Drew Brees on gambling, his new job, Buccaneers-Saints and more

October 27, 2021

Drew Brees, in his new commercial for the bookmaker PointsBet, takes his friends up a metaphorical mountain of gambling, rising to the top and celebrating as the final leg of a successful parlay culminates.

It symbolizes the retired New Orleans Saints quarterback’s latest adventure – attempting to navigate America’s rapidly evolving sports betting space. Brees, now an NBC Sports broadcaster and analyst, is the highest-profile former athlete to partner with a sportsbook since a 2018 US Supreme Court ruling allowed all states to authorize sports betting. legal.

With his new PointsBet commercials airing this week, Brees spoke to ESPN on Wednesday about the transition from the NFL, where sports betting was the ultimate sin for decades, to becoming a brand ambassador for a sportsbook. (The interview has been edited for clarity.)

Sports betting was taboo for anyone associated with the NFL for a long time, especially gamers. How did you feel comfortable enough with the sports betting space to join PointsBet?

Brees: Obviously, if you’re an active player or coach, the rule has always been, not just in the NFL, but in all professional sports, that you wouldn’t participate in sports betting, and rightly so. You never want there to be a blurred line or even a thought that there would be a lack of integrity regarding how you would play the game.

Sports betting, with prop betting and in-game betting, is now very similar to fantasy football. When [fantasy football] was first introduced, there was a huge increase in interest that people not only followed their favorite team or their favorite player, but suddenly they had a personal interest in many other games and many other players. Now, it is very similar to what happens with sports betting and in-game betting. There is a constant attraction and a constant opportunity when it comes to things that happen throughout the game.

It is becoming much more accepted and accepted, obviously because of the sports leagues … and the network’s involvement in the association. I work for NBC Sports. NBC has a great partnership with PointsBet. There are many synergies. You see the direction it’s going and the way the fans consume sports, and this is part of that.

Have you thought about how you will talk to your children about their new role, what play is, and how it is something that requires responsibility? What advice would you give parents regarding teaching gambling to their children?

Brees: Absolutely. It is the same as buying a stock or investing in anything. There is a level of risk you are taking. You could win, you could lose. So I think it applies to a lot of different things. And everything must be done responsibly and must be done with a level of preparation and understanding. I try to use an opportunity like that as a teaching moment, to make it a teaching moment for the children and anyone I come in contact with who might have a question or query about it.

How would you characterize the awareness of the point distribution and odds of the NFL players and coaches? Do most of the guys know the line of his game?

Brees: No I dont think so. I can recall maybe a handful of times when that was even mentioned or mentioned or even caught my eye while preparing for a game. And I think the way it was used was to say, “People are starting to bet against us. What are we going to do about it?” It was almost like a motivation or, on the other hand, “The fans believe in us. We are going to prove that they are right.”

It was more like a bulletin board [material]. I rarely paid attention to any of that as a gamer.

The Saints are 5-point home losers to the Buccaneers this week. New Orleans hasn’t been a big home loser since 2017 against the Patriots. Any ideas on Bucs-Saints?

Brees: We all know what we’re seeing with the Bucs, how good they are and what they’re doing offensively. They seem to be quite unstoppable, defensively, they are also quite strong.

The Saints are 40-1 to win the Super Bowl at PointsBet. Good bet or bad bet?

Brees: I do not know. There are a lot of great teams out there. In my role now as an analyst, I can see a lot of these teams. NFC is quite robust. You have Arizona, which looks pretty good. I think the Rams are pretty good. The Packers are flying under the radar right now, but they’re obviously the real deal.

There are a lot of teams in the AFC. Buffalo: Kansas City and Cleveland are fighting right now, but I think they’re going to find their way back at the end of the year and be someone to deal with: Tennessee, Cincinnati, the Ravens … you ‘We have this group of five teams. in each conference they have separated. Man, anything can happen.