The end of the Butch Jones era is here and the proof is in the offshore sportsbook pudding. Like winter coming for Westeros (“Game of Thrones” reference), the coaching carousel is in full swing, and the latest victim could well be Tennessee’s Lord Butch Jones.
For the past several months, BetOnline has offered prop bets on who would be the first SEC coach to get the axe. Thanks to a disappointing fifth season at Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin had better odds than Jones heading into the start of the season.
On August 31, the odds looked like this (the “+” number means the amount a bettor would be paid on a $100 bet wagering that coach would be the first SEC coach fired this season):
Kevin Sumlin (+150)
Butch Jones (+250)
Gus Malzahn (+600)
Barry Odom (+1000)
Mark Stoops (+1000)
Bret Bielema (+1200)
Derek Mason (+1400)
Fast forward to September 26, following the Vols’ loss to Florida, and the odds look like this:
Butch Jones (+120)
Kevin Sumlin (+175)
Barry Odom (+700)
Gus Malzahn (+800)
Ed Orgeron (+1000)
Bret Bielema (+1000)
Mark Stoops (+1400)
Derek Mason (+2000)
It was after the Vols’ historic loss to Georgia that we see Jones’ fate sealed. Dave Mason, who runs BetOnline, is a friend of mine. There may be no bigger “gambler” in the world. “Birdman” wanted to bet $5 million on the Patriots in 2012 and Mason’s company was the only book willing to take the rapper’s action, so they’re not afraid of risk. They’re also not dumb: Mason pulled the prop bet from the BetOnline site and replaced it with this even more “obvious that Butch Jones is gone” proposition wager.
One of the world’s most profitable offshore sports books removing a bet where bettors can place wagers on someone being fired can only mean one thing: It’s essentially a certainty that the favorite is going to be fired.
Similarly, it’s tough to find moneyline wagers on Alabama when they play teams like Chattanooga or Fresno State. The reason for this is sports book oddsmakers know that they’re likely not going to receive interest from both sides. In recent years, sports books have simply opted to remove moneyline bets from these types of games. The line has to be set so high that no one will have interest in putting up $25,000 to win $100. When bets are taken off the board, it means one of two things: An event has occurred in which the event can’t properly be handicapped or the result of the outcome is known.
What we don’t know is who will replace Jones at UT. If you think you do, put your money where your mouth is. Odds are pictured below.
(You can follow Tyler Wyatt on Twitter @TylerWyattWVLZ)
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.