Sportsbooks treat Rahm bets differently

A positive Covid test terminated Jon Rahm's huge lead in the Memorial Golf Tournament and led to a bad beat for some players.

Bad beats are more commonplace than ever with highlights on ESPN and social media abuzz when one occurs, but none may be worse than what bettors felt when Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Golf Tournament after the third round due to a positive Covid-19 test. At the time, Rahm led by six shots with 18 left to play. 

Rahm betting payout loser winning betRahm was the pre-tournament favorite at anywhere from 10-1 to 12-1 depending on which sportsbook a bettor placed the wager at. He was still at +200 before Round 2 was halted by rain, but was bet down to +120 at several of the top online sportsbooks heading into the third round on Saturday. Rahm was also likely to win a number of head-to-head tournament match-ups and certainly was a favorite of bettors looking to score a top 5, 10 or 20 finishing position winner.

Depends on where you play

The sudden withdraw of the clear favorite created a bad beat situation for many gamblers. But, as we have seen in the past, several U.S. licensed sportsbooks jumped right on paying out a losing 'bad beat' as a winner. William Hill, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and, of course, PointsBet paid out Rahm bets as winners. But two of the most respected sportsbooks in Las Vegas did not - Circa and Superbook

Matthew Metcalf, sportsbook director at Circa Sports, went onto Twitter to explain the reasoning behind their decision.

"thru the years, i've shied away from any payouts that involve subjectivity. it never leads to a good place long term from a customer perspective. that said i am happy for the people who received payment and can understand the perspective of those companies choosing to do so."

International sports betting giant Heritage Sports did indeed payout the bets on not just Rahm to win, but also paid any live bets that were bet on Rahm leading up to his withdrawal. BetOnline decided to go even deeper, by paying out futures bets (pre-tournament and live) on Rahm to win The Memorial as winners. But according to head man Dave Mason, "We no-actioned the matchups and props (Top 5/10/20, etc.) involving Rahm." And recreational betting shop GTBets, graded all Rahm bets as losers.

So, it depends on where gamblers placed their PGA golf bets. It also depends on on your stance about paying out Bad Beats as winners. Some call paying these a "race to the bottom" and others find it just good customer service to keep players happy.

It would have been easy to simply grade all Rahm bets as losers, as players who withdraw after completing just a few holes are considered live and thus these bets should have been losers. Or perhaps refunding Rahm bets as a push may have been a solid solution, had it been an industry-wide type of grading decision. But, for Rahm bettors who got paid, they should just consider themselves lucky. And for bettors who lost and feel they got screwed - Rahm had a clear shot at hoisting the crystal trophy and walking away with $1.675 million from the Memorial Golf Tournament. Talk about a  Bad Beat!

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