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In one of the more unusual stories of the week, Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy claims that he will file a class action lawsuit against the National Football League after the Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football.
Portnoy bet $120,000 on the Bengals to either win or lose by 4 points. They lost the game by 14 points after Quarterback Joe Burrow left the game with an injury. Later, a Twitter post showed Burrow wearing a wrist splint before the game. Portnoy believes that Burrow should have been on the injury report and claims he would not have bet knowing that Burrow might be injured.
The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-20 on the 16 November edition of Thursday Night Football. Before the game, Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy bet $120k on the Bengals to either win outright or lose by 4 points or less.
Burrow suffered an injury during the game and left early, likely leading to the eventual loss by the team. These types of things happen all the time in football. However, there is an angle to the story.
NFL analyst Adam Schefter reported on Friday about an investigation into the Bengals over Burrow. Apparently, the QB was seen wearing a wrist brace earlier in the week, which was not reported on the team’s injury report. NFL teams must report any known injuries or illnesses before game time. However, Burrow was not found on the report.
Portnoy was infuriated by this report and immediately called for a refund of all bets placed on the game. He followed this up with a statement that he would be filing a class action lawsuit over the matter, stating he would not bet $100k on the game if he knew Burrow was injured.
Portnoy has long been active on social media and continued to make his grievances heard, particularly on X. His blasts against the NFL continued on Friday when Adam Schefter announced Burrow would be out for the remainder of the season. Portnoy is demanding investigations, claiming that “The integrity of the NFL and America depends on it.”
Following this, Portnoy made a pretty unusual video asking people who have lost money betting on the NFL to join in his lawsuit. His father, Michael J. Portnoy, is an attorney and is reportedly taking on the case. The short video claims that he is looking to protect gamblers through his lawsuit.
At this point, one has to wonder if the outrage is more of a parody and a way to drive exposure to his brand and business. However, the gambling world is known for being a bit outlandish, so this may be legitimate.
The big question now remains whether the Bengals did indeed omit Burrow’s injury from the injury report. If true, the team could face fines and potential loss of draft picks. However, the team is not liable for any loss of bets at online sportsbooks.
However, if it is revealed that the Bengals omitted the injury, we could see some sportsbooks take the step of refunding bets on the game. This will be the discretion of the sportsbooks taking wagers and is not guaranteed.
If anything, this will bring a lot of attention to Portnoy and his brand. It is unlikely that a lost $120k bet will significantly impact him or his business. However, the exposure that this story will bring to Barstool Sports will likely pay massive dividends.