David Tyree still can’t believe the New York Giants were double-digit underdogs heading into their Super Bowl XLII matchup with the undefeated New England Patriots. But Tyree was glad to prove Las Vegas oddsmakers wrong — costing Nevada sportsbooks a record $2.6 million in the process.
“I never paid attention to lines until now, and I think that was just disrespectful in light of the Week 17 performance,” Tyree told PlayNY on Thursday — the 14th anniversary of his miracle helmet catch late in the fourth quarter that helped propel the Giants to a stunning 17-14 victory.
“You look at how we went toe-to-toe in the regular season against the Patriots (losing 38-35), that just wasn’t a wise choice. It’s not necessarily a surprise (being 12-point underdogs) when you look at who the Patriots were that season, the dominance of that team. But (Las Vegas oddsmakers) bet on the wrong squad.”
Tyree’s 32-yard catch after Eli Manning somehow managed to avoid a sack on third-and-5 with 59 seconds left is one of the most iconic plays in Super Bowl history.
“I’ve never made an event out of watching it, it just pops up,” Tyree said. “I don’t have the (financial) luxury — at least not yet — of sitting around and looking for it, but it does pop up on social media. It’s special for everybody. It’s a part of the history of the game. It’s great to have these conversations and celebrate that moment.”
Tyree’s transition from player to broadcaster
These days, Tyree is paying plenty of attention to the lines as co-host of MSG Network’s sports betting show, “Odds With Ends.”
“Sports betting is not something I’ve ever been deeply acclimated with,” Tyree said. “But now getting into it and having this perspective and insight, and to be able to add value from a player perspective, it’s been really enjoyable, and there are a lot of layers to it. There’s a lot to learn. I haven’t really gotten into the analytics yet, but I realize it’s purely analytics-driven — even in gambling — so I’m just enjoying it.”
Despite being paid to give his opinions on the subject, Tyree says he’s never bet on the NFL — and doesn’t intend to.
“I wasn’t a gambler by trade. It wasn’t my personality. I’ve got seven kids, so I just couldn’t think about giving away my money, tossing it up and knowing that the odds are always against me,” Tyree said. “When you start hearing that the house always wins, it’s an easy detractor for me.”
But Tyree’s perspective on sports betting has certainly changed following his career transition into the gambling space.
“The progression of sports betting has been interesting, to say the least, where it was considered taboo when I first came into the NFL, and now obviously it’s being legalized state by state and the NFL is embracing it on a large scale, so it’s a new day,” Tyree said. “There’s a lot of apprehension — even from me personally — because there’s an ugly side of it, so it’s a little bit of education as well as bringing some joy, excitement and a new perspective.”
Tyree’s view on Flores’ tanking allegations
The NFL’s integrity is currently under fire following explosive allegations by Brian Flores. The former Miami Dolphins coach claims that team owner Stephen Ross instructed Flores to intentionally throw games in exchange for a $100,000 bonus per loss so the Dolphins could secure a higher draft pick.
If true, it would massively damage the NFL’s credibility with the sports betting public.
“It’s everything that the NFL has opposed,” Tyree said when asked about the seriousness of the allegations. “Everything has always been about the integrity of the shield, the standard of the shield. With these allegations of bribery, it calls into question all of those things. I’ll stay away from the details, but it’s concerning. It’s definitely concerning.”
While Tyree, 42, didn’t want to get deeper into the allegations, he said he has “an immeasurable amount of respect for Brian Flores at this stage of his career. To have that boldness and fortitude, it speaks immensely about who he is as a person. And, regardless of how it goes, he’s willing to risk it all to see progress.”
As he heads into Year 2 as a sports betting show co-host, Tyree wants to continue to grow and get better. Just don’t expect him to download any New York sports betting apps.
“I’m all-in on picks and following it,” Tyree said. “But I have too many responsibilities to be throwing money up in the air. I have no aspirations of being a sharp.”