How ESPN Betting Show Host Won Nearly $300K on an NFL Draft Prop
Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Doug Kezirian
One of the biggest — if not the biggest — bets of the NFL Draft that brought home major money came at the hands of the host of ESPN’s sports betting show.
Doug Kezirian, host of “The Daily Wager,” won $297,800 on a $3,500 bet that Tyson Campbell would be the first safety taken in the NFL Draft.
Kezirian made a series of bets over an hour at the Bellagio kiosks in Las Vegas on the Monday of the draft. The odds on Campbell started at 100/1, and he continued to bet it until it went down to 50/1.
He said a fellow Vegas bettor who he considers knowledgeable alerted him to the value.
“With no national combine over the last two years, it’s been hard for bookmakers to wrap their heads around the huge variance,” Kezirian said. “It’s why draft analysts have struggled as well.”
Kezirian found an edge in the fact that the BetMGM books scored Campbell as a safety, while every other book, Kezirian said, scored him as a cornerback. Five cornerbacks were taken in the first round, but no safeties.
Of all the analysts, the most positive on Campbell – Mel Kiper Jr. – projected the University of Georgia prospect to go No. 43.
But when the second day and second round started and the Jacksonville Jaguars had the first pick at No. 33, Campbell’s name was called. Ironically, Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, who was the favorite to be the first safety taken at -350 or so, went No. 43 when the Las Vegas Raiders traded up to get him.
Kezirian had just won the biggest bet of his life.
Collecting, he said, proved to be a little complicated. After Kezirian’s bets, Campbell appeared to be wiped off the board on the safety list the next day. So when the attendant at the Bellagio scanned his tickets, they came back as a loser. It didn’t take long for things to be corrected and the ESPN host to get his cash.
Kezirian didn’t reveal his bet on air on ESPN, but did say he discussed the value on Campbell ahead of the draft.
“He opened at 60.5, and then he dropped to 46.5,” Kezirian said. “We said on the show we still liked the under there.”
Kezirian said he loves the opportunity that comes with the draft, an event that’s seen its handle grow exponentially over the last three years, but says he’s concerned that the value it potentially provides to bettors will result in the books tightening up on the exposure in the future.