Wednesday, July 3, 2019 | 2 a.m.
Mitch Trubisky isn't the favorite to win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, but he's the most popular pick among bettors in Las Vegas.
Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has sold more tickets on Trubisky winning the 2019 MVP, initially at 200-1 odds, than any of his NFL peers, according to Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports book operations.
Caesars Palace has seen similar action. And the Bears are generating Westgate's most Super Bowl bets too.
Westgate has taken so many Trubisky tickets in the last two weeks that it moved the line to 50-1. The small wagers — between $20 and $100 — typically indicate bets made by fans, most likely Bears fans, Kornegay said.
"I just want to know what kind of water you guys are drinking up there," Kornegay said. "Is everybody drinking, like, Soldier Field water or something? What the heck is going on up there?"
Orange Kool-Aid, perhaps?
"Yeah, mixed with something else, I think," he said.
Trubisky represented 17% of the bets placed and 22% of the money wagered on the NFL MVP at Westgate, Kornegay said. The breakdown for the Bears winning the Super Bowl: 11% of the money and 10% of the tickets.
Kornegay acknowledged the Bears are a good team — they're favored to repeat as NFC North champions — but said Trubisky would have to put up "gaudy" numbers to have a realistic shot at MVP.
"I'm not sure you have all the weapons in line for (Trubisky) to accomplish that," Kornegay said, adding with a laugh: "I feel like I'm giving the Bears a lot of billboard material right now."
Nevertheless, Westgate did worry enough to move the line. If Trubisky defies the odds and wins MVP, the sports book would've taken a bath — and wouldn't have been the only one in town taking a big hit at the betting window.
At Caesars in mid-June, Trubisky was listed at 75-1. Now, "he is 30-1 and is far and away our biggest liability," Jeff Davis, director of trading, said via email.
Added Kornegay: "It was right from the get-go there was a lot of interest in Trubisky at 200-1. That has really continued to a point where he is by far our biggest liability to win the MVP.
"When you're giving out 200-1 odds, it doesn't take much to create the liability. As it rolls in and you're accumulating hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars at 200-1, next thing you know you have a mid-six-figure liability attached to Trubisky. And that's the last thing I want to do is lose six figures on the NFL MVP."
Kornegay added that he tried to set a manageable enough line to account for a large and dedicated sports market such as Chicago, but "hindsight shows us that it still probably was a little too high based on the money we've seen over the last couple of weeks."
Still, Kornegay said Trubisky supporters who have put their money where their hearts are might have unrealistic expectations.
"Those are just fans giving it a shot," he said.