FanDuel Gives Its Customers A Slam Dunk After Houston’s ‘HARDen LUCK’

Written By Bill Gelman on December 4, 2019

Some FanDuel customers are resting a little easier today.

The company announced earlier today that it has decided to refund all online pre-game straight moneyline bets placed last night on the Houston Rockets.

It’s being chalked up as a case of  “HARDen Luck.” You may have seen the replay of the dunk by All-Star guard James Harden that was mistakenly ruled an unsuccessful field goal in regulation.

Judge for yourself:

Had it counted, the score would’ve been 104-89 Rockets with 7:47 left to play. The San Antonio Spurs ended up winning the game 135-133 in double overtime, making that questionable dunk relevant to the outcome of the game.

Here is the opinion from the FanDuel perspective:

“Replays clearly show that the dunk went through the hoop, but Harden dunked it so hard that the net carried it back over the rim making it appear like it was a missed dunk.”

FanDuel Sportsbook said the total refund amounts to approximately $20,000.

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The great Harden dunk debate

Forget about the NBA betting impact for a moment. The Harden dunk/non-dunk is a hot topic of debate.

Think about it.

If the basket counted, there might not have been overtime, or a second overtime, for that matter.

After the game, NBA crew chief James Capers explained exactly how things unfolded in the heat of the moment.

Yes, he admitted to the pool reporter that “it should’ve been a successful field goal.”

The official transcript of the conversation is online.

So why did James Harden’s dunk not count, and is it a reviewable play?

Here is Capers response:

Alright, when the play happened [James] Harden goes in for a dunk, and then the ball appears to us to pop back up through the net. When that happens, that is basket interference. To have a successful field goal it must clear the net.

“We have since come in here and looked at the play. He dunked it so hard that the net carried it back over the rim a second time, so in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal.

“As to could the play have been reviewed. It is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during that timeout that he had and while they were protesting the call, trying to get clarification of it, that window passed so therefore it elapsed and they were not able to do it.”

So basically, FanDuel customers who bet on the Rockets would’ve won either way.

This is not the first Harden payout

Besides being one of the NBA’s top players, betting on Harden tends to pay out for NJ sports betting customers.

Back in March, PointsBet NJ paid out NBA Most Valuable Player wagers on Harden four months early.

In that particular case, Harden ended up not being named league MVP. The honor ended up going to Milwaukee Bucks power forward  Giannis Antetokounmpo.

For those wondering if Harden is a good bet this season, here are the current NBA futures odds from FanDuel:

  • Antetokounmpo +180
  • Luka Doncic +350
  • Harden +470
  • LeBron James +550
  • Anthony Davis +1200
  • Joel Embiid +2200

And for those FanDuel sportsbook customers receiving a refund, take your pick. As far as the dunk/non-dunk goes, it no longer seems to be up for debate.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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