The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL fans aren’t the only ones affected by any potential discipline handed down to the Patriots or their quarterback Tom Brady in the wake of the Wells Report released on Wednesday, which detailed Brady’s “more probable than not” involvement in the illegal deflation of footballs last season. Las Vegas sportsbooks are also taking note of the possibility of discipline being handed down and are suspending futures betting on the Patriots and also the NFL as a whole.
Pregame.com’s R.J. Bell reported first that Sportsbook.ag’s Patriots betting has been suspended in the wake of the Wells Report:
#Patriots betting SUSPENDED by Sportsbook.ag due to possible player suspensions related to "deflated football" report.
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) May 6, 2015
Popular betting site Bovada also has halted all bets on the NFL entirely until there is more clarity on any punishment the league may hand down as a result of the Wells Report.
A brief statement released by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concurrently with the report being made public mentioned “possible disciplinary action,” though he did not say who would be punished or how severely. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes that Brady will be the one to receive the most pointed punishment, with Florio noting “Brady’s name is mentioned 378 times in the Deflategate report. By contrast, Bill Belichick’s name is mentioned 32 times.”
Punishment may include a fine, a suspension or both, but as this particular scandal is uncharted territory for the NFL, it’s hard to guess at this time who will face Goodell’s hammer and what form that punishment may take. But it’s clear that at least Vegas is currently scared off from both the Patriots and the NFL, a sign that we may have to prepare for a 2015 season opener that does not feature Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady.