the second. He managed to make up for it with another 26 yard field goal in the dying seconds of the quarter however, giving USC a very strong lead of 19-3 going into the fourth.
Billy Walters was sitting pretty, or so it seemed.
Adrian Arrington got Michigan straight back in the game at the start of the 4th with an 11 yard touchdown, cutting USC’s lead to just 8 points, and probably giving Walters cause for concern too.
Just a few minutes later though, USC scored a touchdown of their own, and backed it up with another as the clock ticked down past 7 minutes.
Michigan did manage to claw back 7 points with a second touchdown as the quarter came to an end, but it was too little too late, leaving the final score at 32 – 18 to the Southern California Trojans.