How a Draymond Green Decision Cost Sportsbooks Millions: Report

Draymond Green

Tom Pennington/Getty Images Draymond Green

Draymond Green left the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, after playing just seven seconds. The reason for the early exit was a calf injury, that still has the Warriors star sidelined. Green only started the game because he wanted to be on the floor for the return of star Klay Thompson. According to a story from ESPN, the injury wasn’t just costly for the Warriors.

“At 8:31 p.m. ET,” the website wrote, “the Warriors’ official public relations Twitter feed posted that Green would be on the court for tipoff but would not participate in the remainder of the game due to the calf issue.”

That excerpt from ESPN might not sound all that controversial, but that news was announced nine minutes before the game tipped off at 8:40 p.m. That nine-minute window proved costly to sportsbooks.

The Controversy

As ESPN reported, “Bettors hustled to get bets in on the under on, for example, Green’s total points (7.5), rebounds (8.5) and assists (8.5), before sportsbooks could pull the markets off the board.

Green finished the game with zeroes across the board, of course, in points, rebounds, and assists. That stat line allowed bettors to clean up. Some books were quick to payout those bets, while others had pause.

“Several books, including FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM and PointsBet, promptly paid the under bets on Green as winners. DraftKings, however, held off paying while it reviewed the situation and tried to determine whether bets placed after the news of Green’s playing time were on a “known event,” which would violate house rules,” the website reported.

DraftKings originally put the Green bets under investigation and did not pay out.

After that announcement, bettors were enraged and took to social media to voice their frustrations. DraftKings, evidently, heard the outrage and announced that they were crediting the under bets as winners. The company also announced they were issuing refunds to anyone who bet the over on Green’s props.

In a statement, DraftKings said, “DraftKings will be grading all Draymond Green under markets as winners and issuing cash refunds for all bets on Draymond Green over markets. Customers will see settlement and crediting happening by the end of (Tuesday),”

So just how costly was that nine minutes?

Again, from ESPN: “Industry sources estimated DraftKings paid out more than $1 million on the Green props, with payouts across the sports betting market believed to be in the multiple millions. The majority of the liability came from bets that were placed within the last 10 minutes before the game tipped off.”

It’s a New World

Sports betting is now legal in 30 states, according to Forbes more than 100 million Americans can now bet where they live. With the growing popularity of sports betting, stories like these are likely to become more common. What will be interesting to watch is how sportbooks will deal with scenarios like this going forward.

In today’s social media-driven world, an early report like this one will certainly happen again. With the growing popularity of sports betting, it also means that when reports like this do happen, it’ll cost sportsbooks more and more. With that costly expense likely occurring again in the future, it’ll be interesting to see how books deal with situations like this going forward.


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Rahul Rahul Saini
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