This week, those honors fell to the Boston Red Sox’ World Series win and Todd Gurley’s strategic play at the end of the Rams-Packers game.
The Fall Classic almost produced a classic fall for PlaySugarHouse
All wagering is based on uncertain outcomes. For sportsbooks such as PlaySugarHouse, accepting sports bets may mean taking losses in the short run if a preponderance of bettors happen to be correct.
The Boston Red Sox managed to secure the team’s ninth World Series championship on Sunday, Oct. 28. Most bettors picked the Beantown team to defeat the National League’s Los Angeles Dodgers.
In fact, many wagered that the Red Sox would sweep the series and win in four games. As it stands, SugarHouse found itself having to pay out many who selected the Red Sox to win outright.
“Our biggest risk prior to the first game was actually on the Red Sox sweeping the Dodgers,” said COO Mattias Stetz in a press release. “So Dodgers stealing game four made the fall a little softer, but not much!”
Ideally, a sportsbook sets the lines in such a way that unequal numbers of bettors don’t unbalance the money on either side of the bet. However, it’s an inexact science because of the inherent unknowns.
So, sportsbook operators have to trust the math and accept the uncertainty. Perhaps that’s why Stetz is maintaining his sense of humor.
Everybody hates Todd Gurley now
Of course, almost no sportsbook is laughing about what running back Gurley did. With time running down in the Los Angeles Rams’ game with the Green Bay Packers, Gurley broke free for what would be a certain touchdown.
However, the Rams already had a two-point lead over the Packers. So, Gurley allowed himself to be tackled in bounds at about the three-yard line.
The play kept the clock running and sealed the Rams victory. However, when Gurley hit the turf, a person with keen ears may have been able to hear screaming from Nevada and New Jersey sportsbooks.
Most sportsbooks favored the Rams by 7.5 points. SugarHouse had them 9 and 9.5 point favorites.
So, if Gurley had crossed the goal line, the books at 7.5 points would’ve won their bets. SugarHouse likely would’ve pushed its 9-point wagers, assuming that the Rams made the extra point.
Instead, Packers bettors saw their team cover the spread and their bets paid. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, sportsbooks around the desert had to cough up an extra $1 million in payouts because of the result.
Gurley also cost fantasy football owners six points by not scoring. Six points is more than enough to change the outcome of a given week’s matchup.
Of course, Gurley’s decision was the correct one if his objective was, you know, to win the game. He seemed unfazed about the external effects of his dive.
“Man, forget fantasy,” Gurley said. “Forget Vegas. We got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
What a jerk.