Suspended NFL Player Josh Shaw Discovered Betting Against His Own Team

  • Shaw wagered against the Cardinals in one leg of a three-game parlay
  • Player was honest about who he was when applying for a betting account
  • Caesars reported bet to Nevada Gaming Control Board and the NFL
Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lining up pre-snap during a game on November 10, 2019
One of the bets Josh Shaw placed that resulted in his suspension from the NFL involved his own team, the Arizona Cardinals. [Image:]

Shaw’s bets more concerning than originally understood

Josh Shaw, the NFL player suspended on Friday for betting on multiple NFL games, was found to have wagered against his own team. When the suspension was originally announced, details of his bets were not known.

Shaw has been on injured reserve all season and has not suited up for the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, he has not been in contact with the team much at all. His coaches and teammates were not privy to his gambling activities.

The earliest Shaw can file for reinstatement is February 15, 2021. He is suspended through at least next season.

Wager details emerged Monday

On Monday, ESPN’s David Purdum reported details of one of Shaw’s NFL bets, as relayed to him by multiple sources.

player bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the second half by one point over his own Arizona Cardinals

On November 10, Shaw placed a wager in person at a Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas. It was a parlay involving the second-half lines of three games that weekend.

The NFL player bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the second half by one point over his own Arizona Cardinals. Although the Buccaneers won the game 30-27, the Cardinals won the second half at 14-13. That portion of the bet lost, tanking the entire bet.

The NFL said it did not find the game compromised in any way, nor that Shaw used inside information to inform his bet. As Purdum noted, because parlays require multiple legs to be successful, they are not typically part of a match-fixing or point-shaving endeavor. Shaw was not playing or even with the team at the time, so it is very unlikely that he would have affected the game.

Ignorance of law excuses no one

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Friday that sources “close to” Shaw said he was with high-school friends when he placed the bet. It was supposedly the first time the defensive back had wagered on sports, and he did not realize it was against the rules.

Shaw had a “misinterpreted understanding” of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned PASPA, which made sports wagering legal in states that authorize it.

That would also explain why, as Purdum reported, Shaw did not conceal who he was when he visited the casino. When filling out the application for a betting account, he listed his job as “professional football player”.

When Caesars officials realized Shaw had bet on an NFL game, they reported it to both the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the NFL. Caesars was named the league’s official casino sponsor in January, although the deal does not include sports betting.

NFL sent memo to teams before announcement

In a statement on Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained that ensuring the integrity of the game is essential for the league’s sustained success.

He added, “betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL and is forbidden under all circumstances.”

Prior to the public announcement of Shaw’s suspension, the league issued a memo to all 32 teams, reminding them of the NFL’s gambling rules.

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