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Washington Nationals' Surprise World Series Win Was A Windfall For FanDuel

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Washington Nationals' Surprise World Series Win Was A Windfall For FanDuel

The Washington Nationals shocked the baseball world with a World Series victory in 2019.

It turns out their victory was quite profitable for some sportsbooks as well.

FanDuel was able to see some action from highly publicized business owner and sports bettor Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale, who placed huge sums on his Houston Astros to win the championship.

An $8-Million Swing

His bets were so considerable that — while FanDuel saw just 55% of bettors having money on the Astros in — the Nationals win ended up being FanDuel's biggest win in a singular event in the sportsbook's 16-month history.

“The Astros had a 55-45 spread in terms of bet count, but when it came to money, it was 85-90% in favor of Houston,” John Sheeran, FanDuel’s director of risk and trading, told Benzinga.

“It is unusual to have a delta of that size between the betting spread so close, and that comes in terms of large bets we took on Houston.”  

Sheeran said the Nationals' Game 7 win amounted to an $8-million swing in favor of the company.

A Perfect Storm

The Nationals were such underdogs throughout the playoffs that, when the team was down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series, FanDuel was offering up to 50-1 odds on the team to win the World Series.

Although there may have been some celebrating at FanDuel’s offices after the Nationals took home the title, the company is more focused on offering odds that will have a positive outcome over the long term than limiting its exposure on any one game, Sheeran said. 

“Some of the other casinos have to make those changes and restrict their exposure on one individual outcome, but we are lucky we are in a group that we are able to ride out the volatility.”

It's lucky for FanDuel that the Nationals pulled through, as Sheeran said an Astros win would have would have seen the sportsbook suffering a loss bigger than this years Super Bowl, instead it ended up being the biggest win the company had to date.

"It was kind of a perfect storm for us how it shaped up." 

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Photo by Jon Stockton via Wikimedia

 

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