Rovell: Meet the Pro Bettor Who Just Won $285,500 on Lamar Jackson MVP Bets


Douglas DeFelice, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Nov. 4. Jackson was voted the unanimous MVP on Saturday night  

In May, a professional sports bettor walked into the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and liked what he saw.

The sportsbook, operated by DraftKings, had Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson priced at 66-1 ($100 would win $6,600) to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

He asked for $500 on it, not thinking the book would take the action, but they did. Oftentimes, sportsbooks offer lower limits on prop bets like MVP or Rookie of the Year bets. But DraftKings was happy to book the action. And they weren’t alone.

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Next, he went to the Borgata. They had Jackson’s MVP odds at 80-1. He asked for $1,000 and got it. A day later, the bettor went back to the Borgata, expecting to see the odds affected by his bet. To his surprise, it was unchanged. He put another $500 on Jackson.

All told, the bettor, whose name is Mark, but on Twitter is known as Ed Teach (Blackbeard’s real name), wagered $3,200 on Jackson to win the MVP in hopes of collecting a $285,500 payday.

“He was a top-three fantasy quarterback for almost every week last year,” said Mark, who asked that we not to reveal his last name. “And I saw that, even in the playoff game that they lost, they were all in on him.”

Meanwhile, Jackson has put together a serious case to win the award. His Ravens are 6-2, fresh off a win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots on primetime. My colleague, Matthew Freedman, wrote about how he thinks the decision to pass on drafting the 2016 Heisman winner will haunt the Pats for years to come.

Jackson is now the co-favorite, with Russell Wilson, to win MVP at FanDuel at 3-1.

“This is the first year that I’ve bet heavily on MVP odds,” Mark said. “I bet on a couple guys, including Dak Prescott, but I put four times the money on Lamar.”

The MVP bet actually hasn’t been around for that long — at least legally. Until May 2017, the Nevada Gaming Control didn’t allow bets that weren’t settled on the field. Because writers vote on such awards, it fell under that criteria. But they has since allowed some exceptions, including the MVP awards in each sport.

So what will it take for Lamar to win?

“He obviously can’t get injured,” Mark said. “He’s gotta get 3,000 yards passing with 20 to 25 touchdowns and I hope he can beat Michael Vick’s single season QB rushing record (1,039 in 2006).”

Simple enough, right?

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