Wouldn’t we all like to win 150 to 1 on a wager? One lucky bettor did just that at the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands on Saturday, hitting eight-team and 10-team parlays.
The bets were mostly on college football, with $1,200 bet on the eight-team and $800 bet on the 10-team. The second parlay had the same college football bets as the eight teamer but added two NBA moneyline bets on the Celtics and the Jazz. The $2,000 wager scored a massive payday of almost $300,000.
One customer hit us for nearly $300k on two parlays here at the Meadowlands yesterday. The odds on both parlays winning were at around 90/1 and 233/1. Congrats to the lucky winner 🔥 pic.twitter.com/y9xNtiffVL
— FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands (@FDSBMeadowlands) October 28, 2018
There was no problem with the NBA games. The Celtics beat the Pistons 109-89 and the Jazz topped the Pelicans 132-111.
In college football, the first few games went well. Washington State beat Stanford (+2.5) 41-38, California (+12) beat Washington 12-10, and San Jose State (-2.5) rolled to a 50-37 win over UNLV.
Tulane (+1) won outright 24-17 over Tulsa, and Syracuse (+2) kept things going with a 51-41 victory over North Carolina State. Mississippi State (-1.5) and Florida International (-3) both had decisive wins to keep the parlays alive. The Bulldogs won easily over Texas A&M 28-13 and the Panthers beat Western Kentucky 38-17.
Luck of the Irish?
One game on the parlay stood out and proved troublesome – Notre Dame. The Irish were a big 22-point favorite over Navy. It looked like smooth sailing for the Irish, who led 27-0 at the half. But a second-half rally by Navy looked like it might send these two tickets to the garbage bin.
By early in the fourth quarter, the Midshipmen had cut the lead to 37-22. The parlay win certainly looked in doubt. But a 22-yard pass from Ian Book to Miles Boykin helped the cause, bringing the score to 44-22. Navy drove deep into Notre Dame territory late in the fourth quarter and the dreaded “garbage time” touchdown looked like it might be a killer. But an interception by Jalen Elliott helped seal the win.
Notre Dame didn’t cover, but the parlay leg was a push – keeping the rest alive and ultimately a winner. The official payout on the eight-team parlay was $108,612.93 and $187.633.52 for the 10-team – a total of $296,246.45.
That late Irish interception was a six-digit savior, but there was one footnote to that game. The Midshipmen scored a meaningless 2-point conversion on their last touchdown. If they had kicked the PAT, that parlay leg would have hit as well – and paid out even more.
Digging the underdogs
If you’re a PAC-12 football fan, it was quite an interesting weekend with all five betting underdogs winning outright. Sports Illustrated notes that a $100 parlay bet on those underdogs to win would have paid big dividends to the tune of almost $117,000.
If Arizona holds on to beat Oregon (Wildcats are up 30-8)—a $100 bet on a ML parlay of every Pac-12 underdog on Saturday's slate (Arizona, Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State and Cal) would have net you a whopping $116,806.63. Seriously.#ConferenceOfUnderdogs
— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) October 28, 2018
Even a $10 bet would have been a nice score. If only … ?
Golfing greatness scores six-figures
Not all the big winners have been betting football recently. Golf.com reports that one lucky Irish bettor made a €10 parlay bet with BoyleSports bookmaker over the weekend on two golfers, Xander Schauffele and Cameron Champ. The bet would pay out more than 1,000-1, and was certainly a longshot.
To win, Schauffele had to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, and Champ had to win at Sanderson Farms in Mississippi. You know what happens next, but winning wasn’t easy.
“Schauffele looked like a longshot with just two holes to play, but birdied 17 and 18 to force a playoff with Tony Finau,” the site notes. “He birdied the first playoff hole to hoist the trophy.”
Champ had a four-shot lead on Sunday, but struggled on the first nine holes with Corey Connors surging for a share of the lead. But Golf.com notes that Champ “turned on the jets, making birdie on five of his last six holes to win by four.”
This time, the luck of the Irish prevailed and he scored €10,950 (about $12,400). Cha-ching.
Lead image via FanDuel
Not much has gone the way of the plaintiffs in Murphy vs. NCAA with respect to sports betting since, oh, about May 14.
Over the subsequent five-plus months, five states – New Jersey, West Virginia, Mississippi, Delaware, and New Mexico – have either passed sports betting legislation or leveraged existing law to begin offering single-game sports betting. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are on deck.
