Heisman Trophy favorite Cameron Newton's status forces Vegas to pull odds
At 9:07 a.m. Las Vegas time, a professional sports bettor bet Georgia +8.5 against Auburn. Five minutes later, Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, took the game off the board.
“We’re hearing reports that Cameron Newton’s status may be a game-time decision,” said Stoneback, Wednesday morning. “A professional player came in this morning bet Georgia and soon after we got an alert from one of our services about the news.”
Stoneback said the game was starting to fall off the board online around the same time and that he would wait to hear more definitive news regarding Newton’s status before putting it back on the board.
"Cameron Newton will be playing Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs and I want to get that off the table," Auburn coach Gene Chizik told reporters in a teleconference on Wednesday.
If Newton is suspended, multiple oddsmakers have estimated that Auburn, which was set between -7 and -8.5, will fall to as low as a 3-point favorite.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it dropped by 6 or 7 points,” said Stoneback. “When Jake Locker got ruled out against Oregon, the number moved 7 points.”
Newton is at the center of reports that he and his family asked for money during his recruitment before signing with Auburn. Two Mississippi State recruiters said late Tuesday that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and his father, Cecil Newton, admitted in phone conversations that they intended to be paid for playing at a certain school during Newton's recruitment last year, ESPN reported.
The alleged conversations were relayed by Mississippi State compliance officials to Southeastern Conference compliance officials in January, the report stated.
In one of the conversations, Cecil Newton was said to have chosen Auburn over Mississippi State because "the money was too much."
The NCAA is already investigating the Newton's recruiting process. Cam Newton has previously denied any wrongdoing.