Tom Brady's return to the Buccaneers not only hijacked the end of Selection Sunday, but it drastically altered NFL forecast for the upcoming season. Sports books around the country immediately altered Tampa Bay's 2023 Super Bowl odds, though now it appears some Bucs bets are under further examination.
Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay believes that some sizable bets placed on Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl before Brady announced he was coming out of retirement were made with inside information, according to Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Kornegay has reportedly called for an investigation into those wagers.
“There’s not a doubt in my mind that they knew he was coming back when they placed those wagers on Thursday,” Kornegay said. “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 [Sunday] that he was un-retiring, there was information that was shared prior to his official announcement.”
The Bucs had 60-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl next season prior to Brady's announcement. Afterwards, those odds shifted to 25-to-1, and the bettor Kornegay is referring to bet on Tampa Bay again at the new odds.
“There is no doubt in my mind that information leaked sometime in the middle of last week. This is concerning,” Kornegay said. “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.”
A similar trend happened at another book, the South Point, in which a single bettor wagered heavily on the Bucs on Thursday and again on Sunday after Brady's announcement. SuperBook would be in a six-figure hole should Brady lead Tampa Bay to another Super Bowl title, according to Kornegay.
“If it was Jameis Winston at quarterback, we wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Kornegay said. “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.”