ESPN reported that Josh Shaw bet against his own team as part of a three-team parlay, one of the wagers that led the NFL to suspend the defensive back through at least the 2020 season.

Josh Shaw Cardinals bet
Josh Shaw bet against the Cardinals – and lost – as part of a three-team parlay, according to ESPN. (Image: Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire/Getty)

Sources told ESPN that Shaw made a three-team parlay at a Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas on Nov. 10, one that bet on the second half of three different Week 10 NFL games.

Parlay Bet Included Second Half Bet Against Arizona

One of those bets was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were a 1-point favorite for the second half against Shaw’s Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs were up 17-13 at halftime, but only won 30-27, meaning Arizona won the second half by a point, and that Tampa Bay failed to cover the spread.

Since the NFL announced on Friday that Shaw is suspended through at least the end of next season, the league has made it clear that they don’t believe any games were compromised, or that Shaw used any inside information to make his picks. This is also not a situation where points shaving could be an issue for Shaw because he has been out with a shoulder injury for the entire season, and was not with the team when the wager was made.

According to NFL.com reporter, Ian Rapoport, Shaw made the best during a trip to Las Vegas with friends from high school.

“Shaw placed sports bets for the 1st time based on misinterpreted understanding of the Supreme Court ruling,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter, referring to last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Shaw Identified as Football Player on Betting Account Application

The NFL’s own policies do not allow anyone who works for the league in any capacity to bet on NFL games. Under Nevada law, sportsbooks are also required to take reasonable steps to avoid taking bets from individuals or teams that are in any way involved with a bet.

Sources told ESPN that Shaw listed “professional football player” as his occupation when he filed an application for a betting account with Caesars. After Caesars realized who Shaw was, they contacted both the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the NFL to inform them of the wager.

Since PASPA was repealed, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly emphasized the integrity of competition as a core principle in how the league will handle the spread of legalized sports betting.

“The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league,” Goodell said in a statement announcing the suspension. “At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on NFL games, or any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances.”

The NFL and the Cardinals could punish Shaw even further for his decision to place that bet. The NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement contains language that says a player who is found guilty of placing bets on NFL games may be fined, suspended indefinitely, or have their contract terminated. Shaw is currently on a one-year deal with Arizona worth about $895,000.

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