Several US sportsbooks called on the NFL to investigate circumstances around Tom Brady’s decision to come out of retirement as the return of the prolific football player could cost them millions.
Sportsbooks Wary of Possible Multi-Million Losses
Brady decided to put an end to his illustrious NFL career over 22 seasons with the New England Patriots and Tamba Bay Buccaneers only to make a U-turn 40 days later and return with the Bucs. The decision was a surprise for several sportsbooks but not for the bettors who placed large bets prior to the official announcement.
Without Brady, Tampa was considered long favorites to win this year’s Super Bowl and several sportsbooks, including Westgate SuperBook gladly accepted significant bets at 60-1 in favor of the Bucs.
The return to the fold of one of the most successful quarterbacks in the game suddenly slashed the odds and raised concerns that those bettors who had wagered before the announcement had the information about Brady’s return in advance.
44-year-old Brady was voted second in last season’s NFL MVP voting and his return immediately made Tampa a strong Super Bowl contender to further prove Brady’s influence on the sport.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said the NFL really needs to investigate something,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of Westgate. “But this is something they need to look into and how it got out, because there are many books that took some sizable wagers in the middle of last week,” he added.
Happy to Accept the Large Bets
Westgate accepted large bets at 60-1 and then at 30-1 from bettors described by Kornegay as educated bettors who knew exactly what they were doing, confirming his suspicion that information about Brady’s return was leaked before the official announcement.
Other sportsbooks which took significant bets for the Bucs to win the 2023 Super Bowl also raised suspicions bettors who placed the bets were informed prior to the announcement.
Chris Andrews, director of the South Point sportsbook in Las Vegas admitted the sportsbook would have to fork a “multi-six-figure” if the Bucs win the Super Bowl, while Circa Sports sportsbook manager was confident the bettor who wagered for the Bucs at 30-1 was aware of Brady’s return.
It is not clear yet whether the NFL will initiate an investigation for a possible leak of information and foul play but if Brady’s Tampa Bay wins the 2023 Super Bowl, those educated bettors will become much richer.
Unless Westgate SuperBook denies again to pay their winnings, much like in October 2020, when the sportsbook refused to pay $30,000 in winnings from a French Open bet placed by a VSiN podcast host.