The most famous Las Vegas sportsbook is raising serious allegations surrounding the possibility that Tom Brady’s coming out of retirement announcement was leaked beforehand. And that critical information might have landed in the hands of sharp bettors, who quickly made big futures bets on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Super Bowl LVII.
Speaking with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jay Kornegay, vice president of the Westgate SuperBook, says activity in the leadup to Brady publicly confirming his return for a 23rd season raised eyebrows. Kornegay explains that some of its sharp bettors placed several large bets on the Bucs winning next February’s Super Bowl while Tampa Bay was as long as 60/1 (+6000).
The SuperBook subsequently slashed its Super Bowl futures on the Bucs from 60/1 to 25/1 following substantial action on Tampa Bay winning the team’s second Vince Lombardi Trophy in three years. But Kornegay says that still didn’t stop the sharps.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that they knew he was coming back when they placed those wagers,” Kornegay said. “These were not casual bettors. They would be categorized as educated bettors.
“It wasn’t a guy with a Tom Brady jersey at the counter. It was a player that we would describe as sharp. With that type of play and the announcement we heard [Sunday] that he was unretiring, there was information that was shared prior to his official announcement,” Kornegay added.
The Tampa Bay betting action prior to Brady’s announcement has resulted in the SuperBook having six-figure liabilities on the Bucs in multiple states. The book now has Tampa Bay at just 10/1 to win the Super Bowl, tied for the fourth-shortest title odds of the 32 NFL teams.
Kornegay believes the NFL should investigate whether the Brady unretiring news reached bettors prior to the rest of the world. If that happened, it would represent one of the most significant betting scandals in US sports history.
“If it was Jameis Winston at quarterback, we wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Kornegay explained. “But when it’s Tom Brady … you’re talking about the best quarterback of all-time playing or not playing.”
Multiple Books Impacted
The Westgate SuperBook isn’t alone in questioning big bets on the Bucs in the days prior to the Brady comeback revelation. Oddsmakers at the South Point Casino south of the Las Vegas Strip said it, too, took some questionable action on Tampa Bay.
South Point oddsmakers say they too are facing a six-figure liability should the Buccaneers win Super Bowl LVII. The South Point has since shortened the Bucs to just 4/1 — a line that essentially tells bettors the book doesn’t want any more Tampa Bay money.
I don’t think I’ve ever said the NFL really needs to investigate something. 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,” Kornegay concluded.
DraftKings’ latest Super Bowl LVII odds have the Buffalo Bills the front-runner at +700. Other contenders include the Kansas City Chiefs at +800, Green Bay Packers and Bucs at +850, and Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos at +1200.
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