Reddit Rumor About Will Levis Allows Sportsbooks to Profit
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Every draft is rife with chatter that can move betting odds on a dime. Often, it’s beneficial to some bettors — those who are privy to information and able to capitalize on long odds for would-be correct picks.
After all, drafts don’t make sportsbooks money in the long run. They’re hosted simply for marketing and visibility purposes. They’re ordinarily a sharp bettor’s paradise.
But for the 2023 NFL Draft, it was the sportsbooks that won out overall because of one player: Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.
Levis wasn’t taken first overall — or in the first round at all — on Thursday night.
It was a remarkable turn of events from earlier in the week, when a Reddit poster named SalesAgreeable2834 wrote: “Will Levis is currently +4000 to be the first overall pick. Well ladies and gentleman (sic), he’s telling friends and family Carolina will in fact take him on Thursday. You’re welcome.”
The post quickly made the rounds and, all of a sudden, Levis was as low as +175 to the be the No. 1 pick. The marketplace believed him. Presumptive first overall pick — Alabama QB Bryce Young — saw his odds fall from -2500 to as low as -500 in the commotion.
At BetMGM, Levis actually closed as the most bet No. 1 overall pick (29%).
At PointsBet, he had 25.4% of the bets to go No. 1 overall — just 0.4% lower than Young, a matter of a dozen wagers or so.
One bettor at DraftKings felt so strongly about the hubbub that he put $2,000 at +1000 odds. The wager would have paid out $20,000. Of course, it was dead on arrival.
Another bettor rode the draft momentum into a different marketplace — who would be picked in the top 10. This bettor drank the Kool-Aid enough to drop $1,000 to win $100 that Levis would be picked in the top 10.
The Reddit poster’s identity is not known, and efforts to reach out to the user were unsuccessful.
In the aftermath of Levis’ historic fall, other users began to voice their resentment.
“I hope this is a lesson learned,” wrote poster Any-Afternoon 3330. “You all got conned scammed hoodwinked by this guy and he will most likely delete his account soon. This is also really suspicious because it (sic) Sportsbooks everywhere won huge with this miss. Morons on this Reddit just gave sportsbooks most likely millions with these lost Will Levis tickets.”
It’s not clear how much sportsbooks made on the aggregate. While at BetMGM, Levis had been the most wagered on selection, only 11% of the handle was on the line, compared to Young’s 67% of handle.
A PointsBet spokesperson wouldn’t elaborate as to how much Levis benefitted their bottom line.
This saga isn’t over.
The interest in Levis — especially after ESPN repeatedly showed him on screen as he slid down the first round — has created a new marketplace. PointsBet on Friday posted a Levis team market and a head-to-head wager with University of Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker.
Team to Draft Will Levis
Meanwhile, Levis is -400 at PointsBet to be drafted before Hooker. Hooker is +250 to be selected first at the sportsbook.
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