Sportsbooks lose millions on Green’s early exit

NBA

Draymond Green’s seven-second performance Sunday sparked controversy in the betting community and caused one sportsbook to delay payouts until it investigated the flurry of prop bets that were placed right before tipoff.

Green experienced tightness in his lower calf while warming up but wanted to start in Golden State Warriors‘ home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, in honor of Klay Thompson’s return.

At 8:31 p.m. ET, the Warriors’ official public relations Twitter feed posted that Green would be on the court for tip-off but would not participate in the remainder of the game due to the calf issue. Thompson was playing in his first game since suffering an ACL injury in the 2019 NBA finals.

The game tipped off at 8:40 p.m. Green played for seven seconds, committing a foul and leaving the game. He did not return and finished with 0 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists.

As soon as the news broke of Green’s plan-The Athletic also tweeted the info around 8:31 p.m.-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. FanDuel removed Green props from its offerings within minutes of seeing The Athletic’s report.

“The Draymond Green situation was unique, but our trading team keeps an eye on the games and news reports,” Kevin Hennessy, director of publicity for FanDuel, told ESPN.

Other books weren’t as quick to react, and bettors took advantage.

Some bettors parlayed multiple wagers on Green, resulting in long odds and payouts upwards of six figures. The liability on Green under props combined across sportsbooks climbed into the seven figures.

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.

DraftKings released a statement Monday night saying bets on Green in the Cavaliers-Warriors game were “under review and bet settlements are currently on hold pending an investigation.”

On Tuesday, as uproar from bettors on social media intensified, DraftKings announced that it was grading Green under bets as winners and issuing cash refunds on any over bets.

“Customers will see settlement and crediting happening by the end of today,” a DraftKings spokesperson said in statement Tuesday.

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 multi-millions. The majority of the liability came from bets that were placed within the last 10 minutes before the game tipped off.

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