DraftKings Refunds Some Penn State Bets After Indiana Pulls Out Upset

Posted on: October 24, 2020, 11:52h. 

Last updated on: October 25, 2020, 11:20h.

The first weekend of Big Ten college football action provided some big upsets – attaboy, Rutgers — as well as a dramatic and controversial finish that ended up prompting DraftKings to refund some bets.

Big Ten IU football
Did he or didn’t he? Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. extends himself toward the goal line on the last play of the Hoosiers home game Saturday versus Penn State. Officials ruled he crossed the goal line, giving IU a 36-35 upset win over the Nittany Lions. (Image: Fox Sports)

Perhaps the game of this season took place in Bloomington, Ind., on Saturday when Indiana stunned eighth-ranked Penn State 36-35 in overtime. Penn State led 21-20 late in the fourth quarter and got a defensive stop deep in Hoosier territory. With IU down to one timeout, Penn State could have run three kneeldowns and wiped out most – if not all – of the clock. But running back Devyn Ford ran for the end zone to widen the Nittany Lions lead.

Normally, scoring is a good thing, but the touchdown made it 28-20 and gave Indiana the ball back with a chance to tie the game. Ford sensed his error but he had already crossed the goal line by point. The Hoosiers then responded with a game-tying drive, scoring a touchdown and a 2-point conversion with just 22 seconds remaining to make it 28-all.

In overtime, after the Nittany Lions took the lead on its drive, the Hoosiers again responded with a touchdown. However, rather than just kick the extra point and move to the second OT, IU coach Tom Allen rolled the dice, and Michael Penix Jr. dash to the pylon was ruled successful on the field.

Officials review all scoring plays and replays showed some angles where the ball may have touched out of bounds before crossing the goal line. However, officials couldn’t find definitive proof to overturn the call, giving IU its first win over a top 10 team since 1987.

How long ago was that? That win came eight years before riverboat casinos first opened in the state.

DraftKings Tells Refunded Bettors, “We Have Your Back”

Just over an hour after the Hoosier upset, DraftKings posted it was refunding all moneyline bets on Penn State. While the sportsbook’s action didn’t cover parlay wagers, it did cover bets made during the course of the game.

That was a tough call at the end, but we have your back,” DraftKings posted on Twitter.

Such a move isn’t all that unusual anymore, although the Boston-based book was the only one to announce refunds on the Penn State bets. DraftKings and other sportsbooks, most notably PointsBet and FanDuel, have refunded wagers after other controversial rulings, such as the one that disqualified Novak Djokovic from last month’s US Open men’s tennis tournament.

It’s uncertain how much the move will cost DraftKings, but the good-will measure would certainly seem to help them in Pennsylvania, where it’s second to FanDuel in market size in a state where more than $460 million was bet on sports last month. Those refunds will likely find their way to becoming wagers on other games in the not-too-distant future.

William Hill Bettor Cashes in on Indiana Football Win

The game carried some other notable betting action besides DraftKings’ decision to refund some Penn State bettors.

For example, after Indiana held a 17-7 lead at halftime, one gutsy William Hill bettor in New Jersey decided to bet $27,267 on the Hoosiers in-game moneyline, which at the time was -230. That individual ended up netting nearly $12,000 as a result of the Penix extension ruling.

And all the late scores wound up helping over bettors at FanDuel, where the game total was 61.5. In early betting, 84 percent of the bets and 97 percent of the handle were on the over, which didn’t hit until the game went to overtime.