Anyone watching the end of the Nov. 20 Purdue-Minnesota game summoned their inner John McEnroe to shriek: You cannot be serious!
A phantom offensive pass interference call robbed the Boilermakers of a potential game-winning touchdown. It occurred late on a Friday night, but the Karma Kommittee never sleeps.
Within an hour, the Kommittee determined that all PointsBet pregame Purdue spread and moneyline bettors would receive a full refund as free bets.
To which Boilermakers fans probably replied: Are you serious?
And it was not the first time.
Who can forget when the refs blew the pass interference call late in the 2019 Rams-Saints NFC Championship? After the Kommittee announced a Good Karma Payout to Saints supporters, an industry legend was born.
Incompetence is one component in the Kommittee’s decision. Another is fairness.
After an MLB investigation found that the Astros had used technology to cheat the Yankees out of a trip to the 2017 World Series, the Kommittee refunded Futures bettors on the Bronx Bombers.
As PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken explained: “Given the latest developments in this wild story, we think it’s only right to do our part and give back to all the Yankees bettors who feel cheated. The fallout of this scandal may linger a bit for MLB, but we won’t let it linger for PointsBet clients.”
Fairness is also why Duke bettors went from shocked to relieved after Zion Williamson’s shoe fell apart 36 seconds into a 2019 game against North Carolina. Williamson exited the 88-72 loss with a knee injury. PointsBet refunded an estimated $100,000 in bets.
Not every bad beat warrants a refund, of course. Iowa bettors were left with a sour taste over Thanksgiving when Southern’s Brendon Brooks banked one home from half-court a split-second before the buzzer. Iowa, a 28.5- point favorite, won 103-76.
But the Kommittee prides itself on reversing significant injustices. Or when bad luck strikes.
The Pelicans (+6.5) led the Raptors with less than a minute to go on Oct. 22, 2019. Toronto forced overtime and won 130-122.
“To lead the game with 30 seconds left and not cover +6.5 is pretty much the definition of a bad beat,” Aitken said. “We didn’t want anyone to begin the new NBA season like that.”
Four more notable bettor-friendly rulings:
*When the Kommittee heard that Klay (great spelling) Thompson had blown out his Achilles tendon and would miss the 2020-21 season, it offered refunds on all Warriors NBA Title and Western Conference bets.
*The Titans failed to cover a 2.5-point spread on opening week in 2020 after Stephen Gostkowski missed three field goals and an extra point. PointsBet supplied the refund even though 80 percent of all tickets had the Titans covering the spread.
*A missed tripping call in Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup finals resulted in a refund for Bruins supporters. It marked the third Good Karma payout of the NHL’s 2019 post–season, following officiating errors in a Sharks-Nights game and a hand pass that allowed the Sharks to beat the Blues in overtime.
*The Kommittee offered Bears fans a holiday treat after it became clear that Mitch Trubisky had no shot to win MVP in 2019. Trubisky backers (100-1) got refunds, making an 8-8 season a bit more tolerable.