FanDuel Crimson Tide Payouts Backfire On The Newly Formed Sportsbook

FanDuel Alabama Early Payout

Just thirty-eight days before the College Football Playoff National Championship, some fortunate bettors were given a gift - a payout for the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the 24-karat gold, bronze, and stainless steel CFP Championship trophy. This occurred just after an improbable comeback happened in the SEC Championship game against Georgia, where the Tide won by a touchdown.

With the entirety of the playoffs still ahead, FanDuel, who now operates a mobile sportsbook as well as one in New Jersey, became the first US sportsbook to pay out their customers early. “Even if Alabama loses its next game or doesn’t win the national title, this was something that we wanted to do to celebrate our customers and show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel.

Alabama’s odds for winning the final two games were -280 at the time and the total payout was estimated around $400,000 for futures and single-game wagers. Ultimately, this would have been a fantastic marketing strategy and plan to find additional gamblers; however, the unthinkable happened as Clemson beat Alabama in the final game to earn the trophy for themselves.

Clemson Brings Home The Trophy

The game wasn’t the most eventful or even really close for the majority of the second half as the Tigers intercepted Tua Tagovailoa on the first drive of the game and returned it for a touchdown. While Clemson fans are in celebration mode after the victory, so are those who wagered on Clemson as well as the ones who were paid out early for betting on Alabama.

Clemson opened the game as a 6.5 point underdog and FanDuel is stuck paying out both sides of the coin as the opposite of what they needed to happen occurred. Declining to release the amount the sportsbook lost that night, it wasn’t the only problem that FanDuel encountered that day.

Their betting app crashed moments before kickoff and it took a “system maintenance upgrade” to fix the problem, which lasted just under an hour. Though the problem was resolved, bettors were hesitant to make additional wagers.

USA online sportsbooks knows next year should be a great season and it is unlikely FanDuel will attempt to payout in advance as it proved to be inauspicious this time around. New lines have already been released for next year’s championship as Clemson is the favorite at +180 and Alabama is just behind at +250. With the last four Championship games being won by these two teams, who both return their starting QB, there is no doubt one of them will return to the big dance.

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