Rebound or Steal? Deandre Ayton’s Near Double-Double Ignites Debate Among Bettors
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Deandre Ayton, Ivica Zubac
Deandre Ayton turned in a steady 18-point, 9-rebound performance in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Clippers, but bettors holding a double-double ticket on the Suns’ big man have questions.
Ayton finished one rebound shy of cashing his double-double prop at -160 (61.5% implied probability), which also made for a popular parlay play. With just fewer than nine minutes left, it appeared he had secured one of 10 rebounds. Instead, the play below was ruled a steal.
18 points & 9 rebounds…
Deandre Ayton came 1 rebound shy of his prop total & a rebound shy of a Double-Double (-160)
This was called a steal instead of a rebound 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Z5w0F8LtqC
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 25, 2021
The debate goes two ways.
From one viewpoint, it appears Paul George is driving to the lane when his floater gets tipped and finally secured by Ayton. In that case, it’s a rebound.
The other perspective is that George is attacking the basket when he spots teammate Ivica Zubac under the hoop and looks to lob him a pass for an alley-oop. That pass is tipped and hauled in by Ayton, which would be a steal.
Welcome to the NBA Playoffs version of “is the dress blue or gold?”
In addition to the normal line at -160, Same Game Parlays are one of the more popular promotions from sportsbooks such as FanDuel. Had Ayton’s “steal” been ruled a “rebound,” it would’ve cashed one of the promotions.
Other bettors created their own Same Game Parlay and missed big pay days as a result.
— Meezy 🦋 (@XXXMEEZY) June 25, 2021
Whenever an incident like this happens in which there’s some sort of controversy — whether it’s subjective or objective — attention turns to national sportsbooks such as FanDuel, PointsBet and DraftKings to see whether any refunds, payouts or promotions will be offered.
Issues like this are why traditional Las Vegas sportsbooks have said they stay out of subjective grading. When Jon Rahm withdrew from the Memorial with a six-stroke lead because of COVID-19, national books paid him out as a winner while Las Vegas books held to the house rules.
Now some bettors are likely expecting a refund or payout on this Ayton prop, which creates a possible P.R. issue for the books.
There’s also the complicated layer of the NBA partnering with sportsbooks as betting becomes more mainstream and accepted by leagues. Stat corrections and grades matter more than ever with the amount of money hinging on what seems like a meaningless rebound.
There’s no such thing as “meaningless” anymore.