ESPN host wins nearly $300,000 on draft prop bet

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The legalization of gambling is creating plenty of opportunities for fans — and for media — to put skin in the game. And to take some flesh out of it.

ESPN Daily Wager host Doug Kezirian (pictured in the foreground) won nearly $300,000 through BetMGM by betting on Tyson Campbell becoming the first safety selected in the 2021 draft.

Via Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kezirian made a variety of wagers totaling $3,500, with odds as high as 100-1.

Listed by most sports books as a cornerback, BetMGM had Campbell on the board as a safety. When he went with the first pick in round two to the Jaguars, Kezirian ended up with the first safety selected — and he pocketed $297,800.

The bets were placed via self-serve kiosks at the Bellagio.

Presumably, Kezirian’s wagering violated no rules at ESPN. (Otherwise, he surely wouldn’t be publicizing it.) Although his job doesn’t make him privy to inside information, other ESPN employees may have had such knowledge. It’s a dynamic that cries out for clear rules and regulations, and checks and balances, regarding the activities in which network employees can and can’t engage, especially when those employees work for NFL partners.

Looking at it more broadly, the situation shows how wagers unrelated to the outcome of a given game could be corrupted by inside information. For events like the draft, when one or more employees of a team know what a pick will be, that information easily can be misused if shared with others, regardless of whether the person who shares it knows that someone else will act on it.

It’s a critical component of the league’s overall efforts to ensure full and complete integrity when it comes to the ongoing proliferation of legalized wagering, and it’s imperative that the league devote the time, resources, and creative thought to identifying the various things that would spark a scandal.

9 responses to “ESPN host wins nearly $300,000 on draft prop bet

  1. Psssh.. who does this guy think he is?

    Only 1-percenters can benefit from trade secrets.

  2. Good points, but I think there is a difference between someone like Kezirian, and a regular sports reporter. Kezirian is employed to analyze and give gambling advice. If he didn’t gamble, and place his his money where his mouth is, he’d lose credibility.

  3. If they were worried or concerned about “ethics” in gambling, then they never would have made it legal.

  4. collectordude says:
    May 24, 2021 at 1:42 pm
    So he made a little extra money with a bet.
    NFL shouldn’t care.


    Your right, the NFL and ESPN shouldn’t care.

    The casino paying him $300,000 is the one who should care.

  5. I would bet <–

    that ESPN likes the fact that their gambling host made money on a wager.

  6. There were odds on who each team would draft in the first round. Plenty of people had a good idea about a lot of stuff like that. But the casino’s are the ones putting up the odds. They know how information gets passed along. They clean up, for the most part.

  7. Now we know why he is the host of ESPN Daily Wager. I don’t think it was insider information. What he saw was MGM incorrectly marking Tyson Campbell as a safety. If it was a industry insider like Schefter maybe but when the guy is a host of a gambling part of sports he should be allowed to place bets. Its up to the casinos on whether they should take his bets.

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