Every so often, DraftKings gives its customers a too-good-to-be-true offer.
Why does DK do this? Who knows. Perhaps to see how many people are actively using the sportsbook? Maybe because the operator wants to lure customers to it site? Or as a show of goodwill?
At any rate, Monday brought a DraftKings “mega boost,” and it was a no-brainer: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to throw a single touchdown pass. According to the promo, the original odds on such a wager were -800; the boost made it +100. For many customers, there was a $10 cap on the bet, though some were granted higher limits.
Need a Monday Night pick me up?
We’ve boosted Justin Herbert to throw a TD from -800 to +100 🤑
Bet it here: https://t.co/FdGNk6bUVu pic.twitter.com/JH7iUiOxPK
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) October 17, 2022
Herbert had thrown at least one touchdown pass in 36 of his 37 career games, with the only blip coming in a rookie year 45-0 drubbing by the New England Patriots.
This bet was featured on the homepage of the DraftKings app and desktop site, and was heavily promoted by the company and by value-minded customers.
Must bet oddsboost on Draftkings:
Justin Herbert to throw for 1+ tds boosted to +100.
You don’t need me to tell you this is good – he’s a decent favorite for 2+ tds. pic.twitter.com/tRqaGiitNy
— The Promoguy (@ThePromoguy123) October 17, 2022
And then Herbert went out and set an NFL record for most pass attempts in a single game without a touchdown pass in the Chargers’ 19-16 overtime win over the Denver Broncos.
Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert’s 57 passes during Monday night’s matchup vs. Denver were the most in a winning effort without a passing touchdown in NFL history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 18, 2022
Variance can be a cruel mistress, and many Twitter commenters were stunned and shocked by this seemingly impossible turn of events.
Herbert throwing a TD 30 games in a row and the game he breaks that streak is when DraftKings has a boost on it is some nasty work 😂
— Evan Huber (@evanhuber46) October 18, 2022
And while Herbert’s failure to find the end zone with his arm was, obviously, within the range of outcomes, there was — and remains — a vocal minority (majority?) on Twitter who believe Herbert’s inability to throw a touchdown pass is proof positive of more sinister forces at work. A sampling:
The way Draft Kings finessed everybody with that Herbert TD boost is crazy. All he had to do was throw 1 TD. He’s only had 0 TDs one time in his entire career, back in 2020. He throws 0 tonight. You’ll never convince me this shit not rigged.
— Eric Ray (@EricRayweather) October 18, 2022
100% deleting DraftKings app. No way Justin Herbert throws a TD 30 games in a row then the one game he doesn’t DraftKings offers a boost -800 to +100. Hope that you guys sleep happy tonight.
— CaptainRook (@RookCaptain) October 18, 2022
Justin Herbert. 57 pass attempts, no TD pass completions. Has had a TD pass in 36/37 games. Draftkings offers a 1 TD pass boost. But nooooo, there’s nothing sketchy about this at all right? Sometimes it’s just too obvious.
— SleptKing (@SleptKingSB) October 18, 2022
Justin Herbert only has one game in his entire career without a passing TD and it’s going to happen again on a day DraftKings coincidentally has an odds boost for him to throw one TD and I’m supposed to believe the NFL isn’t rigged 😂😂😂
— smiley (@tricflairwoo) October 18, 2022
Before tonight, Justin Herbert only had 1 career game with no TDs thrown (rookie year). You mean to tell me I’m supposed to believe this league isn’t rigged? I’m just disgusted with DraftKings and Roger Goodell. WHAT DID THEY KNOW? #DraftKings #Chargers #NFLrigged pic.twitter.com/de5MmMmWcy
— broseph (@FOOTBALLsGUY) October 18, 2022
On the other side of the equation, searches for “not DraftKings fault” on Twitter yielded one result.
For everybody complaining about the bet not hitting nobody told u to take the boost you had a choice. I played it too and was upset it didn’t hit but that’s not DraftKings fault that’s my fault for thinking it was a lock when nothing is a lock in betting!
— swibman (@Swibman33) October 18, 2022
The outrage would undoubtedly be more nuclear if customers hadn’t been limited on the amount they could bet.
Calls Tuesday morning to DraftKings representatives were not immediately returned, but if history is a guide, the company will almost certainly try to make bettors square in one way or another.
Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY