AP

NCAA Tournament leads to sportsbooks offering refunds to bettors on close losses.

By Jimmy Traina
April 01, 2019

1. We've reached full amateur hour with these new sportsbooks that have cropped up since the Supreme Court legalized sports betting last May.

It started with a sportsbook offering refunds to people who bet the Bears agains the Eagles in the playoffs, when Chicago lost on a missed double-doink field goal. It continued with the Saints loss to the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game when many books offered refunds to New Orleans bettors because of the no call on pass interference. 

The shortsighted trend has continued throughout the NCAA tournement. A New Jersey sportsbook offered refunds to bettors who had Purdue +4.5 against Virginia on Saturday. Books offered refunds to UCF backers who lost when a layup rattled out of the hoop against Duke.

Now, I understand the casual or new bettor loves this and most people think it's a great marketing gimmick. As a longtime gambler, I hate it. 

For starters, I'd never bet at a book that offers refunds because it makes me think they're not a legit outlet. More importantly, though, the cherry picking of games for refunds is infuriating. The NCAA tournament or NFL playoffs are no more important than any other game in the betting world.

If you have $100 on an NCAA tournament game and a $100 on a meaingless regular season NBA game in the middle of December, guess what? In the gambling world, their importance is the same. The value of the bet is the same.

So if a team loses on a missed layup in a tourney game and their bettors get a refund, why shouldn't the bettors of a random NBA game who lose on a missed layup get a refund as well?

I went in-depth on this topic with the Action Network's Darren Rovell on last week's SI Media Podcast and Rovell brought it to his followers today.

It was nice to see degenerate gamblers showing so much integerity and realizing it's complete amateur hour with these new sportsbooks.

I'll stick with my offshore book, thank you very much.

2. Rams coach Sean McVay recently pulled of a pretty excellent prank on new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. Here's how McVay explained it to ESPN's Adam Schefter:

“We have a mutual friend that I put his name in my phone as Roger Goodell. I had this friend send me a text saying, ‘I can’t believe you’re at dinner with Kingsbury and Mahomes. You know better than this. This is tampering. You’re both losing picks and aI showed Kliff the text. He saw a ghost. I said, ‘You better call [Cardinals GM ] Steve Keim right away.’ He said, ‘I thought I was going to lose the No. 1 overall pick.’"

McVay put an end to the prank quickly. “We couldn’t let it go on too long, but it was pretty good" he told Schefter.  "We got him good. I’m pretty proud of that one."

Kingsbury's reaction to the stuent: “‘That’s messed up. I’m getting you back, man.'”

3. Nikola Jokic pulled a John Bender Sunday night and basically dared the ref to give him a second technical.

We need to know if Jokic ever saw The Breakfast Club.

Or Not Another Teen Movie.

4. Tom Brady joined Twitter on Monday. His first tweet was awful and cringeworthy.

5. How can you not root for Padres pitcher Chris Paddack when he shows up for his first MLB start like this?

The look paid off for Paddack on the mound, too.

6. This is probably not how the WWE wanted to kick off WrestleMania week, but HBO's John Oliver spent 23 minutes last night eviscerating Vince McMahon for not taking care of his wrestlers and not making them employees, who would get health benefits.

UPDATE: The WWE has issued this statement on Oliver's segment: 

"John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter.  Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation.  John Oliver simply ignored the facts. The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company."

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: The great Marvin Gaye died on this date in 1984. He's still responsible for the greatest national anthem of all time.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustarted Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina. You can also follow on Twitter and Instagram.

IN CLOSING: Can someone please tell the Yankees the baseball season has started?

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