The Los Angeles Rams will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and supporters that placed wagers on the New Orleans Saints to advance were left in the cold on the heels of a controversial game. A New Jersey sportsbook is stepping in to provide a bit of comfort to those who were invested in the Saints, howver, and they will do so by refunding point spread and money line bets placed on New Orleans.
As noted here, the decision stems from an already infamous refereeing decision and the fact that the Saints seemed to have a clear path to victory if not for the no-call on a potential pass interference during the fourth quarter. The non-call has already sparked (or at least rekindled) a debate on whether pass interference penalties should be reviewable in the NFL but, in this case, the PointsBet sportsbook is also capitalizing on a good public relations opportunity to draw some attention to a brand new gambling operation stateside.
The book launched in New Jersey just a few days ago after originating in Australia in 2017. As a result, there is no better way to attract a bit of attention than to reach out in a positive way to those aggrieved by the egregious no-call and that seems to be at least partially responsible for this choice. Whether that news will attract more attention their way as Super Bowl betting begins in earnest is yet to be determined.
On the other hand, it can be a slippery slope for a sportsbook to refund bets based on an officiating decision. PointsBet may have to field questions on whether this is simply a one-time act or whether it will be a consistent occurrence. Of course, everyone (including Rams running back Todd Gurley) agrees that there was injustice in this case but, in the end, Los Angeles is moving on to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and Saints backers will simply break even instead of profiting on what likely should’ve been a New Orleans victory.