Bettors burned by DraftKings promo as Justin Herbert sees touchdown streak end at 26 games


As the old adage goes, “The house always wins.” Bettors thought they were getting a freebie Monday when DraftKings ran a promotion boosting odds on Justin Herbert’s touchdown prop from -800 to even money with maximum wagers (anywhere from $10 to $100) varying by market. Betting Herbert to throw for at least one touchdown, even against an above-average Denver secondary, seemed like a no-brainer, the type of “too good to be true” bet that often is.

Naturally, Herbert picked Monday, of all nights, to go into witness protection, averaging an anemic 4.2 yards per attempt (his lowest since Week 13 of 2020) with no touchdowns to show for his 57 passes, most of which were dump-offs to Austin Ekeler (10 catches for 47 yards on 16 targets) out of the backfield or quick slants to slot receiver Joshua Palmer (9-57-0 on 12 targets). Though the Chargers would ultimately escape with the victory, beating their division rival in overtime, Herbert’s touchdown streak was snapped at 26 games, much to the chagrin of bettors, who had scarcely considered the possibility of such a tragic outcome.

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The promo coinciding with arguably Herbert’s worst game of the season—if not his entire career—was suspicious to say the least, with aggrieved bettors crying foul on Twitter, suggesting the fix was in with DraftKings and the NFL in cahoots, bilking the general public with an offer so deliciously tempting, it couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, bad beats like this are a dime a dozen with bettors constantly inventing new, increasingly devastating ways to lose, getting their hearts broken week after week on backdoor covers and ambitious parlays, an infuriating ecosystem where the schoolyard bully always takes the underdog’s milk money. Herbert bettors weren’t the only ones left with a bad taste in their mouth Monday with Broncos running back Melvin Gordon limited to three carries in the losing effort. Though he entered the game with neck and rib injuries, Gordon insisted neither of those factored in his diminished role, effectively benched for practice-squad call-up Latavius Murray.

Gordon’s postgame comments suggest he could be open to a change of scenery, a situation well worth monitoring ahead of the November 1st trade deadline.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Harry How, Getty Images