ESPN Anchor Rece Davis Backtracks Sports Betting Comment

Posted on: March 25, 2024, 05:27h. 

Last updated on: March 25, 2024, 05:27h.

Rece Davis, a lead sports anchor on ESPN and ABC, is backtracking sports betting comments he made on Sunday ahead of top-seeded UConn’s second-round March Madness matchup against No. 9 Northwestern.

ESPN Rece Davis sports betting
ESPN’s Rece Davis is walking back comments he made in jest about sports betting being risk-free when an expert like Erin Dolan dishes her picks. Davis says there is of course inherent risk in gambling on sports. (Image: AP)

As the line between sports betting and sports analysis continues to blur, Davis welcomed ESPN Bet sports betting analyst Erin Dolan to “College GameDay” before Sunday’s slate of games tipped off. Dolan dished her opinions on how to bet the UConn game.

Dolan expressed enthusiasm for bettors taking the under on the Wildcats’ 60.5-point over/under. She reasoned that Northwestern would need to slow the game down to have any chance against UConn.

At the conclusion of the segment, Davis oddly weighed in with his thoughts that anyone who takes Dolan’s advice isn’t gambling but making a risk-free investment.

You know what? Some would call this wagering, gambling. The way you’ve sold this, I think it is a risk-free investment,” Davis said.

Connecticut’s men’s basketball team finished the regular season and conference championships as the top-ranked program in the country. The Huskies, the defending national champions, went 28-3 during the regular season and then won the Big East Tournament and has sailed through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament

Davis Backlash

Davis’ comment, which he said later was made in jest, comes as baseball’s biggest star, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, is on the defense for reportedly paying $4.5 million to cover his longtime friend and interpreter’s sports gambling debt.

Davis apologized for his sports betting comments in a social media message posted to X. Davis said his remarks came after Dolan’s earlier NCAA March Madness betting picks turned out to be winners.

I joked the advice was more like ‘risk-free investing.’ As we all know, such a thing does not exist. Obviously, there are risks,” Davis tweeted.

Davis then went on to promote responsible sports betting.

“Though I’m not a gambler, I strongly encourage those who do partake to do so with prudence, care, caution, fiscal and personal responsibility, and never over-extend. Sports are unpredictable. Wagering is tricky. So let’s agree to manage monetary risks appropriately.”

“I’m sure most recognized my comment was tongue-in-cheek,” he concluded.

Davis is typically a consummate professional when it comes to calling games and analyzing sports. Davis has been with ESPN since 1995 and has served as host of “College GameDay” since 2015.   

Betting Should Be Entertainment

Responsible gaming experts encourage gamblers and sports bettors to consider wagering as a form of entertainment not unlike purchasing a concert ticket.

GameSense, a leading responsible gaming program developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and implemented by MGM Resorts at its casinos across the United States, tells bettors to educate themselves on how sports betting works and how the house makes the odds in their favor before wagering. GameSense also says bettors should “never play expecting to make money.”

“Sports knowledge can provide helpful guidance on which potential outcomes are more or less likely to happen. However, don’t be fooled, chance still plays a part. No matter how skilled you might be, you still can’t control all of the factors. Hope to win but expect to lose,” the GameSense website cautions.

“Remember — you’re playing to have a good time,” GameSense added.

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