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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Sports Betting

Chiefs-Raiders point total turns on improbable defensive 2-point conversion

Kansas City Chiefs logo

If you bet the under on Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs-Oakland Raiders game, our condolences are with you.

The Chiefs beat the Raiders 40-9 to improve to 8-4 and increase their lead in the AFC West. Very few people were probably still watching in the final minute when the Chiefs got their final two points of the game.

KC was up 38-3 in the final minute, and the game looked sure to stay under the total at that point. The total for the game opened at 54.5 points at most books but closed around 49 or even 48.5 for some places.

The Raiders scored on a touchdown pass with 39 seconds left to make it 38-9. They tried to kick the extra point, but it was blocked and returned by the Chiefs the other way for a two-point conversion. That turned the score to 40-9.

Instead of having a comfortable winner, some who bet the total ended up with a push or even a loss if they had the line at 48.5. What a break.

49ers-Cardinals ending turns wild for bettors due to last-second touchdown

Sunday’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers ended on what appeared to be a meaningless touchdown, but that absurd score had significant meaning for many of those who bet on the game.

To fully grasp how the final play produced a swing of emotions, we must first tell the story of the game.

Arizona entered as 13.5-point underdogs at many sportsbooks, though the line was bet down to anywhere from 9.5 to 11.5 points at most places. The Cardinals got out to a 16-0 lead and looked like a lock for those who had taken them plus the points. But then the 49ers started to come back and even took the lead 30-26 on a touchdown pass with 31 seconds left.

Even after that touchdown, Cardinals bettors still were fine. Arizona had the ball but lost a fumble. The 49ers ran four plays and Arizona used all their timeouts and got the ball back on downs. They ran two plays, including this as time expired:

And just like that, tons of money changed hands. Those who had the 49ers -10 pushed because the final score was 36-26, and those who had them -9.5 or lower won on a miracle cover. Those who had the Cardinals +9.5 or lower lost what they thought would be a sure winner.

Another interesting factor is the NFL rule that doesn’t force teams to kick an extra point on a score at the end of the game that does not affect the outcome. Because of that, the game ended at 36-26 rather than with the 49ers kicking to go up 37-26.

Sportsbook refunds bettors who placed Mitchell Trubisky MVP bets

Mitchell Trubisky

Good news for people who got suckered into placing a bet on Mitchell Trubisky to win NFL MVP.

PointsBet Sportsbook announced that, as a Halloween gift, they would refund all bettors who had money on Trubisky to win MVP, via NBC Chicago. The site had touted Trubisky as a potential MVP candidate, and they said the Bears quarterback was their highest liability with 100-to-1 preseason odds.

It’s fair to say that the sportsbook could have sat tight and counted the dollars they made from speculative punts on Trubisky. It’s telling that the whole thing busted so much that they decided to offer a refund.

Trubisky has five touchdowns and three interceptions in seven starts, and almost certainly won’t make it to 3,000 yards passing in 2019. Just hope that they get the TVs turned off quickly enough so he doesn’t have to hear about these refunds.

Gambling site offering a very unique prop bet for Patriots-Bills game

Buffalo Bills logo

Buffalo Bills fans have a lot of traditions, but one of the most unusual pops up every year when the New England Patriots come to town. And if you want to bet on whether or not it will happen again during Sunday’s game, there is an avenue to do so.

For the third year in a row last year, a Bills fan threw a sex toy onto the field during the team’s game against the Pats. Online gambling website Odds Shark has set some odds for it happening again, and “YES” is a pretty significant favorite.

We wouldn’t bet against it.

The tradition seemed to start back in 2016, and Bills fans are certainly crazy enough to continue it. Bill Belichick recently had high praise for Bills Mafia, though it’s unclear if their object-throwing antics are also something he respects. Either way, feel free to fire in some bets prior to Sunday’s kickoff.

Vegas oddsmakers see minimal difference between Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

The New York Giants made a huge decision this week when they benched Eli Manning in favor of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but oddsmakers in Las Vegas do not seem to think the change will have a major impact on the team’s overall performance.

Prior to Jones being named the Week 3 starter, the Giants were a 6.5-point underdog for their upcoming game on the road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The line was briefly taken down following the announcement, and the Giants were +7 when it came back on the board.

That means oddsmakers don’t have high hopes for Jones in his first NFL start, and they probably think his superior physical ability will be offset by his lack of experience. The Giants may even agree, but Manning’s uninspiring play has put them in a position where they feel like it is time to introduce the rookie to life as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Jones looked incredibly sharp in the preseason and drew serious praise from his head coach, but there are going to be growing pains. Vegas sees no need to adjust its rating of the Giants until Jones proves he can replicate his preseason performance in meaningful games.

Legalized sports betting appeared to have major impact on ratings for NFL opener

sportsbook

Thursday night’s NFL season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears was a sloppy affair that featured just 13 total points, but that did not stop an impressive number of football fans from tuning in. It would appear the league can thank the legalization of sports gambling for at least some of that.

Ratings for Thursday night’s game were about 15 percent higher than last year’s season opener, according to data obtained by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Some of that can be attributed to the Packers and Bears having one of the most famed rivalries in all of sports, but ratings were also way up in markets where sports gambling has been legalized.

That isn’t exactly a surprise, but it is sure to excite NFL executives and team owners. On the surface, the NFL has tried to create the impression that there is grave concern over how legalized sports betting could potentially impact the integrity of the game. But when you see some of the estimates for how much money the league could make from legalized gambling, you know execs must be jumping for joy behind the scenes.

People have always gambled on games, but the legalization of betting opens up endless new possibilities. Whether you agree with it or not, there’s no question it has the potential to make the NFL — and other sports leagues — more popular than ever.

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NBC exec says there will be some gambling references during NFL broadcasts

sportsbook

The NFL and its television partner networks have tried to take a cautious approach since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, but one major network is going to allow some gambling talk on the air during the 2019 season.

On Tuesday, an NBC executive said there will continue to be some “somewhat isolated” gambling references during NFL broadcasts this season.

If you remember, CBS told its announcers to avoid gambling references last year just before the NFL season got underway. However, they seem to find a way to trickle out at times on NBC, usually courtesy of Al Michaels.

Fans tend to enjoy when announcers make references to gambling, as many viewers have money on the games or are taking part in pools involving spreads and other Las Vegas odds. Michaels has always had a penchant for mentioning point spreads and betting odds while calling games, and Joe Buck alluded to that while providing some gambling commentary of his own during an NFL game two years ago — even if his reference didn’t make much sense.

While the NFL has called on Congress to regular sports betting, league officials know how important gambling is for ratings and interest. NBC executives know, too.