ESPN's Rece Davis slammed for suggesting March Madness bet was 'risk-free investment'


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ESPN host Rece Davis chose the wrong words when describing a sports bet suggestion during a segment of College GameDay on Sunday. 

ESPN betting analyst Erin Dolan explained why she recommends betting Northwestern to score under 60.5 points during their second-round matchup against UConn in the NCAA Tournament. 

After hearing Nolan’s argument, Davis had an interesting response. 

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Rece Davis looks on field with microphone

ESPN College GameDay host Rece Davis during the Rose Bowl Game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Utah Utes on January 2, 2023, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA. (Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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

Dolan simply shrugged after Davis’s comment before saying, “OK, a positive way.”

When it comes to gambling, no matter how researched, no bet is ever a sure thing. So, hearing Davis call something Dolan even admitted was her trusting her gut more than the research “risk-free investment” didn’t sit well with some on social media. 

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“This is not a risk-free investment,” one X user posted. “All wagers have risk and this being said by @ReceDavis is a poor look for the sports betting world.”

Davis has since posted to social media, saying his comment was supposed to be a joke that didn’t hit. 

Rece Davis interviews Jim Harbaugh

ESPN commentator Rece Davis interviews head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide 27-20 in overtime to win the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2024, in Pasadena, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“During a segment this morning on @CollegeGameDay, due to @ESPNBet picks hitting yesterday, I joked the advice was more like ‘risk free investing.’ As we all know, such a thing does not exist. Obviously, there are risks. Though I’m not a gambler, I strongly encourage those who do.”

Legalized sports betting in the United States has been a hot debate topic since its inception, and it’s only intensified with professional sports leagues promoting it during their respective seasons. 

As a result, scandals have arisen in leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB and college sports, where athletes are breaking rules related to gambling. Players have been suspended or released from teams due to violating their league rules. 

There is also the latest scandal with Los Angeles Dodogers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter Ippei Mizuhara allegedly stealing $4.5 million from the ballplayer to cover gambling debts.  

Rece Davis with microphone on field

College Gameday host Rece Davis following the Georgia Bulldogs game versus the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 9, 2023, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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All of these situations come back to the simple fact that no bets are sure-fire winners, and risk comes with them all.  

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