As was the case at the end of the 2017-18 NFL season, the only place that the present-day New England Patriots have things going their way is on the gridiron.
Everything else is a holy mess.
Patriots owner and CEO Robert Kraft is ensnared in a nasty scandal after reports that he solicited female victims of human trafficking for sex at a massage parlor in Florida. The report comes on the heels of what should have been the Boston franchise’s shining moment in history, a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII giving the Pats an unprecedented 6 Lombardi Trophies in 17 years.
The Brady Bunch fell short in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. However, the narrative around the club had grown far beyond mere disappointment over a close-shave loss. In what could have remained a proud moment following yet another conference title, New England’s future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady instead sulked off the field and refused to shake counterpart Nick Foles’ hand. Having fumbled in the 4th quarter and gotten out-gunned by a backup QB, it’s possible that Tom Terrific just didn’t think there could be a worse epilogue to an otherwise vintage season for the Pats.
Robert Kraft: “Hold my beer, kid.”
Kraft’s age and status as a family man only complicate what could turn out to be the scandal of 2019 in sports. The dairy mogul and NFL tycoon’s fall from grace could serve to grow the chorus of liberal critics who contend that The Shield is woefully out of touch with 21st-century civilized society.
Women’s rights have never been more in-focus than in 2019. Illegal sex trafficking of young people is a rare issue on which the left and right wing often stand together. Kraft may be forced to give up his team as the sordid details of the allegations unfold.
No reputable online betting site will be offering-up odds on the alleged victim’s fortunes. They’re the far more important ones in a tragic situation.
At the same time, the anger at Kraft felt by Americans in general, and Bostonians in particular, makes gambling on his demise a guilt-free hobby for current events speculators.
Bovada Sportsbook is just one site that has jumped in quickly with several betting markets on the Robert Kraft scandal. Bookies and gamblers alike seem confident that the Pats owner will pay dearly.
The sportsbook’s main odds have Kraft at 1/5 to be found guilty of soliciting prostitution illegally. The 77-year old is a 3/1 underdog to be exonerated.
In another proposition market, Kraft is a 1/6 favorite to go to prison. Since there’s a chance that a plea bargain involving an admission of guilt could somehow still save the CEO from having to serve any jail time, the odds should logically be less-short on the follow-up prop. But maybe there’s a certain enjoyment among gamblers in imagining Bob Kraft in the penitentiary.
There are also a number of related proposition odds on politicians and celebs, lines which cropped up just as the Kraft betting bonanza began. Tom Brady gets thrown into the mire with 50/1 odds to be caught with an oppressed sex worker by 2020. Tiger Woods is currently 25/1 for the same proposition, the sins of his past life prompting more bettors to take the plunge.
Finally, there are odds on President Trump being found guilty of soliciting prostitution by 2020. A sitting POTUS may only be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors by the U.S. Congress while in office, while Bovada clearly states that a perp must be found guilty in a “court of law” for the “yes” market to pay off. Trump’s present term ends in early 2021, so brave bettors are speculating – possibly with glee – that The Donald will be kicked out of office for other crimes by 2020, then get caught with a concubine before the New Year. In fact, the crime would need to occur well-enough in advance that 45 could be tried by December.
In other words, the bookmaker is trolling the gamblers and offering comic relief to horrified NFL fans. The payoff odds on each of the “no” bets for Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, and President Trump are an infinitesimal 1/1000 across the board. That means a wager of 10,000 pays off with a tenner…in 2021.
Is it a macabre idea to bet on such sordid accusations of a beloved NFL figure? If you believe Robert Kraft is probably guilty, then perhaps the gambling is for good luck to the prosecuting attorneys.
Photo from Twitter.