Tom Brady shocked the football world when he announced that he is coming out of retirement and returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The announcement also had huge ramifications from a sports betting standpoint, as many placed futures wagers on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl prior to Brady returning.
Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay has went so far as to question whether significant bets on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl prior to Brady's announcement were made with insider information regarding the QB's plans. Before Brady announced his return, the Bucs had 60-1 odds to win the Super Bowl and 30-1 odds to win the NFC.
However, one bettor placed big wagers on Tampa Bay to win both the Super Bowl and NFC titles, which caused the sportsbook to bring the odds down to 25-1. After the odds were lowered, this specific bettor bet on those odds again.
"There's not a doubt in my mind that they knew he was coming back when they placed those wagers on Thursday (three days before Brady's announcement)," Kornegay told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "And 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 that he was unretiring, there was information that was shared prior to his official announcement."
Following Brady's return, the Westgate SuperBook brought the odds down from 14-1 to 10-1 for the Bucs to win the Super Bowl and from 7-1 to 5-1 to win the conference title. Kornegay added that Westgate SuperBook could suffer significant losses in multiple states if the Buccaneers end up winning the Super Bowl in 2023.
"If it was Jameis Winston at quarterback, we wouldn't have a problem with it," Kornegay added. "But when it's Tom Brady you have a six-figure liability with, we're certainly not comfortable with it. That's a biggie. It's not about a player being in or out of a game tonight. You're talking about the best quarterback of all time playing or not playing."
Westgate SuperBook wasn't the only sportsbook to deal with this scenario.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal also spoke to South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews. He explained that their book accepted a "big money" wager on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl on Thursday with 50-1 odds. That very same bettor also placed wagers on the Buccaneers with 30-1 and 25-1 odds.
The Buccaneers are now tied with the defending champion Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers as the 5-1 second choice to make it to the Super Bowl out of the NFC. The Green Bay Packers lead the way with 4-1 odds following the return of Aaron Rodgers.