ESPN Bet Mike Greenberg Credit: Mike Greenberg on X

Maybe ESPN Bet really will be different than its competitors?

The recently launched sportsbook operated by the worldwide leader announced a refund for bettors on the “Seeing Green” odds-boosted Thursday Night Football parlay promoted by Mike Greenberg. The refund came after a wrist injury knocked Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow out of the game in the first quarter. Burrow was seen wearing a brace pregame, leading viewers to wonder whether Cincinnati withheld info about Burrow’s status.

ESPN said it would give ESPN Bet users their money back in the form of a bonus bet.

This is unique for a sportsbook operator and an interesting initial position from ESPN.

Earlier this year, NBA insider Shams Charania and FanDuel were challenged for the way in which Charania’s reporting the day of the NBA Draft swung betting odds toward Scoot Henderson for the No.2 overall pick. Henderson did not ultimately get drafted second. But the market shift likely resulted in significant action on FanDuel platforms thanks to Charania’s info.

Many worried ESPN would fall victim to similar issues. While Greenberg is not an insider by any means, his fans could make bets based on Greenberg’s analysis or his guests’ reporting.

ESPN setting a precedent that it may be more lenient than other operators is a way to make bettors happy. At the end of the day, it’s not just about optics or media navel-gazing. By getting into the sports betting world officially, ESPN (and Disney by extension) are wading into federal and state regulated waters.

The “Seeing Green” parlay and a Burrow wrist brace aren’t so trivial when you zoom out.

[ESPN Bet on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.