None of these jurisdictions have incorporated the leagues’ requests for integrity or data usage fees into their laws. All that had active sportsbooks prior to October (New Mexico’s one sportsbook went live earlier in the month) have already begun reaping the benefits of sports betting in the form of tax revenue, to varying degree.
DFS operators’ right to royalty-free game data
Then, on Oct. 24, the Indiana Supreme Court likely set some critical precedent with an opinion in Daniels vs. FanDuel — a suit brought by three former college football players against both FanDuel and DraftKings. In considering the plaintiffs’ position, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals requested guidance from the state’s Supreme Court on the question of whether the DFS operators’ use of the players’ likeness and statistics for paid-entry contests violated the state’s “right to publicity” law. The higher court’s unanimous opinion read, in part:
In short, we answer this question narrowly and find online fantasy sports operators that condition entry to contests on payment and distribute cash prizes do not violate the Indiana right of publicity statute when those organizations use the names, pictures, and statistics of players without their consent because the use falls within the meaning of “material that has newsworthy value,” an exception under the statute.
Both Legal Sports Report’s Eric Ramsey and PlayUSA’s Bart Shirley provide thorough background on the case. But at this point, let’s hone in on this latest outcome. Does the Supreme Court’s opinion have potential ramifications beyond the current litigation, which incidentally, is yet to be officially adjudicated?
Important legal precedent set?
Apologies in advance for the cringe-worthy pun, but it’s a pretty sure bet that it will.
State lawmakers and sportsbook operators alike have railed against the pro sports league’s requests for both integrity and official data usage fees over the past several months. The validity of an argument for the latter is what appears to be potentially impacted by this opinion.
A pivotal component of the plaintiff’s argument in the case involved the use of their official game statistics within the DFS operator’s college football product without their consent, and by extension, remuneration.
With an assertion that those same figures are publicly available in all manner of print and online publications subsequent to a game’s conclusion – and therefore do not subject any particular party to a compensatory obligation – the Court seems to be largely cutting the legs off a significant portion of the pro sports leagues’ “official data” position (which also includes the separate argument that using official data is the only way to ensure integrity with respect to the wagering taking place on their games).
Granted, Daniels v. FanDuel is a case that solely centers on the use of these players’ statistics in college football daily fantasy sports contests. Yet there happens to be synergy with sports betting in multiple ways:
- The first is the most obvious — DFS and sports betting are both real-money-based gaming activities that rely on statistics (in slightly different ways) to determine winners and payouts.
- Additionally, DraftKings and FanDuel now operate sportsbooks that naturally didn’t exist when the case was initiated, or even when it was first dismissed in September 2017 and subsequently appealed by the players.
- And, the argument of the plaintiffs in Daniels v FanDuel does, at its essence, mirror the crux of the pro sports leagues’ position on their proposed official data usage fees — that an operation profiting in part from the use of data generated during their sanctioned contests must give up a cut of the proceeds.
Leverage likely gained against pro sports leagues’ data demands
The legislators and industry operators that will continue to balk at the leagues’ demands will doubtlessly deploy Wednesday’s opinion to their full advantage. And, as a Supreme Court opinion – albeit a state-level one – it has the potential to carry enough weight so as to serve as a formidable obstacle.
Truth be told, even more ammunition resides a bit further back in legal annals. In reaching its decision, the Indiana Supreme Court partly relied on the findings in the significant CBC Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Inc. case in 2007.
In that litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision that CBC (a season-long fantasy contests provider) had a First Amendment right to utilize players’ likenesses and statistics in their product, given that the information used was already “readily available in a public domain”.
Technically, the First Amendment argument as specifically put forth by the defendants in Daniels v. FanDuel was not directly validated in the decision just rendered. However, the fact that the players’ statistics are widely available was. Just as important, the fact that this data was used for commercial purposes was confirmed as irrelevant with respect to whether there was a violation of the statute in question.
Indeed, the use of official statistics in for-profit endeavors such as newspapers and magazines naturally predates the internet and DFS contests by decades. The widespread digital presence of that same information since the early 1990s without express financial obligation has set further precedent.
The potential wide-reaching ramifications of the case are already envisioned by at least one authority on sports-related legal matters.
“While the ruling is a big win for DraftKings and FanDuel, the Indiana Supreme Court decision will likely have broader implications,” said Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor at Florida State University. “A lawsuit about whether the First Amendment pertains to the dissemination of betting data is inevitable and this case will likely be looked to as persuasive precedent down the road.”
Clearly, this latest court decision – the first of its kind in a post-PASPA landscape – could be the most influential yet.