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Friday Four-Pack 9.15.23
Chaim Bloom out. Sportsbook refunds? NFL Bets. Book review!
I mean… a promotional idea straight out of the classic “Bad Idea Jeans” sketch from SNL.
How about 343 people actually placing the bet at the time of that screenshot from Awful Announcing??? I’m told there were a lot more. Reminder - People will wager on ANYTHING.
DraftKings quickly apologized for the poorly phrased and timed promotion. A bad marketing idea, for sure.
The next day, DraftKings earned kudos from many bettors for the way they handled Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending injury.
We’ll get to that in a bit. But we’ll start with the RedSox in today’s Four-Pack.
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On the RedSox firing of Chaim Bloom…
Chaim Bloom did (or didn’t do) enough to lose his job. But this is a bigger issue than just that.
It’s easier just to talk through this, right? A quick 15 minutes of Red Sox rambling from me to you.
I’d listen to it at 1.5x speed. But I listen to every podcast at 1.5x speed these days.
One note I didn’t get to - NESN (The Red Sox TV network) not having a pregame show yesterday afternoon was weird. They aired the Sam Kennedy presser … then re-aired it… then went right into the game broadcast.
I reached out to NESN PR but did not get a response as to why they didn’t have a reaction to the huge Red Sox news…ON THE RED SOX NETWORK.
Was told by someone that FOX carrying the game was the issue…but Fox carried the night game, not the day game. Did they not want their talent to react to the news? Did they tell Tom Caron to stay home and just come in after the game since they had a long rain delay the night before?
Unless this was an actual contractual MLB/FOX thing, an embarrassing look for NESN.
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On the issue of sports betting refunds…
Aaron Rodgers’ season ended after just four plays Monday night. This is a big deal for both the football world and the sports betting world.
The Jets were one of the most bet teams in the futures markets - AFC, SuperBowl, over on win totals… all of it. They were a big deal for the sportsbooks. And probably a big liability. They’re probably not unhappy that Zach Wilson is now running the show in New York.
Back to the injury. Some of these major commercial sportsbooks have started issuing injury-related refunds over the last few years. NBA star gets injured in the first minute, sportsbook refunds customers. It’s happened more than a few times since sports betting became legal here in the United States.
Well, these same books immediately started getting tagged on social media, wondering if fans who bet on Rodgers’ props or awards would get a refund. DraftKings was one of the books ready to take the loss on Rodgers’ under bets and refund the overs.
So if you, like me, bet on the boosted TD prop on DK that included Josh Allen and Rodgers, you got your $10 back in the form of a bonus bet.
On the other hand, some books….
FanDuel also did not refund any bets.
RE: the refunds. I get it, but I don’t like it.
I get it because a major commercial book like DraftKings, well, they’re taking care of losing customers. No, I’m not calling you a loser, but a majority of people betting on sports are losing. DraftKings wants to keep losing customers because it’s good business! (They also want to limit winning customers but that’s another Stack)
They know that a large majority of those people getting their bets refunded in bonus bets, well, they’re going to lose those bets. But they’ll remember that DraftKings took care of them and hopefully stay loyal to the brand. It’s a good PR move for them. So I get it.
BUT…you’re setting a poor precedent. A LOT of bettors on social media are now expecting the books to refund their bets that lose thanks to injury.
But how do you decide which bets to refund and which ones you don’t?
Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich left Sunday’s game vs. the Raiders at halftime with a hamstring injury. Do I get a refund on his player props? How about Thursday night when Boston Scott left the game with a concussion before my anytime TD prop hit? Do I get a bonus bet?
See. Slippery slope. And that’s why I think in the long run, you’re probably doing more harm than good. Yes, these are recreational bettors, but eventually, they’re going to expect refunds on ALL these types of bets. And when they don’t get them, they’re out.
I reached out to a DraftKings spokesperson to try and answer “But how do you decide which bets to refund and which ones you don’t?” - I did not get a response.
It might be good for business and marketing in the short term, but these ‘refunds’ are never going to become the norm. And that’s eventually going to send some previously spoiled bettors to another game.
On my Week 2 NFL Bets…
Three, probably mediocre picks here for you here every week. I’ll be making picks on social media for our friends at Mad Props - on Thursday, Sunday and Monday. Usually a prop and a side. Sometimes not. You’ll have to see for yourself.
2-1 here last week. The Cowboys thrashing of the Giants allowed them to get out of a pass-heavy script. Brandin Cooks played 34 offensive snaps - third most on the Cowboys - but fell short of his yardage prop. L. Good slate this week.
+5.5 +5 AT THE LIONS. This was available at 5.5 Thursday when I started writing today’s Four-Pack but that number is gone. I was already lower than the market on the Lions coming into the season and after their win over the Chiefs, this is basically an auto-bet for me. Fun stat: Week 2 favorites by three or more - who won as an underdog win Week 1 - win at just a 38% clip. That’s over the last 20-plus years. That fits the Lions here. Sprinkle of money-line, too. Sprinkle.
TEXANS - COLTS OVER 39. This is an ugly one, I get it. But the Colts played fast (over 20% no-huddle!) with rookie Anthony Richardson in Week 1 and now get a Texans defense that does not scare. In fact, both teams were in the Top 10 last week in offensive plays. I’m betting on the play volume from both teams carrying over - and a defensive touchdown wouldn’t hurt either. Ugly, ugly play though. And way against the public here - 57% of the bets and 81% of the money is on the under as of Friday.
DANIEL JONES OVER 6.5 RUSH ATTEMPTS (-120). DK only as of Friday morning. Jones had 13!!! attempts in the blowout loss to the Cowboys. He also cleared this number nine times last year. Shop for a better price if you can as books start posting rush attempt props this weekend.
On some Friday Quick Hitters…
President Reagan‘Big’ Jim Murray the Oscar for not laughing at this Felger and Mazz caller as he pushes the Kirk Minihane Show’s S.T.E.V.E metric on Mike and Tony, as it relates to QBs.
While Jakobi Meyers was posting a 9-81-2 line in his first game as a Vegas Raider, his Patriots replacement JuJu Smith-Schuster was on the sidelines late as the Patriots tried to come back against the Eagles. From Boston Herald Pats guy Andrew Callahan Thursday.
The problem is his increasingly shaky standing on the depth chart. Multiple team sources believe Smith-Schuster is not presently among the team’s five most effective pass-catchers. According to those same sources, his place in the offense has been complicated by a variety of factors.
Not great! It’s not crazy to think if Mac Jones has Meyers out there as a reliable target on Sunday, the Pats beat an Eagles team that just coasted home over the final 30 minutes. Over the years, Bill Belichick has seemed reluctant to pay big bucks to some of his great draft “finds” and it’s hurt the team. This might end up being another one of those cases.
The Billy Walters autobiography, Gambler: Secrets From a Life at Risk, is good, not great. Some excellent stories about his life and some practical betting advice for sure, but a lot of minutia about rounds of golf that grind the book to a halt. We opened last week’s Four-Pack imploring you to shop around for the best price when making a wager. From the betting expert himself:
Shop around to get the best prices. Set up betting accounts at different venues. Compare odds and prices. This is a must! Every cent matters, especially over the course of a season. The difference between winning and losing is razor-thin; make sure you’re getting the best price/odds before you make your bets
If you’re not going to listen to a moron like me, fine. But listen to Billy Walters.
Would recommend the book, but be prepared for a lot of pages on golf and golf courses. Still worth a read.
Good luck with all your bets this weekend. As always, comments open below of suggestions, ideas, hating on my picks, etc. I try and respond to them all.
Thanks for reading, listening, and sharing.